With the rising pressures of standardized testing and an already tightly packed school year, Science Mill staff are always searching for ways to help teachers make field trip correlations effortless and more germane to their classroom curriculum. We are excited to launch a pilot program with Exhibit Interaction Guides to help teachers get the most educational bang for their buck out of their free exploration time at the Science Mill. The Exhibit Interaction Guides pilot will be available for 5th to 8th grades initially and we will add K-4, and 9-12 before next school year. We have correlated an exhibit activity to vocabulary connections, writing prompts, modeling ideas, sentence stems, content review questions, and STAAR review questions. To stay true to our commitment to get students invested in STEM careers, we’ve added career correlations and links to learn more. Our goal is that teachers will use these booklets to make correlations to their current units of study and encourage administrative and parent support for field trip excursions to the Science Mill. These TEKS-aligned activities provide teachers with ideas of what can be done at our exhibits and demonstrate classroom correlations in the form of warm-ups, reviews, or even as a project-based learning endeavor.
These Exhibit Interaction Guides provide teachers a framework for structure during their trip which can be curtailed to specific curriculum goals and gives chaperones an excellent way to interact with students during the field trip. These components could be used as an additional educational component during the travel time for your trip, keeping the kids engaged all day. The goal of the guides is to provide support to teachers and help bridge the gap between an informal science field trip and classroom learning, ultimately providing a relevant connection to STEM classroom content learning. After the pilot program - and your feedback! - we aim to have one booklet per reporting category by each grade level K-8, with more extensive content guides for high school students.
We are eager to get these activities in your hands and as always will continue to research and develop learning experiences that enhance classroom learning and real world relevancy. To request a digital version of the Exhibit Interaction Guides, please email Amber Middlebrook at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support of the Science Mill!
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