The Louisiana Art & Science Museum has recently released its 2019-20 "Adventure Planner," a guide for educators seeking to inspire a lifelong love of learning in their students.
Program options include hands-on classes, planetarium shows in the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, interactive educational theater and gallery guided tours and explorations.
New interdisciplinary planetarium shows and hands-on classes available this school year include "Apollo 11: First Steps Edition"; "Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia"; "Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum"; "Marbles, Motion, & Magnets"; "The Art of Astronomy" and "The River Dynamics Experience."
Created through a new partnership with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, "The River Dynamics Experience," offered free exclusively for eighth grade students, includes a visit to the LSU Center for River Studies and same-day, hands-on classes and programs at the museum that are aligned with the Louisiana Student Standards for Science.
“The River Dynamics Experience is one of many exciting opportunities for students who visit LASM because it introduces them to the challenges of land loss and coastal erosion, inspiring them to discover solutions to these real-world issues,” said Nita Mitchell, director of education. “Not only will they visit one of the most technologically-advanced river models in the world, but they will also engage with our new stream table and play with the principles of river dynamics.”
The "Adventure Planner" outlines descriptions and details of the museum’s programs for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The carefully-curated layered experiences developed by the museum's education team are an invaluable feature of the "Adventure Planner."
Each program is designed to address curriculum requirements and help students build connections and achieve deeper learning.
“When students understand the relevance of STEAM in their everyday lives, their perspective changes and they see new possibilities open up to them,” said Mitchell. “Many of our programs blend principles of art and science to reinforce what students are learning in the classroom, empowering them to recognize opportunities that will encourage both success in school and in future career paths.”
The long-term benefits of museum school programs, like those at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, have been well-documented. In a 2014 study by "Education Next," students who attended a field trip to a museum were found to experience an increase in critical thinking skills, historical empathy, and tolerance. For students from rural or high-poverty regions, this increase was even more significant.
“LASM has developed a model school program that currently serves 41 parishes in Louisiana and five counties in Mississippi,” said Serena Pandos, president and executive director. “The positive feedback we receive from teachers and students affirms that the museum’s school program fosters new connections and new ways of thinking through its exhibitions, planetarium shows and hands-on learning experiences.”
Also, ticket sales for the museum's 34th annual gala, "CHROMA: Color Your Senses," on Sept. 20, as well as its grand raffle tickets, silent auction bids and sponsorships, benefit the museum’s school programs, which served approximately 98,000 school program participants in 2018.