Updated: Mar 15
Part 2 of 7 - Museums
By Sherrie Neff
Museums are a prime example of community-based organizations that enhance public education. Learning has an ecosystem that includes all facets of learning opportunities. Traditional education is the critical factor that is usually the topic when our society speaks on education. Today we talk about support and the culture of learning.
We need to focus more on some of the enhanced educational opportunities that support traditional public/private schools. In the current learning ecosystem, many other facets of learning include technology and hands-on exploration.
Interesting that our newest working generation is more likely to be working a gig. These young people are less likely to take permanent full-time employment. But they are intelligent and know the amount of work and money needed for survival and play. So, they take smaller odd jobs or gigs to live the lifestyle they want. Whether society likes or agrees with their lifestyle is less important than understanding how it affects education and economics.
It is the same for their education. The "Gig" option or educational "gigs" offer in-depth looks at the subject matter and are accessible and affordable. This individual coursework is usually self-paced and without prerequisite courses. So the learner can obtain more information about their interests or needs quickly without the cumbersome college process or enrollment fees.
Where do the community centers and museums play a big part? First, we offer gig education both in-person and online. An example is an exhibit showing air and wind energy and the science behind aeronautics. The exhibit inspires the learner to find out more.
We also have programs like STEAM Camps and Whizzard Academy to support traditional education. These programs use the current state standards to focus on project creation, curriculum, and experimentation. Our teachers work from curriculum standards for all elementary and junior high grades. We are versatile and willing to give personal and academic support to take the learner to their greatest potential. Collaboration with the traditional teacher and the family maintains growth in areas of weakness and excelling in subjects of interest.
Although our educational focus at CMOMT is from birth to 8th grade, our future vision is to have more offerings explicitly speaking to the high school and adults within our exhibits and programs.
As parents and community members, let's continue to support our youth and their education by visiting museums, utilizing community programs, and collaborating.
We are so lucky to have an excellent variety of museums in Great Falls. The Sunday Sampler is taking place very soon (April 2nd), where every museum in Great Falls and some around the state participates in a free afternoon. We encourage everyone to get out and visit our museums. There is a scavenger hunt at each stop and prizes for the winners. Visit https://www.childrensmuseumofmontana.org/sundaysampler for more information and a list of museums.