What do you get when you combine art supplies, ARKive’s amazing collection of endangered species imagery and fact files and creative young minds? A unique, one of a kind learning experience called the ARKive School Museum which transforms classrooms and schools into a natural history museum all about endangered species.
The ARKive School Museum is an innovative and engaging educational experience which encourages students to get creative. By discovering fascinating biological facts about endangered species, designing and creating fun, interactive exhibits, and hosting unique, hands-on activities in their own ‘museum’, students improve their scientific literacy and develop cross-discipline skills that they can apply to an ever-changing global society.
Designed for students from 5-14 years of age, the ARKive School Museum begins with them diving into the world of conservation and learning how species become endangered. Then, by choosing a species to learn about further, students use ARKive as a scientific research tool to discover biological information and interesting facts that can be transformed into an interactive exhibit to inform the wider school community about the species and issues. With optional museum-focused extension activities, students can explore the world of museum curation for additional exhibit tips and tricks.
An ARKive School Museum culminates with a ‘grand opening’, where students lead visitors through the interactive exhibits they have designed. Students engage and amaze visitors as they showcase the results of their hard work and communicate their findings about endangered species to fellow students, parents and their local school communities.
The ARKive team worked with classrooms in Virgina, USA, to pilot the ARKive School Museum program and we were consistently amazed by the creativity of the students. From constructing pitch black naked mole rat tunnels from cardboard boxes that challenged museum visitors to experience living underground and without vision to designing a measurement exhibit using string to illustrate the length of saltwater crocodiles (the largest living reptile) and other species, there seemed to be no end to what the students could dream up! One of the teachers we worked with said it best,
“We see students being transformed from just acquiring knowledge to discovering that learning has a purpose – the sharing of knowledge”. – Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences, Virginia, USA
We couldn’t agree more! To create an ARKive School Museum in your school or classroom, start by visiting ARKive Education today. Then, select the guiding materials that fit your students’ ages, learning styles and needs.
Liana Vitali, ARKive Education and Outreach Manager