Each September, fresh from a full summer of science camps, the Science Museum's intrepid instructors hit the road and head off to present assemblies at water and environmental festivals across the state. Many counties invite fourth, fifth, or sixth graders to county fairgrounds, parks, military camps, and even farms for a day of informal learning experiences. The Science Museum's STEM Education department has been part of a number of those events for more than 20 years.
This school year, eight seasoned instructors and two new ones "turned on the science" throughout the state to teach in classrooms and communities. As of the end of September, museum programs have reached students from 42 of Minnesota’s 87 counties through a combination of field trips and outreach programming. Funding through schools, soil and water conservation districts, corporate sponsors, and the generous support of the Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund has made it possible for the Science Museum to have contact with students in all 87 Minnesota counties every year for the past six years.
Some fun numbers from several of the Science Museum's long-running festival partnerships:
Southwest Minnesota Environmental Fair: Over 40,500 4th graders have been reached since this partnership began in 1992
Environmental Education Day, Aitkin County: Over 3,600 students reached since 1996
Metro Area Children’s Water Festival: Over 25,000 4th graders reached since 2000
Morrison County Water Festival: 9,000 6th graders reached since 2001
Todd County Enviro-Fest: Over 6400 6th graders reached since 2004
Pokegama Lake Association Freshwater Fair: Over 5,400 5th graders reached since 2004
“The Science Museum has been a highlight of our festival going back to 2001. Museum presenters have brilliant techniques for engaging the large groups of students attending the festival. The learning experience provided is science-based and very interactive. This interaction builds interest in the material being presented and includes the students directly. The children love it!”
- Lance C., Morrison County Soil & Water Conservation District