Fla. Museum to develop new global science education resources with help from federal grant

September 25th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Thanks to a “Museums for America” $133,000 grant from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Florida Museum of Natural History will produce a series of educational programs for teachers and students in the Gainesville area and around the world.

The museum plans to develop gallery experiences that enhance school field trips and tie museum exhibits to the in-class curriculum. It also plans to create an enrichment program that will supply teachers with classroom materials, scientific knowledge and techniques, and online resources to supplement and enhance learning in classrooms worldwide.

“This grant gives the museum the opportunity to strengthen our involvement with schools by providing valuable resources to teachers and enhancing learning experiences for students,” said Jamie Creola, director of education at the museum. “Everything we do is correlated to the Sunshine State Standards and meant to help teachers and students. All developed materials will be available on our Web site and thus available to anyone in the world with access to a computer.”

The online resources will include four “Educator’s Guides,” one that correlates to each of the museum’s permanent exhibits. The guides will include content background and current research information regarding each exhibit, classroom activities, teaching methods to facilitate student learning of those concepts, and additional resources including links to other helpful Web sites, books and articles, and local agencies and natural areas.

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Museums for America provided more than $17 million this year, making it the institute’s largest grant program for museums.

“Museums for America grants invest in our nation’s communities by supporting museums as active resources for lifelong learning, cultural heritage and community engagement,” said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “The programs and activities these grants support include hands-on educational programs, innovative uses of technology and groundbreaking partnerships. All help to strengthen museum services and improve communities.”

Writer: Jessica Thurmond
Media contact: Paul Ramey, (352) 273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu