The Cook Museum of Natural Science Education Department

10/07/2019  |  By Jennifer Densmore
Student Travel
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Are you looking for the perfect place to take your students this fall? The Cook Museum of Natural Science has developed an education department to teach children and adults alike about the natural world around us. Our mission is to have people realize that “life is amazing.” By creating and implementing a curriculum that contains life, earth and physical science, we hope to enhance and encourage scientific learning in our community.

Starting downstairs in our exhibit area, students and teachers will begin a journey through the natural world. Through hands-on interactives, visitors can examine the principles of both Fibonacci’s sequence and Bernoulli’s sequence. Guests will encounter the solar system and our special star, the sun. Our interactive kinetic sand table is a must-see for everyone! Deep in the heart of the exhibits, guests will find a cave to explore. Just beyond the saguaro cactus students will be awed by our 15,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. In the forest, students can climb through a model of the largest tree in Alabama. These are just a few of the learning opportunities for students of all ages to experience.

On the second level of the museum, our focus is even more intentionally educational. We have three dedicated classrooms, each with a different focus, both in age-group and discipline. Teachers, homeschool co-ops, and other special groups will be able to schedule more in-depth classes upstairs in our labs.

In the Adventure Lab, students may study geology, meteorology, biology and chemistry. These classes include labs that discuss caring for our earth, Alabama wildlife, various animal programs, erosion, sea life, dissections, states of matter and many more. Our trained educators walk the students through an engaging lesson that expands their knowledge and heightens their curiosity. Then they will end the experience with a hands-on activity or experiment.

The Maker Space classroom is designed to encourage creativity. It was developed with design and engineering in mind. The lessons focus on biomimicry, physics, engineering and robotics. These engaging lessons begin with exploration into the topic and end with the engineering process. Students will be challenged to ask what can be done, imagine their solution, plan their project, create the solution and work together to improve upon it.

Our Salamander Room is geared toward preschool students. In this classroom, we will focus on “Mommy and Me” classes, birthday parties, afterschool fun, and younger homeschool groups. We want to engage young minds in the scientific process of observation by using activities that immerse the students in nature, sound and art.

The education department at the Cook Museum is dedicated to working with educators and family groups to bring science to life. We want to encourage wonder about the world around us and bring about scientific curiosity in our patrons. Schedule your exciting field trip today!

Written by Jennifer Densmore, Education Manager at the Cook Museum
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