Do you love geology? Do you homeschool your kids in the Denver area? Are you looking for an educational field trip? Consider doing what I did this week; visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. My specific reason for going to the museum this week was to visit the new exhibit called “After the Asteroid”. This exhibit features the amazing discovery in the state of Colorado which contains more mammal fossils from the time immediately after the extinction of the dinosaurs than anywhere else on the planet. This exhibit did not disappoint as it is extraordinarily well done and informational. I also got to spend the day going through my favorite exhibits that I have visited many times before.
As a high school geology teacher, I have taken many field trips with students to visit the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals, the Prehistoric Journey exhibit, as well as the interactive astronomy exhibit. The number of students who want to visit this museum never cease to amaze me; and with good reason. The gold hall, the mining history of Colorado displays, as well as the gem displays are of very high quality. If you are looking a chemistry lesson, there are display cases of minerals outlining the numerous chemical categories of minerals. What a great way to grab the attention of students, and directly see an application of chemistry. Additionally, the Prehistoric Journey exhibit takes you on a path, starting from the beginnings of earth history through the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras. This museum has spectacular fossil samples that students can view and learn great information about.
Another intention of going to this museum this week was to produce note guides that students can complete while on a field trip to this museum. Multiple times I have been stopped by teachers, asking me where I got this piece of paper with questions for students to answer. “I made it myself”. The next question: “How did you do that?” My response: “I came up to the museum ahead of time”. This told me years ago that I could make such an activity to sell! And now I have finally gotten around to doing just that! These note guides are now for sale in my TpT store: MidnightStar.
I have learned in my many years of teaching that students will rush through museums and tell me at the end, that they “read everything”, or that they “saw it all”, or that they “learned a lot”. What students don’t recognize is running through the museum while laughing and talking with their friends does not constitute learning. So, in order to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, I have made note guides for the geology sections of this museum including:
- Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals,
- After the Asteroid Exhibit and
- the Prehistoric Journey Exhibit.
In time, I plan to make note guides for additional exhibits within this wonderful museum.
I am sure that you all enjoy taking students on adventures; as I do. And may these note guides help make the experience even more interesting and educational.