Saturday, June 27, 2015

Expanding the Classroom Walls, Minnesota History Center

What do 4th-grade boys ask to do on the weekend?  Go antiqueing in with their Mom, that's what.  Well, this day at the history center was not antique shopping, but it was pretty darn close.  The second to last day of my field trip class I invited my son to join me on tour.  It was such a special day for me.

My family and I go to the Minnesota Historical Society on a somewhat regular basis. I was excited to see some of the new exhibits and Sawyer was very excited to go to his favorites.  One of the new exhibits was the We are Hmong, Minnesota.  In classic MHS style, there were hands-on learning as well as technology-based information. The video below was introduced to us at in the exhibit.

Scan the food and the words in both English and Hmong appear as well as the cultural importance of the food.

Another great exhibit that I was thrilled to see what the 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair.  What a treat to see some amazing fashion!

The Then, Now, Wow is one of Sawyer's favorites, and in my opinion why students and families should visit the Museum. HANDS ON, Hands on, Hands on! One of the most touching things I saw was kids stopping to watch the information about the 35W Bridge collapse.  Like many tragedies, I know exactly where I was on Aug. 1st, 2007... and who I was with.  When the bridge fell, there was a bus on it.  As you can see, the bus back door is placed on display with every student's signature on it.  The kids that were watching the news report were shocked.  I heard gasps and comments of fear... the same feelings were provoked as was in all of Minnesota as we found out the news 8 years ago.

Another one of Sawyer's favorites is the Grain Play area.  This teaches about the shoots and shafts in a Grainery and allows kids to get their wiggles out.  Sawyer made friends with a couple of kids right away.  Kids are so good at doing that.

The Greatest Generation is an exhibit about Minnesota in World War II.  Above you see the students working on an assembly line to make Artillery Shells.

The Weather in Minnesota Exhibit is very interesting... I didn't always think so.  See we have 4 very different seasons in Minnesota, but living in MN my whole life, I didn't know how interesting weather is in our great state.  In connecting with a lovely teacher in Australia, Anna P. several years ago, I didn't understand what a interesting climate we live in.  Anna and I had done some Art Trades together and we started a conversation with one another to learn more about each others worlds.  My Preschooler at the time explained to Anna what a tornado drill was.  She was shocked that we had our students practice going in safe areas of the building and talking about the respect one must have when it comes to tornado drills.  MHS has a room that you can go into that feels like a basement.  There is a weather report of a tornado and the room shakes with noise as the eyewitnesses share their experiences of being in one of Minnesota's worst tornados. Winter is another season that is very different than other areas of the world.  So the MHS has many boots for people to try on and tromp around in.  

Representing all in the displays, #PRIDE
One thing that I think the History Center does really well is represent EVERYONE in MN.  We are a divers state and many of the stories are told at the History Center.  That is one of the many reasons this should be a visit for schools.  There is bussing and grants available for school to visit.  This is a huge site that allows for smaller break outs so that everyone has a chance to visit each area with plenty of space for all the students.  Recommending this highly for both your family and classes.

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