Last January marked the launch of the Science and Nature Discovery Program at the Courtenay and District Museum.
Designed exclusively for home-learners and comprised mostly of hands-on activities, this program has been a huge success. One class per week was originally offered and interest was so great that three more classes needed to be added to accommodate all of the students.
One year later, 25 class topics have been explored and more than 30 students have participated in the program. The children have created all sorts of exciting projects, including movable models of the solar system, erupting volcanoes, cloud identification charts and a month-long study on a vertebrate animal of the student’s choice.
Although the ages of children participating range from five to 12 years, all students are provided with the same course material and information. Children are encouraged to draw and label scientific diagrams and to read and write at their own various personal levels. The group-learning atmosphere helps students to build confidence in their social and public speaking skills, while the small class size allows the instructor to spend time assisting each student with their own particular needs.
Each class is comprised of interactive discussions and slideshows, hands-on activities and experiments, group activities, scientific diagrams and project creation. Students gain a sense of pride in their work by creating projects in class that express understanding of the course material, as well as their own individuality.
The Courtenay Museum is taking registrations for this program on an ongoing basis. Children do not need to have taken any previous classes at the museum and there are no prerequisites.
Spaces are available in the Wednesday morning class (10 a.m. to noon) and Wednesday afternoon class (2:30 to 4:30 p.m.). The next session begins Feb. 2. Cost for the program is $60 plus HST per session (four classes).
For more information on this and other programs the museum is offering, call 250-334-0686 or check www.courtenaymuseum.ca.
— Courtenay and District Museum