Exploring natural science and natural history museums (LS-MK-116)

This learning scenario is developed for students of 14 to 16 years old. The topic focuses on natural science museums and museums of the history of science. The goal is for students to become acquainted with existing natural science and natural history museums. It also guides them on how to receive new information and ideas and to acquire new knowledge.

The lesson is intended for STEM subjects such as Physics, Astronomy, Biology and Chemistry. It can also be implemented by History teachers and, of course, ICT and English teachers. Depending on the teacher, students will explore different resources from the Europeana Collections related to these courses and national curricula.

Europeana: an introduction to European museums

To raise students’ motivation, the activity starts with an exploration of the Europeana website. A perfect occasion for them to learn how to use other related internet resources. The teacher explains that they can search for some artefacts or details about museums. Divided into groups, students must search for and gather information about museums focusing on different topics: physics, chemistry, biology, history, astronomy.
They themselves are creators and organizers of their own learning, and the teacher directs them and helps them if necessary.

Then, each group delivers and presents a poster presentation based on what the found on Europeana. In addition to the poster, students can use any other presentation material to expose their work (mobile app, Padlet or another online tool). At the end of the presentations, students should have gained knowledge about museums in Europe.

During the presentation, each student has his own part that he presents. By proceeding this way, they all have the opportunity to practice their presentation skills and their ability to work in teams. Thus they strengthen their communication skills.

Students’ self-assessment

Using this learning scenario, students will also be able to express their views by using a self-assessment method. They will be able to express themselves about their experience of using Europeana Collections. Students also will also give constructive feedback by answering questions about what they have learned, which part they think was the easiest, what was most difficult for them to apply and learn, and so on.

This activity was interesting for students. All the students were involved and active. They all agreed that Europeana is an interesting and useful website that they would like to explore further.

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CC BY 4.0 – The featured image used to illustrate this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution. It can be found on the Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek . The original image has been resized and labelled to illustrate this article. 

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