How are you connected to the Montshire?
I began teaching in the Rivendell Interstate School District four years ago and the district had an already existing partnership with the Montshire Museum. I have been lucky enough to reap the benefits of that partnership since then.
Why do you choose to be involved?
The Montshire is a tremendous asset to teachers in the Upper Valley. I worked with the Montshire’s educators in a variety of ways since I began teaching in my district. They’ve helped me develop units, develop professionally and foster a love of learning science in my students. The connections they bring to my classroom or offer when we make class visits to the Museum enrich the science lives of my students in ways I couldn’t achieve without them.
When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
I first went to the Montshire in the summer of 2010 to do unit planning right before my first year of teaching in my district began.
What is your favorite Montshire experience?
My favorite Montshire experience has to be the Dartmouth Mentor program that was funded through a grant and run by the Museum. Undergraduate students at Dartmouth signed up for the program and were paired with elementary teachers in our district. Those students would work together with Museum staff and me to create science lessons related to the units we were covering in class. The mentors would then come and teach those units with my students. The student mentors I worked with were phenomenal and I still keep in contact with some of them!
What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
That the Montshire is a large part of science education in the Upper Valley and around Vermont and New Hampshire. Museum staff reaches out to schools to establish partnerships that bring schools to the Museum and the Museum to schools! The Museum has partnerships with several schools and continues to add more to the list.
Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
Welcoming! Wow, one word was really difficult! There are so many that come to mind!
What do you think the Montshire will be like in ten years?
I believe that ten years from now the Montshire will be maintaining their partnerships with schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. I believe that they will have developed even more partnerships with schools in the area and I hope that some of my own students, who love science, are involved in helping the Museum reach out to schools so that they can continue to enrich education in our states.
What do you find most rewarding about working with the Montshire?
The most rewarding thing about partnering with the Montshire is seeing my students benefit from the learning they do on visits to the Museum and from the use of advanced lab equipment that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Being a part of the Montshire School Partnership Initiative has allowed my students access to ways of learning that small rural districts may not otherwise be able to provide.
What is the best kept secret at the Montshire?
This is not a secret at all, but the staff! They have always been so professional, flexible and amazing with me and my students! They’ve helped me to grow as a science educator.
What is your favorite Montshire story to tell?
I’m not sure I have a favorite—I love them all, especially when I think back on times when the staff and mentors have visited my classroom and worked with my students and me! The end result was always fantastic!
Which other museums do you enjoy visiting?
I really enjoy visiting the Boston Museum of Science.