St. Anthony’s School continues to build relationships in the community, and has forged a strong partnership with the Royal Tyrrell Museum.
While often students from the area will take in the Tyrrell as a field trip, the school is working with the museum and its education department to cater its museum experiences to what is relevant to students.
“Teachers were going on field trips, maybe they were not always thinking about the curriculum connections,” explains St. Anthony’s principal JoAnne Akerboom. “We have really started thinking intentionally about the purpose of field trips to make the classroom alive. To learn something in the class and then get to see it in application in the world. The Museum is a really nice hands on space, and it has lots of things kids can do that are really activity based.”
Recently the Grade 6 class had a connection with the Tyrrell and will be working on producing an educational video. They had a lesson in class on how to prepare the video through the smartboard, and next week will be heading to the Tyrrell to make their video. This will be delivered to students from Oyen at the same time.
“All of this connects to the science and language arts curriculum. There is a lot of flexibility. It is outcome based, and how to teach it is up to the teacher,” she said.
The relationship is also beneficial to the Tyrrell. It’s education department delivers programs live and in person, as well as through communication technology around the world.
“They are doing experiments with us because it is really good for them to see what works in the classroom,” explains Akerboom.
The Grade 6 class are not the only students who will benefit from working with the Tyrrell. These connections go from Kindergarten all the way up to high school and cover all subject matter. The Grade 4 class, for example, are looking at simple machines in science as well as the history of Alberta, the prairies and the Badlands have a social studies connection. The kindergarten classes work on developing environmental and community awareness
Akerboom said her Grade 11 Career and Life Management class has connected with the museum to discover different career options in an organization such as the museum.
“The flexibility that is happening in school now, there are some core areas that students have to do, but after that there is tons of flexibility,” she said.