When a middle school partners with university professionals, students benefit and enjoy experiences with analytical thinking skills and off campus visits to museums.
Stillwater Middle School students enjoyed a collaborative effort of their teachers with members of the faculty of Oklahoma State University and college and museum volunteers. The cross-curricular project combined art and writing, visits to museums, and stimulated thinking through the collaboration of teachers with other professionals.
The people involved in the collaboration were Bob Graalman, Oklahoma State University Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society; Carrie Kim, OSU Art Museum curator of education; Crista McCann, Stillwater Middle School art and yearbook teacher; Shaila West, Stillwater Middle School writing teacher, along with OSU Transportation, college and museum volunteers and the Stillwater Public Education Foundation.
“It could easily take $1,000 to bus children for a day to Tulsa or Oklahoma City to visit a museum of this caliber, but today’s field trip has cost nothing for the school district – and the students are getting in and out without losing an entire day of instruction in other classes,” McCann said.
McCann and Kim are the designers of the activities which will result in students producing an anthology book of their visits. Also, special education students accompanied the classes and received adapted and modified instruction.
“This is a program that Carrie has put together focusing on incorporating art and writing, and even a journalism aspect for the yearbook students,” said McCann. “She has aligned it with our state and national standards, as well as our own local school goals. The students are very excited to ride the OSU buses, visit the museum and create a book of their collected works.”