April 6, 2006
Hands-on exhibits create new energy in libraries
Roam with the beasts. Split white light into a rainbow of colors. Kids across South Dakota can participate in these hands-on science activities, thanks to a series of traveling exhibits that combine science, literature and art.
The easy-to-assemble exhibits are poised to visit libraries across South Dakota. A group called the Hands-On Partnership (HOP) for Science, Literature and Art in South Dakota purchased the exhibits and plans to tour them year-round. HOP's members include the South Dakota State Library; South Dakota School of Mines & Technology; South Dakota Discovery Center & Aquarium, Pierre; Dahl Arts Center, Rapid City; and Rawlins Municipal Library, Pierre.
While schools are invited to book the exhibits, HOP partners hope that community groups become the driving force behind offering the exhibits. “With the mandates required by No Child Left Behind, schools don't have time to do a lot of extra things,” said Karen Kern, HOP director. “With this program, community groups such as the local Rotary Club or Lions Club can take this project on — allowing teachers to focus on the basics.”
Two traveling exhibits currently are available from HOP. They are titled “Light & Color” and “Dinostories.” Two additional exhibits, “A Bug's Eye View” and “Animals as Architects” should be ready to travel the state by late 2006.
Each exhibit is designed to be a turn-key operation. Each comes with an exhibit manual, ideas for school field-trip activities, and educational kits filled with related experiments and art supplies.
Schools or community groups interested in bringing one of the exhibits to their library should contact Karen Kern at (605) 773-5050.
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