The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History offers innovative learning opportunities for at-risk students
Funded by the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, the Legacy Program has been focused on increasing students’ foundational STEAM knowledge since 2014. A recent needs assessment indicated that teachers often lack adequate time, resources, and training to address students’ educational and personal needs. While classroom teachers would like to provide rich, engaging educational environments, many are unable to do so because they lack the time and support. The Legacy Program addresses these needs by providing interactive classes within the Museum, strengthening educational opportunities for local students.
The curriculum is built on the backbone of Museum School and utilizes the Museum’s natural science and history collections. The curriculum is steeped in developmentally appropriate practices for early childhood education. The heart of each lesson centers around student interaction with taxidermy specimens, historical artifacts, and other items in the Museum’s rich collection.
The Legacy Program runs for a total of 28 weeks from October – May and includes 14 visits to the Museum and 14 visits within the classrooms. Preliminary results indicate that the program effectively promotes student growth in the six targeted areas: expressive language, receptive language, social cognition, executive function, attitude, and problem solving.
“I saw the language skills greatly improve throughout this school year,” said one Fort Worth ISD teacher involved in the program. “At the beginning, the students didn’t have the vocabulary or the skills needed to express themselves. As the year progressed, more and more students were using the terminology that we had taught them and were able to express their thoughts in complete sentences.”
To learn more about the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and its educational programs, visit www.fwmuseum.org.
About Museum School
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Museum School was the first museum preschool in Texas and one of the first in the nation to recognize that 3, 4, and 5-year-olds have the capacity to learn about science and natural history. As such, it was one of the first museum preschools accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Museum School serves about 4,000 children a year, from preschool through 5th grade. Additionally, our Education Outreach programs reach over 28,000 children a year. Since 1949, Museum School has served more than 200,000 children. For more information, visit www.fwmuseum.org/learn/museum-school/.
The Museum was established in 1941, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. Anchored by its rich collections, the Museum is dedicated to lifelong learning. It engages guests through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits interpreting science and the history of Texas and the Southwest. For more information, visit www.fortworthmuseum.org.