Cincinnati Museum Center announces virtual field trips

Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is giving educators and lifelong learners a new tool in their educational and enrichment toolboxes – virtual field trips. CMC has select virtual field trips available now with more options added over the next several months. This new, engaging format brings the magic and curiosity of CMC exhibits to classrooms, senior centers and other audiences – even those outside the Greater Cincinnati region.

The 2020-2021 school year has forced many schools, educators and parents to reimagine what school looks like. Modified classrooms, smaller class sizes and remote learning have made one of the best parts of school nearly impossible: field trips. Field trips are critical complements to classroom curriculum, helping students gain a better understanding of topics, building cultural understanding and tolerance and introducing students to new worlds and concepts in a setting full of wonder. Plus, they’re often one of the fondest memories of a child’s school-age years.

“I vividly recall field trips to the Museum of Natural History & Science as an elementary student in the 1980s, hiking through the Cave and seeing how massive a polar bear is,” says Tony Lawson, senior director of school and teacher partnerships for Cincinnati Museum Center. “Experiencing the wonder of watching a ring vortex in action or viewing up-close, high-resolution photos of artwork created by the Maya more than a thousand years ago will leave today’s students feeling that same sense of awe I felt decades ago.”

CMC is launching its virtual field trips with tours of its permanent Science Interactives Gallery, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, and its featured exhibition Maya: The Exhibition. Each pre-recorded tour is approximately 30-60 minutes in length and blends fascinating videos, sound clips and interactive elements with lively commentary from CMC educators and curators. Some virtual field trips will also feature footage from CMC’s labs and collections, as well as commentary from outside experts. In the case of Maya: The Exhibition, University of Cincinnati archaeologists lend their expertise to exhibition objects, sharing stories from field work and special insights from their research. Virtual field trips can be navigated together by a class or students can explore on their own from school or home, using a guide that accompanies each experience.

More virtual field trips to familiar favorites will debut in the spring, including Dinosaur Hall, Cave, Public Landing, Cincinnati in Motion, Shaping Our City and The Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery, presented by the Harold C. Schott Foundation. CMC is also developing a virtual experience around its temporary exhibition Inspired by Nature: The Art and Activism of Charley Harper. All experiences connect to OH and KY Learning Standards. Each virtual field trip is easy to navigate and works for both PC and Mac, as well as mobile devices.

For an even more personalized experience, groups can add a 30-minute conversation with an expert to their virtual field trip experience. CMC’s experts in education, archaeology, zoology, paleontology and Cincinnati history can speak live with students or groups to share their background, discuss their most recent research and even give a peek inside CMC’s collections.

Virtual field trips can be booked online or by calling (513) 287-7021 and cost $75 per classroom or group with discounts available for multiple bookings. Each virtual field trip reservation provides unlimited access for seven days (Sunday through Saturday). Conversations with an expert are live through a virtual platform and cost $75 per class or group. For more information visit cincymuseum.org/virtual-field-trips/.

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