Museum offers program for home school students

A new program at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada gives home school students a chance to get hands-on science and math experience.

"It's a great opportunity for us to interact with these families," said Gale Thomssen, the education director for the museum. "It also gives them a chance to expand their education program."

The program, which started this month, meets every second and fourth Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. for a class and an art project.

Nine students met Tuesday in the conference room in the basement of the museum.

Thomssen began with a review of the concepts from the previous session.

"I was really surprised the kids remembered so much," Thomssen said. "It's really exciting."

After the review, she read them a story about a toad who looked funny in his bathing suit.

Then they moved on to the meat of the lesson.

Each student was given a die and told to write a letter to a friend on Saturn describing it. The dice were later used in various games to demonstrate probability and statistics.

"On your mark, get set, start those frogs," Thomssen said to begin one "frog math" game.

After the learning session, students went upstairs to a craft project. They decorated paper iguanas.

"The Children's Museum is wonderful because the children can touch everything," said Tia Gonzales, a home school mother. "It's so hands-on."

In addition to education, the museum also provides a forum for home school students to come together.

"It gives kids a chance for social interaction in a group setting," Thomssen said.

She said that she and the museum director, Suzi Meehan, have discussed implementing the program for over three months.

"We hope to bring in more students from the Dayton and Minden-Gardnerville area," she said.


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