UMaine museums, planetarium support remote instruction, learning

University of Maine museums and planetarium have a rich library of online resources available to support remote K12 instruction during the pandemic. 

The Page Farm and Home Museum offers Virtual Field Trip Experiences, via Zoom, to school groups, homeschool groups, and college classes. Groups can take an introductory tour, select a virtual visit topic, or request a program tailored to specific curricular needs by calling the museum at 207.581.4100. Online resources and a Whatz-It? challenge are also available to supplement remote learning for students of all ages. 

The Versant Power Astronomy Center offers a wide array of Virtual Astronomy Experiences to support online exploration of the universe for schoolchildren of every age. Maine’s Wondrous Night Sky, Planet Parade, Mysterious Moon and Me, and Voyage Through the Universe are a few of the lessons available — all are supplemented with age-appropriate resources from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Universe Explorers of Maine, an international online astronomy club, uses robotic telescopes and gamified learning quests to facilitate space exploration and participation in citizen science. Limited funding is available to support class participation in the explorers club. 

The Hudson Museum’s Adventures in Anthropology supports virtual exploration of cultures and traditions featured in the museum’s World Cultures Gallery. This new interactive program introduces students to the field of anthropology using a guided research approach. The museum’s YouTube channel features virtual tours of three Hudson Museum galleries, along with more than two dozen videos of Wabanaki artist interviews, demonstrations of traditional artforms and storytelling. These videos support the teaching of Wabanaki history and culture in Maine’s public and private elementary and high schools. 

The Zillman Art Museum similarly shares educational resources tailored to K12 learning on YouTube. “Studio Sessions” is a series of virtual, hands-on lessons designed to engage children in creative arts while at home during the pandemic. Lessons range from papier-mache techniques, to making modeling clay, to creating a cubist collage in the style of Pablo Picasso. Virtual tours of previous exhibitions at the Zillman Art Museum are also available on the museum’s YouTube channel.