Whale Week at John Muir Elementary
The week of March 12th, 2012, was Whale Week at John Muir Elementary in San Francisco. The Mission Science Workshop worked closely with teachers at the school to design a week-long curriculum built around using the complete skeleton of the gray whale excavated by the CSW Network in August as a teaching tool. All classes at the school had time to handle the whale bones during the course of the week, and every classroom activity used the whale as a subject of inquiry and inspiration. Students measured the bones to calculate ratios, wrote whale poems, did whale dances to learn gray whale behavior, and drew the bones as an exercise in observation, proportion, and as an introduction to anatomy.
The week-long experiment in integrating CSW hands-on exhibits into an entire school was a huge success, garnering enthusiasm and praise from students, teachers, and parents at John Muir. The San Francisco Chronicle (read here, and see full photo gallery of the event) and San Francisco Examiner (read here) published articles on the collaboration. Dan Sudran, Director of the Mission Science Workshop, has appointments for Whale Weeks at two additional SF schools eager to experience the whale. In future, the whale will also travel to other CSW sites in the Network, as a traveling science exhibit made possible by collaboration between CSW sites.
Click image to view photo album