Kids stuck inside because of coronavirus can be at-home scientists to keep their brains active thanks to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week ordered all Ohio K-12 schools to shut down for three weeks starting Monday, March 16. DeWine has since said that Ohio’s schools may have to remain closed for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
That could be a lot of learning lost for school-aged children. School districts are rolling out plans for at-home learning and coursework. Institutions like the Boonshoft are pulling together to provide parents with resources to keep their kids engaged and maybe bring mom or dad a little bit of peace, if not at least for a few hours.
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While the Boonshoft remains closed until at least March 29, three daily programs will air online — a morning program at 9 a.m., an afternoon program at 2 p.m. and a closing program at 6 p.m.
“Kids thrive on routines just as adults thrive on routines,” said Dawn Kirchner, vice president of education at the Boonshoft. “Even if we don’t think about it, we all do.”
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Online programming began Monday with a lesson called "All About Matter." Kids are encouraged to participate throughout the videos and can even download materials to participate in the program. People can find all the current Boonshoft videos and download activities on the website at http://www.boonshoftmuseum.org/experience-more/digital-programming/.
“Our teaser video had over 8,000 hits,” Kirchner said. “So definitely we knew there was a need, which excited us more to really be able to put all this together.”
In addition to learning something new, those tuning in can get a glimpse of parts of the museum not always seen including behind the scenes areas of the collections department, unique items and stories about them, or interactions with the Discovery Zoo residents with the Live Animals team.
“Even though they’re going to be at home for a while … keeping their brains engaged to what they were learning and by utilizing some of these different resources, it gives parents the option to do a lot of different topics that they might not necessarily know how to find,” Kirchner said.
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Other excellent and entertaining online educational resources Kirchner said parents should check out include the Indianapolis Children's Museum website, Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center website and the Cincinnati Zoo website which has started doing "Home Safaris".