What is the draw about visiting museums and aquariums? I think the greatest thing about them is that learning is authentic; walking through the "rainforest" at the California Academy of Sciences is much more memorable than simply reading a book about it. Also, visiting the Cable Car Museum was absolutely phenomenal because no where else can you see how San Francisco's cable car system operates. From all the experiences I was able to have at these places, I am able to bring back a great deal of information for my students through my photographs, videos, and some of the items I purchased.
My photos below are a great testament. Photographs can serve as wonderful discussion starters. One thing I always make sure to do is capture plenty of photos and video footage. I try to find parts of each place that relate to standards I teach in the classroom (or will enhance concepts I teach, like the brainstorming process).
* I am not affiliated with any of these museums.
Monterey Bay Aquarium:
Walt Disney Family Museum:
Tech Museum of Innovation:
California Academy of Sciences:
There are many museums that have a strong Internet presence as well, from wonderful Twitter accounts to offering virtual tours and tremendous resources for educators. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California:
Twitter: @exploratorium and @tinkeringstudio
Weblog: The Tinkering Studio
Other: Exploratorium Education
Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois:
Other: Education Website, Online Science
American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York:
Weblog: Museum Weblog
Other: Ology for Students
Purchase: Guide for Kids
The Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.:
Twitter: @smithsonian, @airandspace, @smithsonianedu, @nmnh, @smithsoniannmai, @amhistorymuseum
Other: Panoramic Tour of National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Education, Smithsonian Students
More for your students from museums: