Students’ Salute to Veterans – Freedom Essay Contest

Essay Contest!

 What does freedom mean to you?

 courage

 

 

A significant day for our culture in the United States is Veterans Day. On this day, we honor all the men and women who have served and are serving in the military. Many of these men and women have given and will give their lives in order to see our nation secure. Here at the International Museum of Cultures, we believe that it is important for children to have an appreciation for cultures worldwide, but we also believe that it is extremely important for our children to hold appreciation for the culture in which they live. In honor of Veterans Day on November 11th, the museum is sponsoring the Freedom Essay Contest for students in 1st grade through 12th grade. First through sixth graders are encouraged write a 150 word essay on FREEDOM and submit it by November 8th for judging. Seventh through twelfth graders are encouraged to write a 250 word essay on Freedom and submit it by November 15th for judging. Prizes for first and second place will be awarded at the Salute to Veterans event hosted by the museum on November 15th.

 

If you have any questions or want to see your students involved in saluting our veterans this coming November, do not hesitate to call or email us for more information:

INT logo

International Museum of Cultures

411 U.S. 67 Frontage Road

P: 972.572.0462 email: info@internationalmuseumofcultures.org

Just In Time! A New Sprinkler System and the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day LIVE!

Over the past several weeks, the International Museum of Cultures has been adding a new sprinkler system on the property. 

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We had to close our doors the public for a while which was disheartening for many, but we have good news! Though the process has been tedious, it was a success! We are proud to announce that the museum doors will be open tomorrow – Saturday, September 27th – just in time for the Tenth Annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live! smithsonian museum day live

 

Last year’s event brought in over 400,000 participants all across the United States! If you are looking for a reason to get out of the house this weekend and experience something new, tomorrow the International Museum of Cultures will open its doors for any and all interested in participating in Museum Day Live! 2014. A variety of exhibits will be on display.

 

You can download a FREE Ticket at: Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive. Each ticket is worth entrance for two individuals on Saturday only. Take advantage of this opportunity to educate yourself and your family or friends about global cultures. Learn about and connect with people from all walks of life!

Learn About the People of Mexico at the Museum or Through a Virtual Tour from Your Own School

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) explores the diversity of languages in Mexico.

The IMC has an exhibit that provides an overview of the richness and diversity of languages in Mexico. It highlights samples of the more than 150 native languages still spoken there. The exhibit additionally focuses on some social implications of this diversity of languages within the national life of Mexico.

Electronic Field Trip at the International Museum of Cultures

If you have students that are interested but not able to visit the museum in person, there is another alternative. The IMC also provides insight into Mexico in its Electronic Field Trip. In the IMC Electronic Field Trip, a Museum Docent of Mexican heritage explains to  students that are touring the museum the tonal importance of these languages. Below is a sample of the dialogue in the Museum’s Virtual Tour:

DOCENT: “You can see that most of the non-Spanish speakers live in the southern part of Mexico. Some of the languages are tonal which means that the only difference between “I’m going, and I’m not going” may be the tone of your voice. Likewise, some are also nasal, and you must say a vowel through your nose. If you don’t, you might say “chili pepper”, like I did when you really wanted to say “horse’s tail”!”
STUDENT: “That could be a problem if you were trying to make chili and put a horse’s tail in the pot.”
DOCENT: “You’re right. Languages, to some extent, are partially a result of need. Mixtec dialects can have as many as 20 different words for corn, like the Eskimos have many words for snow: soft snow, slushy snow, icy snow, etc. The Tzeltales in the state of Chiapas have 25 verbs for “carry”, depending on HOW you are going to carry something: on your back, over your shoulder, in a pocket, in your hand, etc. “

View the promotional video of the eField Trip that visits Mexico, South America, Africa, and Papua New Guinea. Learn more by visiting International Museum of Cultures or call us at (972) 572-0462.

Multi-Sensory learning at the Museum

Learning through discovery is a powerful form of learning. Often times a question is answered that was not asked creating knowledge beyond the expected. In addition, the result is often more questions and the pursuit of further understanding. Museums offer this valuable form of learning, discovery.

Museums are recognizing that there is even more that they can do. They can lengthen the retention of the knowledge learned. Retention can be extended through the use of multi-sensory learning.

The rhetorical question is asked in Trendswatch 2014, “Remember when you looked at a painting, listened to music, tasted your food, smelled
perfume and touched a (real, physical) object?” The human senses encourage memory retention. The report goes on to say “The demand for multisensory experiences is accelerated by discoveries documenting the utility as well as the artistic challenge and the sheer fun of engaging all the senses.”

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) recognized the advantage of a multi-sensory experience quite a long time ago. The IMC has touch screen videos in select exhibits where the visitor can interact directly and choose to experience what the indigenous people see and hear. An example would be listening to the sound of a “Talking Drum“. The IMC also provides “Discovery Boxes” where the visitor can handle artifacts while following instructions that increase the engagement of the visitor with the daily lives of people living in far-away lands.

Discovery Boxes and the Electronic Field Trip are available for educational institutions to use at their locations. Engage the senses to encourage discovery and the retention of the information learned. For more information contact the International Museum of Cultures at 972-572-0462.Cultural context education

 

The Value Cultural Anthropology Brings to Our Educational System

Ngbaka People educatingWhat is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humankind. Anthropologists can be found in a number of settings, such as hospitals, schools, national parks, and even studying our oceans.

The International Museum of Cultures is a cultural anthropology museum. We focus on the ways in which people live around the world. Culture involves the beliefs , attitudes, knowledge and social structure of a group of people. The study of culture can include food, clothing, language, celebrations, education, and religion.

Due to the rapid globalization and imperialism, many people whose ancestors have lived in a location for thousands of years have historically been oppressed. However, indigenous groups hold rich histories and traditions that are very interesting and diverse. Our museum’s goal is to shed light onto the many different ways that indigenous people live around the world in and effort to learn from them and positively represent them.

As our world becomes more unified Globally, it is imperative that we understand various worldviews rather than forcing our worldviews on others. Because of this global context, our goal as a museum is to foster cross-cultural interest, openness and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Understanding and appreciating indigenous cultures from around the world allow us to better appreciate the diversity within our own country, State, and community. This is exceptionally important for young people developing their world views on their way to adulthood.

What are the Benefits of Cultural Anthropology to our Educational System?

The International Museum of Cultures wants to open the mind of the student to other ways of living; to other cultures. Although the museum highlights people that live outside the United States, the diversity of the world is parallel to the diversity we see within our own country and communities. Our museum aims to teach children and adults alike that no way of living is any better than another. We want to foster an appreciation of the diversity of the world.International Museum of Cultures Music Discovery Box

Discovery Boxes

We provide educational tools, such as PBL Discovery Boxes that allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection. Students are able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

Electronic Field Trip

The Electronic Field Trip is entirely online and is designed as an interactive learning tool. The eField Trip is a series of videos delivered over the Web that provide an entertaining tour of different sections of the museum. The tour focuses on the Peoples of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and Mexico.

Understanding diverse cultures from around the world help us all to better understand our own community. Cultural Anthropology can provide the way to that understanding.

For more information on the educational tools from the International Museum of Cultures, call (972) 572-0462.

Interns Learn the Value of a Museum in the Educational Process

These are such exciting days at the International Museum of Cultures. Everything is abuzz with interns from TCU and OCU, as well as a graduate from Iowa State. We also have high school students earning their Community Service hours, a graduation requirement for certain High School students here in Texas.

What is exciting about having these young interns is that they will experience, first hand, the value that a museum brings to the education process. As is stated in The Foundation’s post on Why Museums are Important, “Museums provide a unique interactive experience of getting up close to things we usually only see in books, newspapers or on the television.” These interns will see how incredibly important it is for young people to see and touch artifacts from different cultures that they have only been able to read about.International Museum of Cultures Music Discovery Box

Bring the Museum to the Student

The International Museum of Cultures is able to bring those artifacts right to the student anywhere in the Continental United States so that the student can have a personal experience with tools, clothes, and instruments from far away lands. The student is then better able to understand different cultures without pre-judgement when encountered by a person of an unfamiliar culture.

These artifacts are shipped to the educational facility with a complete curriculum that fits into any Project Based Learning initiative.

The shipped artifacts to the educational facility is called a Discovery Box. Discovery Boxes allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection with a complete curriculum for the teacher. Students are be able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

Boxes include:

  • a teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

Learn More about Discovery Boxes

If you would like to learn more about the Discovery Boxes from the International Museum of Cultures, please contact the Museum at (972) 572-0462

Why is Learning Through a Museum So Effective

We are reminded in the blog post called Memory and Storytelling, of an Indian proverb from a “stories-told” book, The Right Words at the RightTime by Marlo Thomas and Friends

“TELL ME A FACT: I’LL LEARN.
TELL ME A TRUTH: I’LL BELIEVE.
BUT TELL ME A STORY: IT WILL LIVE IN MY HEART–FOREVER.”

The artifacts in a museum all hold stories. And those stories are waiting to be released in a thunder within the minds of children that observe and, when possible, touch the artifact. This experiential effect stimulates further creative thinking leading to more questions and more answers.

A great example of an artifact that tells a story is the Talking Drum. The Talking Drum, called a nkul, is a wooden slit drum that reverberates at dawn around and through the trees and houses of the Ewondo people of Mekomba, Cameroon. When we think of drums being used to communicate, we often think of the drum as a musical instrument. Many cultures throughout history also used them to convey a signal. However, some native civilizations use drums as a speech surrogate. A Speech Surrogate replicates the tone and rhythm of oral speech, taking the ability of a drum to communicate to an entirely new level. Its these types of artifacts that take children to places they never imagined. (Refer to our previous post on Talking Drums where we highlight the book, the “People of the Drum of God – Come”.)

The Museum of International Cultures can bring this experiential learning to the classroom. The Student does not even need to travel to the museum. Some examples of the ways the Museum collaborates with educators are:

Discovery Boxes

Discovery Boxes allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection. Students are be able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

Boxes include:

  • a teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

Electronic Field Trip

The Electronic Field Trip is entirely online and is designed as an interactive learning tool.

  • A series of videos delivered over the Web that provide an entertaining tour of different sections of the museum. The tour focuses on the Peoples of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and Mexico
  • Curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, and math.

For more information on the educational tools from the International Museum of Cultures, call (972) 572-0462.