Mobile Ed Productions has reached it's 35th year, and Geoff Beauchamp has been a part of more than half of it! Starting as a performer in January of 1989, Geoff created Mobile Ed's The Living Lincoln, and is still one of our "Lincoln's" who brings The Living Lincoln into your school each year. Pretty good likeliness huh?
Education Through Entertainment
Monday is the day we celebrate the birthday of a great and oh so important American, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Schools across the country are finding ways to celebrate this great man’s life, and, at least in our opinion, there is no better way to do that than with a school assembly program that brings Dr. King’s story to life for kids and adults alike.
One of our new programs this year is a real stunner! Piankeshaw Trails, performed magnificently by Sheryl Hartman, is an awesome school assembly program that introduces kids to the culture and history of the Woodland Tribes of the Ohio Valley. It is a great show in it’s own right. But it is also perfect for schools in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky who are looking for ideas and means to increase kids interest in this field which is so heavily featured in state standards all across the Midwest.
I have been reading a fascinating book lately, made even more pertinent by the passing this week of Columbus Day (did you notice? It was last Monday). 1492 - The Year The World Began - by Felipe Fernandez Armesto details the myriad ways in which the world was changed by the voyage of Columbus and the European discovery of “the New World” It is a great book and one I highly recommend. Great stuff about all the changes the world experienced because of that voyage, many of which you might never have imagined. However, there is one area of change we all know a little about and that is the change wrought on the native population of North America by the arrival of Europeans.
Continuing today in the theme of exploring how school assembly programs augment the learning process in terms of state academic standards, we turn to Indiana.
In Social Studies, along with many other states, Indiana fourth graders are required to learn about Indiana state history. In particular , the very first section, Standard 1, and the very first two bullet points read as follows:
- Identify and compare the major early cultures that existed in the region that became Indiana prior to contact with Europeans
Example - Paleo-Indians such as Hopewell, Adena, and the Mississippian cultures
- Identify and describe historic Native American Indian groups that lived in Indiana at the time of the European exploration, including ways these groups adapted to and interacted with the physical environment. (Individuals,Society and Culture)
Example: Miami,Shawnee, Potawatomi and Lenape (Delaware)
There is more,but you get the point. Grade 4 is expected to learn about the native tribes indigenous to Indiana. Further exploration of the standards shows that grades 3 and 5 also cover this same material, as does Piankeshaw Trails, Mobile Ed’s new program specifically designed to teach kids about the native tribes of the Ohio valley including Indiana. All the points above are covered in this awesome and exciting program and a lot more. And the presentation is so much fun the kids don’t realize they are learning!
Now lets look at Science.
Sky Dome Planetarium is one of the most popular school assemblies in the country. And why wouldn’t it be? For kids there is hardly a more awesome experience than to enter their gym and discover a huge silver dome occupying half the room and standing some sixteen feet high. And then to enter the dome itself through a mysterious tunnel, sit in the dark inside and then to be treated to a wondrous journey into outer space and beyond! We have never met a child (or adult!) that did not think this a totally awesome experience.
With curriculum based instruction embedded thoroughly throughout the program this great school assembly is also a huge hit with teachers, as it reinforces educational benchmarks in several areas.
And so we are happy to alert you that we have made more than one tour available this year in the midwest. Michigan and Ohio schools, being right in our backyard so to speak, ave always had great opportunities for scheduling this show, but with extra performers now available, Skydome will be able to visit several states that have not had great access to this portable planetarium school assembly before.
Sky Dome (sometimes confused with the older Star Lab program) is available this school year to midwestern schools in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minneapolis and even Texas, Utah, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota!
For those in other parts of the country, do not despair, as we have additional performers resident on the East and West coasts and available to service schools both in California and the eastern states of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and all of New England.
So let the stars shine over your school!
All over the midwest, in states such as Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, part of the curriculum for intermediate grades involves teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th graders about the Native American tribes that lived in this part of the country before the Europeans arrived. There is nothing strange about this. All over the country it is standard for states to require children in this age range to learn the history of their own state. In the midwest states that is all wrapped up in the history and culture of the tribes that inhabited this area in the centuries before settlers began arriving from the eastern colonies of the early United States.
OK, now here is some great news! According to a recent report, (http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/transparent-photovoltaic-cells-turn-windows-into-solar-panels/?smid=tw-nytimesscience&seid=auto) scientists have now developed a way to create transparent photovoltaic cells! This means ordinary windows can now be turned into solar panels without losing the ability to allow visible light to pass into a building. So your the windows in own home will soon be able to help you reduce your electric bill! And think of all the windows in a large high rise office building!