At the end of the summer, some kids are rearing and ready to jump right back into the school schedule while others drag their feet. This fall, keep things upbeat with the help of Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s school programs.
The Interpretive Education Department at the Center has done a tremendous job at creating easy ways to teach classes about the West. Many of these programs use interactive pieces and technology to keep students engaged and interested.
In the past, schools that are not in the immediate region have missed out on all of the educational opportunities, but not anymore! We have recently joined Skype in the Classroom and can now connect to classrooms and students anywhere in the world! Even the farthest classrooms can have a lesson from right in our building in Cody, Wyoming. Megan Smith, the School Services Coordinator, explains, “Skype in the Classroom has allowed the Buffalo Bill Center of the West to reach beyond its walls. Now, we can introduce the rich history, culture, art, and natural history of the West to students and teachers worldwide.”
Teachers can also bring hands-on lessons into their classroom through our lending program. Teachers and students can delve deeper into the West by borrowing our outreach trunks on mountain men of the Rocky Mountain West, Plains Indian art and powwow, as well as one focusing on the natural history of the gray wolf. All trunks include hands-on materials and teacher guides designed to meet state and national standards. Teachers can visit our website to access many resources that will enrich their students’ classroom and museum experiences. For example, teachers can access teacher guides, self-guided maps designed for students, and short video links to the Greater Yellowstone Sights and Sounds Archive. These materials are available to anyone, including homeschools and private schools on the Center’s website.
While our outreach programs are very successful at meeting teacher and student needs, the Center encourages classes to visit our five museums. We offer guided tours all school year for classes who need to meet standards in science, social studies, history, art, and even 21st century skills. These guided explorations include offerings for kindergarten to twelfth grades. Teachers can also register for a self-guided experience, and sign their students up for the three Museum Adventures we offer during the school year.
All of our school services meet Wyoming and Montana state standards. For more information on pricing, scheduling, and options visit the school programs section of our Web site. Pay close attention to the Web site when scheduling as you will want to schedule very far in advance in order to meet deadlines.
Since 1917, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has been committed to the greatness and growth of the American West, keeping western experiences alive. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms, and the nature and science of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West.