Supplemental Economic Education: A Guide to Programming and Displays for the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum
MetadataShow full item record
The Upper Peninsula Children's Museum, Inc. (UPCM) is a grass-roots, privately funded development located in Marquette, Michigan. The museum provides and atmosphere of interactive learning and fun for children and families in the areas of science, society, technology and culture. Using both displays and hands-on programming (such as workshops, a children's news bureau and classes in design and architecture) the UPCM offers a unique and exciting alternative to a child's usual learning methods. A museum can provide valuable aid to classroom education. In cases where a new or difficult subject is introduced into the public realm, museums can take on an important role by developing a curriculum in that area of study which will be used by the public. The curriculum's success will depend upon its utility to an overall target group (in the case of a children's museum, target groups are arranged by age), the level of interaction a visitor will experience, how "fun" the displays or activities are (if they are not interesting, they will be easily forgotten), and, of coarse, how well it expresses the ideas and concepts of the subject at hand. The recent addition of economics to the social studies curriculum in Michigan Public Schools may be a wonderful target area for new developments in the UPCM. The museum can offer displays about money and basic economic concepts, schedule investing games or role-playing simulations, offer fun computer games about budgeting and running a business, and provide connections to some Internet sites for kids which have an economic focus. Each of the activities can be used by families or school groups to supplement learning, and they will hopefully encourage interest and understanding in the field of economics.