Oklahoma City is home to one of the best science museums on the planet Science Museum Oklahoma and it’s part of a much bigger network of amazing museums (Oklahoma Museum Network) that cover the state. Over the past few years, we’ve watch the museum go through some incredible changes as plans for renovation take shape. During our most recent visit, we were welcomed by our long-time friends Sherry Marshall and Eileen Castle who couldn’t wait to give us a look at their new digs.
The Spangler training team first met Sherry and Eileen back in 2008 when the museum hosted an onsite teacher training workshop called Hands-on Science Boot Camp. It was love at first site as we collaborated to find the most creative ways to bring Oklahoma K-8 educators to the museum for a different kind of professional development. Here’s a take-away from this post… science museums are a perfect environment for professional development for teachers who are looking to get the most out of their community resources. Teachers in Oklahoma turn to this museum for professional development and as a resource for their science curriculum because of one thing… an amazing museum staff.
Money can buy lots of fancy exhibits and a beautiful facility, but all of this goes by the wayside if you’re missing the most important component – quality people. After working with Sherry and Eileen and their museum team for years, I continue to be impressed with their focus on using their grant money to train people from all areas of education on how to make science more fun and meaningful in their schools. To say Oklahoma teachers love the museum staff and what they do for education is an understatement. Just try to register for one of their workshops if you wait more than 45 seconds after they post the announcement. Seriously, teachers know that they’ll miss out if they don’t press the “register” button within seconds of getting the e-mail. That’s the power of professional development aimed at science teachers who want to make a difference in their classrooms.