A partnership between a SUNY Potsdam faculty member and the North Country Children’s Museum is helping enrich the young — and youthful at heart — just in time for summer.
Since museums cannot begin to reopen until phase four of the New York Forward reopening health and safety guidelines, the fun and educational video series offers an alternative. Those visiting the North Country Children’s Museum virtually can easily access a new series of videos demonstrating hands-on activities that teach the fundamentals of geology, along with a plethora of other offerings on the museum’s website and social media channels. It’s a rare mind that won’t draw some pleasure from learning about fossils and dinosaur eggs, or how to make your own sedimentary rock.
Dr. Page Quinton, an assistant professor in the SUNY Potsdam Department of Geology, struck up a collaboration with museum educator Dan Bellinger last month to generate the first four videos, which are intended to be intergenerational in their appeal and walk the viewer through make-at-home projects where adults can participate.
“Hopefully the viewers build an association between the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lessons and fun activities they do at home with their parents and siblings,” Quinton said. “Who knows? Maybe one day they will decide STEM — and maybe even geology — is the right path for them. I also think it's important to maintain our community presence and work with other educators in our area.”
Quinton is excited to create more videos — each running 5 to 6 minutes long — to keep the educational opportunities flowing. With geology as one of the College’s bedrock offerings, there is much more to learn, including societal uses of different rocks and minerals, Quinton said.
Bellinger said the real value of the collaboration and others like it is the growth of social capital in the community.
“That’s really part of the reason this region has been able to endure the recent struggles so well, compared to many areas that focus more on rugged individualism and competition,” he said. “We have an actual community here, that supports each other - that's worth its weight in gold.”
The videos can be viewed on the North Country Children’s Museum website, Facebook page, Instagram feed and YouTube channel.
About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu.