Area Students Benefit from Walmart Foundation Grant Funding School Visits
Funding for three years eases barriers to using Scott Family as learning platform
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (December 8, 2016) — The Walmart Foundation will provide more than $1 million to fund admission for students in Benton and Washington counties to visit the Scott Family Amazeum on Unfield Trips, the museum’s version of a school visit, over the next three years.
“We’re a platform for learning for all of our guests, members and community,” said Amazeum Executive Director Sam Dean. “An Unfield Trip here isn’t the end of the experience, it is the spark, whether for learning at home or igniting a lifelong interest, maybe even a career. The impact of an Unfield Trip for a student may, in fact, affect the rest of his or her life.”
The Walmart Foundation also provided funding for Unfield Trip admissions in the Amazeum’s inaugural year. As a result, 25,310 students and adults made 263 visits from schools in Benton and Washington counties between October 2015 and May 2016.
“We are honored to be a partner with the Scott Family Amazeum,” said Erin Hogue, Senior Manager, Northwest Arkansas Giving, Walmart Foundation. “The mission of the Walmart Foundation is to create opportunities for people to live better. That is what the Amazeum is doing every day with Unfield Trips and collaborating with educators.”
Many classrooms used their visit to the Amazeum as a starting point for work throughout the year. Students from The New School in Fayetteville created a mind-mapping exercise about creating exhibits at the museum. Students at Willowbrook Elementary were inspired by the Homestead Cabin and Farm to learn about the concept of community and built a model community in their classroom.
As a part of their visit, students write postcards about their experience at the Amazeum. Many students wrote that they were inspired to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). One student wrote that she was made more aware of the expanse of our world and another was considering a career in medicine.
“The wonder and curiosity we see on display here is amazing and might not be possible without their school trip,” said Dean.
While visiting the museum, students also are engaged in activities that encourage them to dive deeper into their learning. Team members challenge the young guests to explore exhibits in new and unconventional ways. Beginning this year, student groups also can add experiences in the Hershey’s Lab and 3M Tinkering Hub to their Unfield Trip.
Walmart Foundation support also has allowed the Amazeum to develop a breadth of resources for teachers to use and to share with students and parents. Materials are also being translated into Spanish, Hmong and Marshallese to encourage greater inclusivity of the Amazeum learning experience.
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About the Scott Family Amazeum
The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families in Northwest Arkansas. Located at the intersection of J Street and Museum Way in Bentonville, the Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, the 3M Tinkering Hub, and nearly one acre of outdoor space. For more information about the museum, visit amazeum.org.