The Virginia Living Museum began our Pop-Up Discovery Station program last year with the assistance of an educational grant along with the time and effort of both staff and volunteers. The grant was made possible through a partnership with Dominion Energy. The portability of pop-up interpretive stations gives our volunteers an opportunity to interpret from any number of areas of the museum, while our wide range of stations allow volunteers to identify what activities they enjoy and that resonate with guests. The Virginia Living Museum will be presenting the result of the grant later this month, and we’d like to share our findings with you as well.
The initial grant called for five discovery stations, and a year later we have more than a dozen activity stations up and running for use by volunteers! These stations include aiding guests in learning about the pH scale, racing solar powered cars, and interpreting with a variety of artifacts. More than seventy volunteers have been trained to work with our activity stations, and together they have completed 500 hours of interpretive volunteering at the stations! According to collected demographic data, more than 4500 guests have stopped to engage with activity stations during their visits to the museum.
The activity stations most used by volunteers are “Build a Bug” and “Shrinky Dinks.” The former teaches our younger visitors about the parts of insect anatomy such as legs, wings, and eyes, while “Shrinky Dinks” shows one way old plastic can be used to make something new! Another station that’s been getting quite a bit of attention is “Sharks and Skates,” an interpretive box which ties in with the Virginia Living Museum’s summer SharkZone exhibit and includes the fossilized tooth of an ancient Megalodon!
A year may have gone by but our discovery station program shows no sign of slowing down, and even more activities are already in the works. If you’d like to know what other stations we have available and what’s coming next, we would love to have you as a volunteer!
Imagine being part of an organization that ignites passion for nature and science! A place where your work positively influences and educates the lives of others, a place that believes in conservation and sustaining the environment, a place where you are building a better future for all!Become a Volunteer!