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Virtual Tour of the Arboretum (not just) for Kids!

Image of the opening graphic of the Arboretum Virtual Tour created by Learning by Leading Museum Education students.

By Kelly Nishimura and Aliciá Ayala
Learning by Leading™ Museum Education program (2019-2020)

Are you ready to be an Arboretum Explorer? The Learning by LeadingMuseum Education team has been hard at work creating the Arboretum Explorer Virtual Tour. This interactive tour, designed for elementary school-aged children, will virtually lead kids and their families across our landscape to learn about various Arboretum places and topics. There are four unique lessons for kids to work through: Arboretum Features, Pollinator Paradise, Waterway Wildlife, and Learning from Nature. Each lesson showcases a different part of the Arboretum and Public Garden and is supplemented by interactive activities that children can do in their own home or yard.

While we continue to social distance, we hope that the Arboretum Explorer Virtual Tour will help children and their families facilitate home learning while feeling connected to the Arboretum and Public Garden community. This digital platform sheds light on opportunities for learning in new virtual ways, such as using educational videos to boost critical thinking, experiencing wildlife closeup through livestreams and creating hands-on crafts. No matter where our community is, we hope our project will keep them engaged with the wonders of nature!

Are you ready to be an Arboretum Explorer? Begin your journey here. The StoryMap can be viewed on a phone, tablet, or computer.


Background

The Learning by Leading Museum Education interns crafted content from temporary interpretive signage they developed. Spring quarter proved to be a test of their skills as we challenged interns to not only convert their previous work for a virtual platform, but also to refocus their content to be suitable for children. The development of the lessons were led by the team’s incoming co-coordinators, Aliciá Ayala and Naina Misra, who helped manage 1 to 2 other interns as they collaborated to edit the signs and brainstorm activities. Once the content was drafted, we put their work into an ArcGIS StoryMap, which is a web-based application that integrates interactive maps, text, and multimedia all on one screen!

We’d like to thank the Plant Records and Mapping, GATEways Outreach and Arboretum Ambassadors Learning by Leading™ student teams for their assistance with this project. 

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