Boca Raton Museum of Art reimagines its Express Yourself program through Virtual Field Trips with the School District of Palm Beach County
This school year, the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s Education Department has re-imagined their regular school field trips and inaugurated virtual field trips. Before the pandemic changed the course of school field trips, the Museum annually welcomed over 5,000 students and teachers. One of the Museum’s most popular education programs for elementary schools has been Express Yourself, a K-5 language arts and visual arts program, which started seven years ago.
In January, the Museum launched virtual Express Yourself, which includes a “tour” of the Museum to review select portraits and a studio component where participants create a self-portrait. This virtual project which has reached over 250 students, providing experiential learning opportunities for students and teachers. The Museum staff assembled and delivered individual art packets to Hammock Pointe Community and Poinciana STEM, our two partner elementary schools. The result has proven to be is a strong and cohesive curriculum-based program.
“It has been exciting to finally interact with young learners and assist teachers,” remarked Claire Clum, the Harold Perper Director of Education. “The Education Department worked together to create a solid virtual tour that sparks the imagination.”
Teachers have remarked on the program in a positive manner and are happy to see that the program can continue through the pandemic. “The program is a valuable enhancement to my curriculum. It promotes uniqueness and supports the feelings and emotions of my students,” stated 1st grade teacher Erika Dunlea. Dunlea gave high grades to the Museum and already sees the impact the program has on her students.
Fifth grade teacher Paul Burrage indicated, “The meatiest aspects of this program – the direct instruction – translated well via distance learning. Students were able to focus on the key pieces and key ideas without distraction. It built upon higher-level descriptive vocabulary as well as author/artist’s point of view. The entire program was impeccably organized. As a result, the entire field trip was quite ‘turn-key’.”
The students have begun the language arts portion, writing vivid descriptions of themselves in great detail. The six-month project concludes in June with a celebratory virtual gathering that highlights their drawings and writings.
In addition to Hammock Pointe Community and Poinciana STEM, past participating schools with Express Yourself include Coral Sunset and Whispering Pines.
The Museum’s virtual Field Trip Tours focus specifically on looking at artwork based on certain themes. Virtual tours are available for all K-12 teachers in South Florida. For more information on booking a virtual field trip, contact the Museum’s Education department.
About Boca Raton Museum of Art
Kicking off its eighth decade in 2021, the Boca Raton Museum of Art encompasses a creative campus that includes the Museum in Mizner Park and the Art School. As one of South Florida’s cultural landmarks & the Official Museum for the City of Boca Raton, the Museum has provided cultural and artistic service to the community, and to many visitors from around the world, since it was founded by artists in 1950.