Bringing the Washington Pavilion into the classroom

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools across KELOLAND aren’t taking their students on field trips. However, the Washington Pavilion has found a safe way to bring the field trips to them.

In a normal year around this time, the halls of the Washington Pavilion are buzzing with the sounds of curious young minds.

“That’s what our mission is all about: bringing science and art to kids and families, and it’s been a long year to not have that buzz in our building,” Director of Museums Brandon Hanson said.

Hanson says with schools not allowing field trips, they’re not seeing as many come through.

“The next month or so looks more like 30% of what we normally get,” Hanson said.

He and the Director of Education Maddy Grogan are bringing the Pavilion to the Classroom. This is through a series of interactive videos.

“In each video, you’re going to have someone from the Pavilion – whether it’s our curator with the Visual Arts Center or one of our interactors who does science demos in the Kirby Science Discovery Center,” Grogan said.

There are four videos total: two of them focus on sculptures and collages. The other two are science videos talking about chemistry and physics. Each one is around 12 minutes and offers hands-on activities.

“We found importance in it, not only to say, ‘Hey, schools we miss you, and we want you in the building,’ but also because our world is changing, and we know that this is an opportunity for us to reach not just the Sioux Falls metro area but also beyond that,” Grogan said.

They also want the videos to find use outside of schools.

“I think it’s a really cool opportunity for – not just classrooms, there might be a daycare, preschool, or even home school families that want to take advantage of this,” Hanson said.

“We know that there are schools in the middle of South Dakota that would love the opportunity to experience the Washington Pavilion,” Grogan said.

But they’re taking the year in stride by going online.

“It’s just to celebrate a year that has been different and to have fun,” Grogan said.

​The Pavilion in the Classroom is available now. Each video link is $20.

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