Jennifer Bradley Franklin 2017-12-28 02:02:22
Outside The Classroom In Georgia, first-hand experiences make learning come to life. Georgia is a veritable playground for students of all ages, from preschoolers to lifelong learners. The state is packed with engaging experiences to make learning fun. From celebrated museums to up-close wildlife encounters, from centers of scientific discovery to gem-panning sites, Georgia offers unique handson educational opportunities. Almost every venue offers customized tour options that are sure to appeal to your group, no matter their age or stage of life. 1 Day One Consolidated Gold Mine, Dahlonega Visitors may be surprised to learn that gold was first discovered in Dahlonega in 1828, a full twenty years before California’s famous Gold Rush. Now, visitors may embark on forty-minute guided tours of the historic mines 200 feet underground. After the tour (discounts for twenty- five or more), opt for your own panning experience and search for gold nuggets or gems including garnets, emeralds, topaz, and more. If you’re lucky enough to find a stone, have it made into a piece of jewelry at the full-service jewelry station. consolidatedgoldmine.com Walking Tour of Our Solar System, Gainesville Get perspective of the size and orientation of our solar system on a walk around downtown Gainesville. The 1.8-mile trail starts with the sun statue in the town square and continues along a marked path to Longwood Park on Lake Lanier, with statues of Earth, our moon, and the other planets along the way. Pick up a free brochure, with fun solar system facts and a map of the walking trail at any Hall County library and set out on a self-guided stroll. northgeorgiaastronomers.org/ scalemodel Elachee Nature Science Center, Gainesville Located inside a 1,440-acre nature preserve with fourteen miles of hiking trails, all of Elachee’s programs—like Astronomy for Middle Schoolers, Green and Growing, and Weather Alert—are SACS-accredited for school-aged children. The center will also create custom group tours for college students, garden clubs, and retirement communities based on their topic of interest. elachee.org OVERNIGHT IN GAINESVILLE 2 Day Two CDC Museum, Atlanta Curious adult groups (college students, professionals, seniors) will begin their David J. Sencer CDC Museum experience with the multimedia Global Symphony installation, highlighting the organization’s contributions to stemming global health epidemics such as polio, Ebola, and obesity. With advance booking, organizers may request a specific docent speaker to discuss topics including microbiology, infectious disease, environmental health, or CDC history. Try on BSL 4 lab suits for a perspective on the lengths researchers go to in order to discover new breakthroughs. cdc.gov/museum Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta Art and history buffs, prepare to be fascinated by the South’s premier ancient art outpost. With some 17,000 extraordinary pieces, the museum in the heart of Emory University’s campus features priceless artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Asia, and Africa, plus European Renaissance art. With advance booking, fifty-minute interactive tours include storytelling, drawing, and other activities, and may even be adaptable to complement classroom themes. Popular Museum Moments tours are designed to engage those guests with cognitive impairment or dementia. carlos.emory.edu Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon Experience the excitement of learning where more than 17,000 years of human history comes to life. After walking the park’s dramatic Indian mounds and trails, stop at the museum, which houses 2,000 artifacts, some dating back to the area’s first residents, the Paleo Indians, who arrived in Middle Georgia during the Ice Age. Tours should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance and are self-guided, though groups may request a ranger to give an orientation (subject to staff availability). nps.gov/ocmu OVERNIGHT IN MACON 3 Day Three Oatland Island Wildlife Center, Savannah Each year, more than 20,000 students flock to this conservation- focused center to take part in marsh ecology boat programs, star labs, and guided tours throughout its 100 acres of maritime forest and marshes. Each of the forty hands-on grade-specific programs is written to satisfy Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) curriculum. With 150 resident animals, programs feature presentations that include gopher tortoise, gray wolf, Southern flying squirrel, bobcat, red fox, cougar, and bison. internet.savannah.chatham.k12.ga.us/schools/oat 4-H Center, Jekyll Island Camp Jekyll is situated on ten idyllic acres, between the beach and maritime forest, leveraging the entire island as an outdoor classroom. Administered by the University of Georgia Extension program, Camp Jekyll serves more than 12,000 gradeschool students each year, including public and private schools, scouting groups, and homeschoolers. Teachers select age-appropriate programs to complement their curriculum, and programs may include saltwater fishing excursions, guided journal writing, ornithology, and more. Advance reservations are required and meals are available. jekyll4h.org Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island Animal lovers of all ages will fall in love with this advanced sea turtle hospital and exhibit gallery. The Jekyll Island Authority–run conservation center opened in 2007 to manage coastal habitats for endangered wildlife, and offers programs designed for students from preschool through twelfth grade. Beach ecology walks, sea turtle summer camp, and behind-the-scenes tours are just a few of the hands-on, field biology–focused programs available with advance notice. gstc.jekyllisland.com DON’T-MISS DINING Game-X, Atlanta This 12,000-foot gaming mecca overlooking downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park is perfect for a hungry group after a day of learning. Reserve a private room and nosh on hearty comfort food like a BBQ bacon burger, buffalo wings, or fried Cobb salad, and turn your crew loose to play more than sixty games including Pong 180, Pac-Man Smash, and QuadAir Hockey. gamexatl.com MUST-STOP SHOPPING ShopSCAD, Savannah The Savannah College of Art and Design is known the world over for producing top-notch, up-and-coming artists. Shop their wares at this popular store, filled with items including paintings, leather goods, home wares, and much more. Your group’s participants are sure to score a conversation piece to commemorate the trip. shopscad.com
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