By collaborating with many outstanding cultural and educational institutions, the Education Department at ATHM fulfills our mission to increase student knowledge and appreciation of the art, history and science of textiles. An important aspect of this is “educating the educator”. Through collaborations with more than 100 museums, aquaria, nature centers and other non profit science education organizations, MITS aims to provide valuable and creative professional development opportunities for educators.
“MITS emphasizes the importance of inquiry-based and hands-on science education in K-12 schools,” says ATHM Education Coordinator Kathy Hirbour. “They equip educators with the resources necessary to provide this specialized education to increase student interest in science, technology and engineering.”
MITS partners with educators from nonprofit organizations to model curricula through a variety of programs, including summer institutes in six regions of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.
In a program with Mass Audubon and the Tsongas Industrial History Center in 2012, educators from elementary and middle schools visited ATHM and other partnering institutions to explore how science is utilized through engineering to respond to the challenges of human society. At ATHM, teachers learned about the fascinating fibers made by silk worms and spiders, the synthetic materials designed to replace them, and the current research into materials inspired by these animals.