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Artefacts aplenty

A revamped national museum offers an enlarged schools programme. Elizabeth Buie reports

A revamped national museum offers an enlarged schools programme. Elizabeth Buie reports

The National Museum of Scotland, which reopens next month after a pound;46.4 million overhaul, boasts a new three-storey learning centre with exciting primary and secondary resources.

Its three studios, an auditorium, break-out spaces, packed-lunch area and cloakroom will house a massive expansion of school programmes for 2011- 12.

Stephen Allen, head of learning and programmes, says: "We are breaking new ground, having developed all our primary and secondary programmes around the key capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence. We know the outstanding national collections can help teachers delivery many aspects of the curriculum - our collections have it all."

The museum has expanded its online resources and now has a presence on the schools intranet Glow.

Expert-led workshops planned for next session include a partnership with Y-Dance to create dances inspired by museum artefacts, another with the British Geological Survey to examine a disaster scenario with an erupting volcano, and yet another with the RSPB to explore Scotland's diverse habitats and bird species.

Further primary workshops include: Behind the Mask - pupils use gallery displays as inspiration to design a mask; Amazing Animal Adaptations - a hands-on workshop which answers questions such as "How does an elephant avoid sunburn?"; Life and Death in Ancient Egypt; Exploring Evidence; and Space Explorers.

The secondary programme includes a conference on architecture with guest speaker Gareth Hoskins, the architect who has led the museum's transformation, and Hijack the Map, a design challenge led by designers O Street, to design and implement a new map of the museum.

www.nms.ac.ukschools

T: 0131 247 4041; E: schools@nms.ac.uk.

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