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Get on the bus;Arts in Scotland

Forget Cliff Richard and Summer Holiday - the Museum and Art Coach (MAC) is a superior vehicle. Run by Fife Council Community Services, MAC was made not from a shabby double decker bus, but a luxury coach, and turned into a travelling museum.

It was originally launched in 1996 by Kirkcaldy District Council. Its first exhibition, based on the theme "A-Z", introduced children to the general concept of museums, collections held by Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery and the heritage of the area.

The current "Riches of the Earth" exhibition is a cross-curricular environmental show for primary schools, which covers the natural heritage of Fife in a series of linked displays on its local geology, natural history, agriculture and archaeology.

Children can see how Fife's landscape was formed, how the local economy has depended on mining materials from the earth and what can be grown in different types of soil. There are farming implements, different soils to run your fingers through, rare fossils and an earthworm farm. Pupils can stroke a stuffed badger, follow the Fife Bug Trail, hunt for real garnets in volcanic sand from Elie and examine a kitchen cabinet to discover the variety of products that Fife crops are made into.

Another exhibition on the move is Glasgow City Council's award-winning Open Museum service which is now based at Scotland Street, where visitors can view a selection of ingeniously designed table-top exhibitions, which can be borrowed. Exhibitions include the History of School Dinners, Muslim Culture, Highland Life (in English and Gaelic) and a new display called Choices, which looks at the variety of contraceptives available since the opening of Scotland's first family planning clinic in Govan in 1926.

The Open Museum is also en-gaged in a scheme to help schools create their own mini-museum.

For information about how to book MAC (Fife area only), contact Emma Nicolson at Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery, tel: 01592 412860. For a new Open Museum information pack, tel: 0141 429 1202.

Deedee Cuddihy.

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