Hunterian inspires new class materials

11th November 2005 at 00:00
What do a goliath beetle and an Egyptian mummy have in common? Both objects come from the vast collection of the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University and now feature in The Hunter Pack and The Enterprise Toolkit, two education resources funded by the Scottish Executive.

The Hunter Pack is a looseleaf publication aimed at introducing the Hunterian collections to schools, using a range of classroom-based activities covering all ages and abilities and areas of the curriculum. The Enterprise Toolkit is an online resource designed to teach both teachers and pupils about enterprise. The two are linked but can be used separately.

Unlikely as it seems, the toolkit came about as a result of the pack.

Monica Callaghan, head of education for the university's Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, attracted funding from the Determined to Succeed initiative because the pack is innovative and was created in an enterprising way. More than 300 pupils from 36 schools plus 18 teachers - released on secondment to the museum through Careers Scotland - were involved in its development.

The Determined to Succeed unit then came up with the idea for the toolkit, which showcases the process of creating The Hunter Pack as well as providing other related enterprising information and activities.

It was developed in partnership with students from Glasgow University who are involved in Students into Free Enterprise, a worldwide organisation that helps university students create outreach projects that can encourage the development of enterprise skills and knowledge among the local and wider community.

Later this academic year, the SIFE students plan to use The Enterprise Toolkit to help teach enterprise in Glasgow schools.

The Hunter Pack features colour photographs of 39 objects at the museum, including 80 million-year-old fossilised dinosaur eggs, an 18th-century Tongan shopping bag and, of course, the mummy and the goliath beetle.

The 90mm long beetle (left), weighing 100g, dates from 1770 and was William Hunter's "most treasured insect". The pack suggests it can inspire activities linked to art and design (drawing, jewellery and body ornaments), drama (storytelling and performance), health and food technology, language and science.

Curriculum links to Lady Shep en Hor, who resides in a vibrantly decorated sarcophagus, include geography, history and maths (pyramids).

Every school in Scotland will receive The Hunter Pack (with copies also going to cultural co-ordinators through the Scottish Arts Council). The Determined to Succeed staff propose training one person from each authority to be an expert on the pack, looking at how it can be used in enterprise.

They can then, in turn, run in-service training days locally.

The Enterprise Toolkit is divided into five modules: The Enterpriser Within Us, Developing Enterprising Skills, Launching A Great Idea, Why Do People Buy? and The Plan That Pays. Each includes teacher talks, activities, case studies of businesses (such as the Big Issue newspaper and Motherwell Football Club) and a fact bank.

Where does the goliath beetle fit in? In the Launching A Great Idea module, along with the Hunterian's 2,600-year-old mummy.

The Enterprise Toolkit is on www.hunterian.glasgow.ac.ukwww.determinedtosucceed.co.ukMonica Callaghan, mcall@museum.gla.ac.uk

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