10th Annual Geography and Science Expo Invites Self-Directed Studies of World History, Culture, and Science

Geography and Science Expo Invites Self-Directed Studies of World History, Culture, and Science

The 10th Annual Geography and Science Expo is an inter-generational geography fair featuring the work of students from all school choices throughout Berkshire County and beyond. It’s free to participate and open to all, taking place on Thursday May 17, 2018, at the Berkshire Atheaneum in Pittsfield, MA. Want to participate? Pick your country, state or region, sign up, and get busy studying and preparing your presentation! Sign up details below.

Where in western Massachusetts can families sample international cuisine, learn about world history and science, examine foreign landmarks, and collect passport stamps? The annual Geography and Science Expo offers all this and more – and now is the time to become a part of this unique educational celebration!

Held on Thursday May 17, 2018 at the Berkshire Athenaeum from 6-8pm, the Geography and Science Expo showcases the work of self-directed learners from all over western Massachusetts. Participants spend weeks (or even months!) independently researching a country, culture, region, moment in history, scientific discovery and create museum-like displays to share what they have learned and to educate visitors to the event about their chosen topic. Displays can teach visitors about a topic through text, images, and/or models, and can also include experiential components – giving young learners the opportunity to imagine the best way in which to teach others about what they’ve learned. Common experiential learning elements to expo displays include samples of traditional foods and crafts or games derived from a specific culture. And this year, they’ve added Science!

While the Geography and Science Expo’s name implies a geographical and scientific focus for displays, participants have the freedom to choose what aspect of a specific country to focus on. Families could choose to study a country as a whole, or might zoom in on a specific region within it. Similarly, projects might focus on a culture specific to a particular country, or could spotlight an important historical event or era in a country’s history. For example, if you’ve chosen Italy, you might make a “sculpture” of the Roman Coliseum or if you are studying Holland, you could make a model of a windmill. Some people like to dress in a costume from their country; others may bring food from their selected country to share with others who visit their table (don’t forget the plates and napkins!). When signing up, participants must specify the topic that they wish to study so as to prevent duplicate displays, but it is possible for there to be multiple displays focused on one country, so long as their focus differs. One participant might, for example, choose to study the geography and culture of China, while another might spotlight the scientific contributions that have come out of China throughout the ages.

The Geography and Science Expo offers families a unique opportunity to turn creativity and curiosity into meaningful learning with a clear purpose, and the event provides a venue within which to share learning sparked by a variety of interests. Art, architecture, language, religion, math, biology, geology, literature, and even family history and genealogy can all come to life through country-centric studies!

For more information about the upcoming event or to sign up, contact Chrystal Shelley at cashelley@verizon.net and 413-448-6217 or Elaine Caligiuri at earthspirit22@yahoo.com and 516-643-5764. There is no required age range for participants, and while the event caters to homeschooling families, it is open to any and all self-directed learners!

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