Free Visits for Eligible Students
November 8, 2013
In these times of limited school budgets, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is pleased to announce free museum admission to thousands of children and their teachers in six underserved public school districts in Montgomery and Delaware counties and in Philadelphia.
Students in the Title I schools also can enjoy a complimentary hands-on gallery experience in which an Academy teacher engages them with interesting information on key natural history topics and with objects they can touch, all to enhance their learning and overall visit. For schools that cannot make the trip to the museum in the heart of Philadelphia, the Academy will take the museum experience to them in the form of its popular outreach program Academy on the Go, complete with specimens, live animals and expert naturalists.
The selected Title I public school districts are Philadelphia; Penn-Delco and Interboro in Delaware County; and Norristown Area, Hatboro-Horsham, Cheltenham, and Souderton in Montgomery County. The program is open to students and their teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
"We're so excited to offer this opportunity to eligible students and teachers in Philadelphia and the region," said Timshel Purdum, the Academy’s director of education and lifelong learning. "We'd love to see as many schools as possible take advantage of this offer.”
And what a time to visit. Students who come between now and March 30 will be able to see the exhibit of animatronic dinosaurs, Dinosaurs Unearthed, and they will learn about what life was like millions of years ago with a different cast of creatures from those around today.
The free visits are funded through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, through which eligible Pennsylvania companies that participate can receive tax credits equal to 75 percent of their contribution (up to $750,000 per taxable year), or up to 90 percent for two-year charitable commitments. The recent EITC funds awarded the Academy are earmarked for an innovative program called Supporting and Enriching Natural Sciences Education in Schools. SENSES provides high quality science experiences that are especially effective with students who do not thrive in a traditional classroom.
Last year about 29,000 Philadelphia public school students and their teachers qualified for the free museum visits. This year marks the first time schools outside Philadelphia are able to take advantage of this offer through the Academy.
“We hope to expand the program each year so we can serve even more students,” Purdum said.
Teachers from qualifying schools are invited to consult with their school administrators and call the Academy’s Reservation Office at 215-299-1060 to schedule free field trips and gallery lessons for their classes. For more information, visit http://www.ansp.org/education/field-trips/free-visits/.