UNT Dallas students present 'mini museum'

Dallas Campus Mini Museum
The UNT Dallas Campus' mini museum is present to students at Bowie Elementary School .
Thursday, April 16, 2009

DALLAS -- Students at Bowie Elementary School didn't have to go to the Dallas Museum of Art to learn about ancient Egypt today. Instead, students at the University of North Texas Dallas Campus brought the museum to them.

School children were excited to see how 26 college students transformed two rooms in their school into a miniature replica of the huge King Tut exhibit. When they entered the "mini museum," they were greeted by ladies wearing traditional white Egyptian tunics with gold medallions. Soon they were learning about life in ancient Egypt and viewing artifacts similar to what they would see at the actual King Tut exhibit.

Maryam Mathis, school librarian, said the museum-like exhibit was wonderful. Music teacher Valorie Brazelton said the teachers were grateful. "The kids loved it. I appreciate [the college students'] efforts to create this. You could tell that they had studied up on it and done their research," Brazelton said. "The school didn't have plans to take them to the King Tut exhibit because it's costly, and our students here don't have the means to go. But they were real excited to be able to learn something new and different and to learn about King Tut."

All of the school's classes from Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade toured the exhibit. They asked lots of questions and had their pictures made in a cardboard mummy.

Rhonda Vincent, senior lecturer in teacher education and administration at the Dallas Campus, said students in her Methods of Social Studies and Geography course were thrilled to present the mini museum to the elementary school. They spent weeks designing and constructing the "artifacts" including a pyramid, sarcophagus, temple and a 2-dimensional village.

The idea for the museum came about last semester when Vincent took a class to the King Tut exhibit. Her students discussed how fortunate they were to live in a metropolitan area with wonderful cultural offerings. Some students mentioned that their public school students might never get to enjoy these experiences, and Vincent thought about their comments over the Christmas break.

"Finally, I stumbled on the idea of bringing the museum to the students," Vincent said. "I thought this was actually a better idea because it would give our university students experience in using available resources to enrich learning within their classrooms. At the start of the semester, I asked the students what they thought, and they really embraced the idea and have taken off in leading the project."

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108