Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

April 7, 2011

Hall of Fame opens new learning center


— BY MICHELLE MILLER

STAFF WRITER

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s new learning center is now open for scheduled school and family activities.

The official ribbon cutting was held Thursday, March 24. Anna Wade, director of museum education, said the center will allow the education department to continue its current programming as well as provide a more interactive learning experience.

“I’m really excited about the teaching space; children will have the opportunity to do things such as try on an old jersey, compare an old baseball glove to a modern one and evaluate things such as baseball equipment,” Wade said.



The hope is that the learning center will not only enhance school field trips to the museum, but will also give every-day visitors a more memorable experience as well, Wade said. She said the center features a hands-on equipment display, interactive time-lines, presentations spaces and a display case that will be used to exhibit the work of students and teachers.

“The learning center is just one part of the field trip experience here,” Wade said.

According to Wade, visitors will be able to make connections with the Hall of Fame’s collection through interactive programs that enhance the museum experience.

“There will be artifact spotlight programs for all visitors, Wade said. “These will be the type of things they wouldn’t otherwise see on a daily bases during the summer.”

Wade said the learning center will feature hands-on programs based on the museum’s educational curriculum, which included social studies, math, science and character education. Visitors can explore artifacts and objectives as they discover connections between baseball and American history, she said.

According to a Hall of Fame media release, the museum hosts more than 90 school field trips each year.



Wade said the Hall of Fame has redesigned its curriculum lessons to reach a broader audience of classroom teachers and is offering field trips to grades kindergarten through 12th grade. She said the Hall of Fame has also enriched its online offerings, which can be found on the museum’s website.

“It would be great if this helped us continue to grow,” Wade said. “Because of the designated space, we would love to see an increase in those using the education department at the hall.”

Wade said she believes the center will also give visitors, especially children, a better understanding of what is done at the museum What it is that the staff do, and what is done to preserve artifacts. It will also provide a spot to hold things such as presentations and seminars, she added.

“The field trip experience is truly enriched with a visit to the learning center,” Wade said. “Teachers and students explore artifacts and objects as they discover the connections between baseball and the classroom. Additionally, educational daily programs in the learning center bring history and heroes to life. The programming lineup includes public events that promote discussion and interaction among generations.”

According to Brad Horn, museum’s senior directory of communications and education, “Our public programs allow visitors to experience the Baseball Hall of Fame’s history and collections in a personal way, creating memories to last a lifetime.”

“Whether you are visiting with your family or visiting with your school, the education department offers programs to enhance your experience at the museum.

The Learning Center provides a more dynamic and meaningful visitor experience,” he added.

The learning center is located on the museum’s first floor next to the Buck O’Neil Award exhibit. To learn more about the Hall of Fame’s education program or to book a field trip, visit www.baseballhall.org/education or call 547-0347.