Lifelong Learning joins Mayborn Museum

By Terry Wright

Baylor University’s Lifelong Learning is excited to join the Mayborn Museum Complex and give our long-standing program a new home.  Lifelong Learning is a primarily volunteer-led membership-based organization that offers an array of learning opportunities and experiences.

Each fall and spring semester, member-designed courses and special events entice intellectually curious adults, age 50 and older, to explore a wide range of interests. Join us if you are looking for a comfortable venue for friendship, leadership opportunities, and stimulating learning.   

Members of the Lifelong Learning program are invited to join us at the Mayborn 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, July 30, for a Membership Picnic. This will be our first official event since formally merging with the museum June 1. This lunchtime event (food served 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) will include a hot dog picnic and a museum trivia contest. Admission for the event is a paid annual membership to Baylor Lifelong Learning at the Mayborn for the 2021-2022 program year. 

A special museum trivia contest has been developed for the event for those who want to participate. LLL members will receive a form to fill in the blanks as they move from room to room in the museum. The activity is designed for approximately 60-90 minutes of museum viewing. Forms can be submitted at the end of the activity (before 3:00 pm) with the five LLL members earning the most points receiving prizes. 

Current, former, and new Lifelong Learning members are encouraged to sign up for membership prior to the Membership Picnic. Membership status will be verified before admittance. A Lifelong Learning membership includes a membership to the Mayborn Museum and also enables the LLL member to enroll in fall/spring courses for the coming year at $20 per course, as well as to attend coffee speakers and other special events. 

Learn more about Lifelong Learning and purchase a membership at baylor.edu/mayborn/lifelonglearning

Terry Wright has called Waco home since 1981. He initially worked for a local nonprofit. In 1997, he joined Baylor as the system analyst in the Office for Scholarships and Financial Aid, where he worked until his retirement in 2017.  Terry was introduced to BU Lifelong Learning by his wife, Linda, where they have both been active in courses and events for many years. He was installed as president of the organization in June.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

Mayborn Museum recognized for Virtual Field Trip program, Mayborn Connect

By Rebecca Tucker Nall

Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex received a gold TAMMIE award Friday, April 16, at the Texas Association of Museums’ Annual Virtual Conference. The award is for Mayborn’s new school outreach program, Mayborn Connect.

Alan Small

“TAMMIE” is an acronym for Texas Association of Museums Media Innovation & Excellence. The award showcases museums that are doing innovative things with media and technology. Winning projects are chosen by a jury of media and technology experts in the museum field. Each category is eligible for either gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention depending on the number of entries in each category.

“Congratulations to the Mayborn on raising the bar of digital media standards for the rest of the TAM community,” said Alex Freeman, TAM executive director. We want to see how your museums are incorporating technology into exhibits and programs; how you are using technology to reach virtual audiences outside of the traditional museum space; and how you are using social media to engage with audiences in innovative ways.”

Mayborn Connect was developed in spring 2020 as a way to continue to reach schools and school-aged children during a time when most off-site informal education opportunities were limited by the pandemic. This virtual program delivers specialized labs filled with real specimens, artifacts, and real-world connections in both science and cultural history that help kids to explore and understand their environment. 

As of April 2021, almost 200 Mayborn Connect programs have reached more than 5,000 students from 26 school districts. Programs have reached schools as distant as New Jersey and as close as Waco ISD through a partnership with the Junior League of Waco aimed at providing a Mayborn Connect program to every preK class in the district. 

The award was accepted on the Museum’s behalf by Alan Small, STEM education coordinator. Small spearheaded development of the 12 programs offered within Mayborn Connect with support from other museum educators and graduate students from the Department of Museum Studies at Baylor University. 

“I’m so thankful to work with the team that brought the Mayborn Connect program to life in a time of crisis,” Small said. “When school buses parked and the Mayborn doors closed due to the pandemic, it created a chance to rethink how the Mayborn meets needs within the community. Over the last year, the Mayborn Connect team has honed the skills needed to safely deliver our collection out the front door, in living rooms, across school districts, and even across the country. This program would not have been possible without the entire museum staff working together to see it to fruition.”

About Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex

The Mayborn Museum Complex celebrates the natural science and cultural history of Central Texas. This 143,000-square-foot building on the Baylor University campus sparkles with numerous vibrant exhibits and compelling hands-on activities for the whole family to enjoy over and over again. For more information, contact the Mayborn Museum at (254) 710-1110 or visit http://www.MaybornMuseum.com.

Rebecca Tucker Nall is assistant director of exhibits, communication, and visitor services for Mayborn Museum Complex, Baylor University.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].