Meet Me at the Museum (MMatM) is an initiative that seeks to make elementary school field trips to NYC museums as educational and meaningful as possible. By developing museum tours that highlight pieces that are relevant to what each class is focusing on in their current classroom curriculum, tours are interesting to the students and museums begin to feel more familiar and approachable. Enthusiastic college students lead each tour, passing their love for art onto each new class.
Meet Me at the Museum was founded at Columbia University in September 2015 by Alexandra Pass (Barnard '17) and Audrey Marutollo, a fifth grade teacher at PS-96. Since MMatM's inception, there have been 19 tours at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Met Cloisters. Over 500 students have been able to enjoy an informative and interactive museum experience.
By guiding students through the process of analyzing a piece of art, we are cultivating the important skill of thinking critically across disciplines. Critical thinking empowers students to articulate their learning no matter what content is being addressed.
By connecting our tours’ content with the curricula students are already studying in school, we create an interdisciplinary connectedness. The value of an interdisciplinary education cannot be overstated as it has been proven promote significant learning takes place when meaningful and lasting classroom experiences occur. Interdisciplinary instruction fosters the acquisition of foundational knowledge, promotes integration of ideas from multiple disciplines and provides insight on how to apply knowledge, all of which enhances a students understanding of how to learn.
By fostering student’s participation throughout the tours, student’s ability to communicate original ideas can improve. Students will cultivate their ability to practice empathic thinking by looking at a work, identifying the emotions of the piece, and putting into words what they think is being expressed. This exercise will improve English language abilities across all disciplines.
By studying the arts, a student’s creativity is naturally engaged. Furthermore, the arts drive creative inquiry, which is the fuel of all disciplines. It is through creative inquiry that we unlock questions, solve problems, and discover new possibilities both in and out of the classroom.