Museum to increase learning with new equipment

Published 6:29 pm Monday, September 4, 2017

The Aurora Fossil Museum recently received a pivotal addition to its programming.

Courtesy of STEMTaught, a nonprofit science education program in California, the Aurora Fossil Museum has acquired six new microscopes to add to its arsenal of science education tools.

Cynthia Crane, director of the museum, said when she saw the package on her desk, she was almost speechless.

“All of us, we were just like, ‘Oh my gosh, we got microscopes. Can you believe it?’” Crane said. “Then, we were just thinking about different ways to use them. We are really excited about them.”

Crane said Jake and Beth Hunter, owners of STEMTaught and former Beaufort County residents, asked Crane for fossil materials to expand their curriculum, and they wanted to send Crane microscopes they developed. When Crane learned of the microscopes, she said she simply saw a perfect opportunity for an exchange of resources.

“I just said … ‘Wait a minute. Why don’t we swap?’” Crane said.

Crane has been the director of the museum for three years, and she said the museum has never had the opportunity to have microscopes. It’s equipment the museum has been eager to use for some time.

Crane said it could be beneficial when weather doesn’t permit to study outside, and it will also help children study small materials that cannot be seen with the naked eye. She said it’s going to be helpful in expanding learning opportunities because she can now incorporate the use of microfossils, something the museum has never been able to do before.

“Over the years we’ve discussed having some kind of activity with a display that shows the microfossils. It’s been brought up. We are just trying to look at fossils,” Crane said. “Having this equipment opens up programming.”

Crane said it was her pleasure to be able to share her love of science with people all the way in California, and she’s grateful STEMTaught was willing to help increase learning in Beaufort County, as well.

“We’ll enhance their science programming on the West Coast, and this donation will help science education on the East Coast,” Crane said.