By Yaasmeen Piper
The semester is heating up with more and more things to do on campus. As well as the movies, parties and late night karaoke, let’s not forget about our very on museum and planetarium right here on campus.
The Schisler Museum of Wildlife & Natural History and McMunn Planetarium, located on the ground floor of the Sci-Tech building, opened in December of 2013 but only recently became open to the public last April.
My second semester on campus, I decided it was time to finally visit the museum. I was blown away with how many animals were featured in the exhibit.
It was said on the Schisler Museum and Planetarium website that they have more than 130 various specimens from all over the world, ranging from Africa to Alaska.
During my trip, I sat down with Beth Holleger, and she shared her experiences working there for a little over a year.
“I like being in the museum and answering people’s questions. I like to see them interacting [with the exhibit] and touching the objects that we have, and listening to their comments and observations, and things that they notice. It’s interesting to see what people wonder about the different specimens that we have. I like interacting with the guest whenever possible,” said Holleger.
Working for Schisler Museum also helps Holleger gain experience with her major in early childhood development.
“I’m in education, so I enjoy working here because it is very educational. I like to see people, especially little kids, discover new things about science. It’s really fun,” stated Holleger.
Various school groups come to explore the exhibit, even before the museum is open to the public. Classes here at ESU even participate in special projects there.
“We’ll have classrooms come in for classroom tours. We also work with the university so we have the art classes come in and they’ll draw animals and learn about that. We have education classes come in and I run some of those tours sometimes. We’ll talk about how to run field trips for different kids, and how to teach the science method classes,” said Holleger.
The marine biology students even take care of the Blue Cray fish that is currently featured in their fish tank, as well as the previous fish.
“We try to make it very collaborative. They will take care of the fish in there. They design it and do all the feeding and cleaning and all that stuff. They take care of our tanks for us so we get to work with them.
“Right now we have a Blue Cray Fish, that’s the only one. We use to have some Delaware Water Gap fish in there from the Delaware River. We’re working on getting some new fish in there. Hopefully we’ll be getting some new ones pretty soon.”
Though Holleger loves interacting with her guests there, is still some fun that goes on when no one is there.
“I do the social media accounts for here and a couple months ago the mannequin challenge was really popular, and we did the mannequin challenge with our specimens in the museum. We have the music playing and we video taped them all obviously standing still. So that was fun, it was a fun thing to film. It got a lot of views,” said Holleger.
You can plan your next visit on the Schisler Museum and McMunn Planetarium website, quantum.esu.edu/museum, or give them a call at 570-422-2705.
Children 3-17 are only $3 and adults $5.
Any ESU student can enter free of charge with their current ID.
“I think it is a really great resource and we do a lot of really fun things. As an educator I think it’s really interactive. We have a lot of the touch boxes in there and just different things for people to discover and be interested in and to be curious about our universe.”
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