The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre has released new digital activities for students and families while schools are closed due to social distancing across the state.
To access digital activities based on the museum’s award-winning education kits that are normally available for checkout to South Dakota schools, visit the museum’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/SDMuseum/?ref=sgm or the museum’s web page at: https://history.sd.gov/museum/digital%20outreach.aspx. There is no fee to access these programs, and they are available 24/7.
The digital offerings include a variety of activities, from word searches to crafts to crossword puzzles and more. They come with answer keys for parents and teachers as well.
Museum Curator of Interpretation Ronette Rumpca originally designed these activities for classrooms using the museum’s education kits but has adapted them to create new digital content. More content will be developed in the weeks to come.
“Having one digital access point for museum education materials is a great way to utilize the resources available,” Rumpca said. “We will continue to modify the education kit materials and make them easy to find for our online audience.”
For adults and older students, the museum is offering free admission to one of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Great Courses” that are very popular across the nation. Dr. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, teaches the course entitled “The Great Tours: Washington, D.C.” in which he visits places like the monuments, the National Zoo, and many others while meeting with famous people and scholars such as Yo-Yo Ma, General Colin Powell, and Dr. Lonnie Bunch. Kurin spoke to a South Dakota State Historical Society audience in Pierre in 2016. The State Historical Society museum has been an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013. The tour, also available 24/7, can be accessed at https://history.sd.gov/museum/digital%20outreach.aspx.
“We are pleased to offer these new activities to all of the parents, teachers, and students as well as our many members and guests. While so many are taking on the role of educator in their homes, these activities will provide more educational and entertaining activity,” said Jay Smith, museum director. “It should be noted that the museum’s Facebook page offers literally hundreds of pages of resources about South Dakota history, from events to places and people that contributed to the history and heritage of South Dakota.”
The museum is currently closed by order of Governor Kristi Noem due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 605-773-3458 for information about future exhibits, special events, and upcoming activities.
About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.
About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at https://affiliations.si.edu.