Students from Mr. Gallagher’s Grade 5 class at Molly Brant Elementary School conduct a chemical test on a rock as part of their week-long learning at the Miller Museum of Geology.

Learning can happen anywhere and changing locations for even one week can drastically affect student engagement and success.

Limestone is a proud partner in the Beyond Classrooms Kingston program which moves teachers and their classrooms into community museums, art galleries and community sites for an entire week. The host site becomes an extension of the teacher’s classroom, where he or she can help students enhance their literacy, critical thinking and problem solving skills, in an authentic environment.

Kingston is blessed with over two dozen museums, galleries and historic sites that collectively gather and display elements of Kingston’s culture and heritage. While a 90-minute field trip can provide a great introduction to a historic site, it doesn’t begin to give students enough time to fully grasp the richness of the resources the site holds, or the stories it can tell. Learning at a museum or gallery for an entire week takes away the “field trip feeling” and creates an environment that allows for more reflection, stimulates curiosity, and encourages inquiry-based learning. Students get to ask their own questions, and revisit topics or areas that interest them as they seek out answers. Teachers who have participated say Beyond Classrooms is one of the most engaging learning experiences they’ve had the opportunity to share with students. The improvement in skills during the week have also proved significant.