Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Beyond Madness

This blog began two years ago, on June 5, 2010.  At that time, Arizona’s high school dropout governor had pushed through a bill to transfer the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum to the Arizona Historical Society.  The first blog post documented the underhanded tactics used to get the bill through the legislature. The AHS subsequently destroyed the mineral museum, but failed to produce the new museum that was to occupy the building for the centennial.

In response to public protests over the loss of the mineral museums K-12 earth science education problems, the governor apparently directed the AHS to provide science education. That foolishness is causing public funds to be spent in very curious and inefficient ways.  The most recent is the goofiest yet.

The AHS is now hosting a “Science Institute” in July.  As currently described on the AHS website, the “institute” includes the following:

 FREE Materials for Each Participant
Award-winning curriculum
Boxed lunches
Certificate for 25 Continuing Education Credits
Rock and Mineral Classroom Kits

Workshop Features:
FREE curriculum resources of history, water, geology, and conservation
Guided tour of Papago Park with geological perspective
Modeled lesson plans
Local community resource

The catch is, a $150  fee must be paid to access the "free" stuff.

As further reported on the AHS website, at least one of the presentations will be provided by a guest from the Phoenix Zoo.

How very appropriate.


  1. It has been over a year since AHS and the Governor got rid of the scientific Mining and Mineral Museum. This rich resource was used by 25,000 students on school fieldtrips plus thousands of others each year. The building is empty and after tossing the MMM out, AHS turned around and hired a curator with the money given to them to house the MMM! The real need educationally, is for AHS to tell us when, or if, earth science services will be returned and restored. All of the activity to get involved in science does not repair the damage or even begin to replace the treasure that was lost. The workshop for teachers does not replace the experience taken from our students!

  2. I remember many years ago we had several workshops for teachers at the museum. Each one lasted all day and consisted of one on minerals and the other on rocks. We had a college professor come in to help on some of these workshops. All the teachers received a free teacher kit. I remember the famous "Ladmo bag" hands on experience. It was quite unique. I can't remember if the teachers had to pay anything for the workshop as the museum did so many free things for teachers. Maybe the $150 AHS is charging is for the lunches the teachers receive. Everything AHS does cost plenty of money.

    I am glad that Brewer is not the Superintendent of Schools.

  3. I can just hear the Phoenix Zoo representative. We have a few free "field trips" available for schools that qualify where the children do not have to pay any admission fees. For all the rest of the schools we have reduced our admission fees to just $4.95 per child.

    Sorry Phoenix Zoo, but the old and now closed Mineral Museum had free children's field trips for all students.

  4. I'm so sorry...I made a mistake. The current price is now $5 per person and there is no free lunch as they say. They now charge $2 per person for certain school groups. It's been awhile since I checked the zoo's rules.