The KU Natural History Museum hosts Science Saturday one Saturday each month. These events give families and children the opportunity to get hands on experience with several scientific topics. Each month the Natural History Museum chooses a theme for that month’s event. On March 9, the museum teamed up with the Center for Latin American Studies to put on an exhibit featuring insects, reptiles and other animals of Latin American. For the first time last Saturday, the museum offered tours and activities in both English and Spanish.
MICHAEL GARRETT: Once a month, the KU Natural History Museum hosts Science Saturday, an event where families can bring their children and learn about a different scientific theme.
(Natural sound of children at the exhibit)
GARRETT: But on Saturday March 9, Science Saturday teamed up with the Center for Latin American studies to create a bilingual exhibit featuring insects, reptiles and other animals of Latin America. Event coordinator Kitty Steffens says the museum teamed up with the Center for Latin American Studies to try to include the Spanish speaking population.
KITTY STEFFENS: In the process of talking we decided we could bring out specimens from Latin American and just have an entire Latin American themed event to showcase some of the things that we have and to also reach an audience that we don’t normally reach.
GARRETT: Nearly every scientist running a booth at the event spoke both English and Spanish.
(Natural sound of Oscar Toro speaking in Spanish)
GARRETT: Ph.D candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology, Oscar Toro, says events like this help show young people the importance of learning two languages.
OSCAR TORO: I mean that is part of integration. So in my case, in Chile, we learn that we definitely have to learn to speak in English. It’s just because we need to be in contact with you. And I think that reciprocal things should be also applied in the sense that the more Spanish you know, more opportunities can open.
GARRETT: One of the bi-lingual tour guides for the event, Gabriel Racca, says incorporating the two languages really brings people together.
GABRIEL RACCA: Having these periodical tours at the Natural History Museum was an amazing opportunity to be able to bring in people, both Hispanic and English speaking, and be able to enjoy the experience in a multicultural manner.
GARRETT: This has been Michael Garrett on Temas Hispanos for MichaelPGarrett.wordpress.com