MNHS is developing new curricula, programs, and resources to engage students in learning about Minnesota history. In FY16 a full review of online resources for the K-12 audience will be completed and an action plan put in place to update content and the design of online curriculum offered to K-12 teachers and students. In addition, staff are working with the Oliver Kelley Farm to create new curricula and programs on agriculture, history, and STEM for K-12 teachers and students. Two new programs will be developed and piloted at the Oliver Kelley Farm in FY16.
MNHS continues to build a culture of evaluation. An evaluation manager leads institutional evaluation capacity building, as well as provides technical assistance and support to staff who evaluate ACHF projects and programs. An evaluation associate in the Education and Lifelong Learning Division facilitates evaluation efforts specifically in K-12 education and public programs. Three interns and numerous volunteers continue to support evaluation work.
MNHS staff created communication strategies and promotional materials for Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) history projects, programs, and grants, including media kits for grant recipients. Increasing public awareness of ACHF investments will ensure that students, teachers, and the general public will use and benefit from them.
Current and accurate data on historic and archaeological sites is crucial to understanding our past and to preserving Minnesota's history for future generations. In fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council awarded contracts for the following projects: Archaeological Surveys in Steele, McLeod and Red Lake Counties.
The U of M and MNHS are collaborating to enhance heritage education across Minnesota. This project engages students in field experiences with the archaeological collections and interpretive programs at Historic Fort Snelling and is providing research support for new programs at the Oliver Kelley Farm. These projects will help build models for collaborative instruction that fosters cultural heritage awareness and protection.
MNHS continues to focus on broadening access to many of its Legacy-funded programs through the Internet. This funding supports the web development professionals who plan, build, and implement digital components that are part of many Legacy-funded history projects and helps pay for Web hosting to make these projects accessible to people in Minnesota and beyond. MNHS also uses the web to report on its use of Legacy funds at legacy.mnhs.org and for the public to apply for Legacy grant funds at legacy.mnhs.org/grants.