“Wow, we can finally sleep with the Jurassic dinosaurs!” This month (November), National Taiwan Museum (NTM) invited students of Minquan Elementary School, located in Namasia District, Kaohsiung City, to stay overnight at the museum on 23rd. Today (24th), dressed in traditional Bunun costumes, the Namasia schoolchildren started a flashmob performance of Bunun folk songs and dances in the lobby of the NTM, expressing gratitude to the museum with heavenly voice. The audience gave a rapturous ovation so as to appreciate these lively and lovely students. In addition, the Namasia schoolchildren also presented their handmade artwork, Formosan Black Bear, to NTM, marking a perfect end to the journey of realizing their dreams.
According to Hong Shi-you, the curator of NTM, the museum boosts the “Through Taiwan—Learning while Strolling” program aimed at children in the rural areas in order to implement the promotion of cultural equity and to allow every child to receive the right to learn. In hopes of making up for the education and cultural gap caused by inconvenient transportation and insufficient resources, the museum provides educational services for remote areas, actively invites rural-dwelling and disadvantaged students to visit the museum, learn and experience. More importantly, the museum intend to create a unique experience for children so that they have the power to explore the future and the world.
It has been more than a century since the establishment of NTM in 1908. It boasts rich and precious collection, not only witnessing the progress of Taiwanese history, humanities and natural ecology, but also constructing the natural and cultural history of Taiwan. The museum includes the Main Building, the Natural History Branch (Land Bank of Taiwan Exhibition Building), the Nanmen Branch, and a new building expected to be built. Huang Xing-Da, the deputy of the Education Department mentioned that the Natural History Branch is a paleontology-themed building. Exhibiting the largest dinosaur fossils, it is the best place to learn the history of evolution. It is also one of schoolchildren’s most favorite museums and is the first choice for a sleepover. Sleeping along with the precious collection is not only safe, but also enables participants to wield their imagination and feel the resurrection of wildlife. In the future, with the children of Kids’ Bookhouse from Taitung also joining, the overnight stay will become the memory of more people.Ten years has passed since Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan. Located at the starting point of the Southern Cross-Island Highway in Kaohsiung, Namasia Township, Minquan Elementary School of the Namasia District was in one of the most damaged disaster sites. Up to this day, many parts still remained unrecovered. Despite the obstacles in life, children in Namasia have become more optimistic and enterprising under the lead of teachers and with care from the public. Since 2013, aid from various resources have been enabling students in Minquan Elementary School of the Namasia District to travel to Taipei every year, exchanging ideas and learning with students in their sister school, Taipei Minquan Elementary School. Visiting NTM, seeing its exhibition of paleontology, and having the sleepover are the activities children yearn the most. They are annual events and also dreams of children from Namasia. According to the teacher, Tsai, who led the students this time, students can feel the fragility as well as the robustness of life, observe how evolution of life has progressed, and be filled with curiosity and awe towards nature. The exhibition including various themes will enable students to broaden their horizons, to accumulate knowledge, to enhance literacy, and to immerse themselves in the best extracurricular learning environment.