SHARP in the Field

Share article

Opportunities for Discovery and Adventure

SHARP Literacy is thrilled to partner with museums and organizations around Milwaukee and Waukesha County to provide a more diverse educational experience for students.

Educational Tours

Milwaukee

K3 – Physical Science – Physics

Urban Ecology Center

  • Eager three-year old students’ imaginations are stimulated through mystery and wonder.
  • Variable content is employed, depending on outdoor and seasonal opportunities.
  • Experiences are based on interesting, natural events occurring at the time of the trip.

K4 – Science – Living Things

Milwaukee Art Museum

  • Eager four year old students participate in a special version of an animals and art tour.
  • Students learn through movement and storytelling, and other play-based, age-appropriate learning techniques.
  • Docents are trained by SHARP educators to focus on three to five major concepts to build on students’ understanding of living things by interacting with fine art.

Urban Ecology Center

  • Curious four year old students interact with real animals in the animal room and engage in an outdoor scavenger hunt with play-based kinesthetic learning.
  • By learning about animals’ habitats, inquisitive students develop an understanding of how things move, eat, communicate, and depend upon shelter.

K5 – Science – Plants

Lynden Sculpture Garden

  • Hands-on workshops engage small groups of students in independent learning activities.
  • Field research on different types of flowers, leaves, seeds, and trees captivates their imaginations.
  • Enthusiastic students create clay impressions and drawings to reinforce concepts they have learned.

Grade 1 – Science – Pollinators

Mitchell Park Domes

  • Creative students develop a pollinator model sculpture.
  • Students enjoy a scavenger hunt as they search for various pollinators like bees, bats, birds, and lizards.

Grade 2 – Science – Fresh Water and the Great Lakes

Discovery World

  • Engrossed students rotate through three different freshwater stations to see the world’s largest model of the Great Lakes, explore Reiman Aquarium, and even touch a live lake sturgeon.
  • Students also recreate the life cycle of a salmon.

Grade 3 – Science – Urban Agriculture

Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful

  • Ever wonder what is really recyclable or where it all goes? Students are introduced to the basic concepts of recycling, compost, and the concept of urban food deserts.  Students learn about sustainability and the 4 R’s (reduce, recycle, reuse, rot) by doing a fun sorting game.
  • Enthralled students observe how people and machines sort through the recyclables, and also play a guessing game to learn how neighborhood products are turned into global products through recycling.
  • Students encounter living bugs and learn how everything works together to create an ecosystem in a compost bin.
  • An exciting relay game where the students race to harvest fruits and vegetables concludes the exciting experience.

Grade 4 – Social Studies – Wisconsin

Museum of Wisconsin Art

  • Students participate in a 90-minute experiential learning opportunity.
  • The tour focuses on 12-15 works in the collection by Wisconsin artists. Students gain an understanding of perspective by seeing the art from more than one viewpoint.
  • Energized students also view several pieces depicting Native American culture, the Wisconsin landscape and the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. All fourth-grade students culminate their experience in the art studio, where a teaching artist leads them in creating three-dimensional architectural sculptures.

Grade 4 – Design through Code

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

  • Fourth grade SHARPcoders who participate in the 16-week coding program tour MIAD’s openlab, a place where students learn how to use technology to support their creative practice.
  • Students learn about rapid prototyping, immersive technology and physical computing to prepare them for the end of year Design Challenge, where they build a prototype with practical applications.
  • Students can explore college and career options.

Grade 5 – Social Studies – American Stories

Milwaukee Art Museum

  • Focusing on storytelling in art, fifth grade students participate in a writing & art tour using American stories to build upon their understanding of American history and to acquire confidence as writers.
  • Students gain critical thinking skills through the arts as they engage in interactive writing to learn activities.
  • Students receive SHARP’s art journals to take home.

Waukesha County

K3 – Physical Science – Physics

Urban Ecology Center

  • Eager three-year old students’ imaginations are stimulated through mystery and wonder.
  • Variable content is employed, depending on outdoor and seasonal opportunities.
  • Experiences are based on interesting, natural events occurring at the time of the trip.

K4 – Science – Living Things

EB Shurts Environmental Education Center

  • Four-year-old students build upon their understanding of living things by interacting with real animals in the live animal room, engaging with a diorama room focused on animal habitats, and working on an arts integrated project related to the science concepts.
  • Students also experience play-based learning outside when weather permits.

K5 – Science – Plants

Prairie Springs Environmental Education Center

  • Students learn about plants, participating in experiential learning opportunities, designed and facilitated by Carroll University Early Childhood Education students.
  • Age-appropriate play-based activities, as part of a five senses nature walk, “mystery bag” inquiry into parts of a plant, and hands- on arts-integration activities, build on enthusiastic students’ understanding of their study of plants.

Grade 1 – Science – Pollinators

EB Shurts Environmental Education Center

  • Students build upon their understanding of living things by engaging in play-based learning about Wisconsin pollinators.
  • Kinesthetic (movement-based) experiential learning and a hands-on arts-integrated project help students understand the similarities and differences among Wisconsin pollinators.

Grade 2 – Science – Fresh Water and the Great Lakes

EB Shurts Environmental Education Center (La Casa de Esperanza)

  • Students learn how severe weather affects the Fox River and other water resources in Waukesha County.
  • Students investigate how humans impact local watersheds and discuss how we can be part of the solution for protecting our natural resources.

Grade 2 – Science – Pollinators

Prairie Springs Environmental Education Center (School District of Waukesha)

  • Students view a bee hive, take a nature walk, and gain understanding related to pollination and thriving plant ecosystems.
  • Students from Banting, Summit View and Whittier Elementary Schools in the School District of Waukesha study pollinators.
  • Carroll University Early Childhood Education students work alongside Prairie Springs staff to engage students in the tour.

Grade 3 – Science – Urban Agriculture

Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum-Intergenerational Heritage Fair

  • Intergenerational Heritage Fair gives students the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Waukesha County.
  • Students explore approximately 20 exhibits and participate in hands-on craft and cultural activities.

Grade 4 – Social Studies – Wisconsin

Museum of Wisconsin Art (La Casa de Esperanza)

  • Students participate in a 90-minute experiential learning opportunity.
  • The tour focuses on 12-15 works in the collection by Wisconsin artists. Students gain an understanding of perspective by seeing the art from more than one viewpoint.
  • Energized students also view several pieces depicting Native American culture, the Wisconsin landscape and the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. All fourth-grade students culminate their experience in the art studio, where a teaching artist leads them in creating three-dimensional architectural sculptures.

Grade 4 – Design through Code

QUAD (School District of Waukesha)

  • SHARPcoders see firsthand how a printing company uses technology and graphic design to serve the needs of their clients.
  • Students tour the facility, engage in a logic puzzle that Quad normally gives potential employees and hear from a panel of diverse employees who use technology in their everyday work.

Racine County

K4 – Science – Living Things

River Bend Nature Center

K5 – Science – Plants

River Bend Nature Center

Grade 1 – Science – Pollinators

River Bend Nature Center

Summer Learning Program and After-School Learning Program

These programs help educate and nurture students outside our core program and encourage them to become responsible and competent citizens of the community. The programs take place at these sites: Augustine Prep, Journey House, NeuLife at Gwen T. Jackson, NeuLife at Brown Street Academy, Milwaukee Christian Center, Milwaukee Public Schools – Congress Elementary, Grantosa Elementary and Morgandale Elementary, Neighborhood House, Our Next Generation, COA Riverwest, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center – Browning Elementary and Thurston Woods, School District of Waukesha – Banting Summer School, Summit View Summer School and Waukesha Parks Recreation and Forestry Department – Banting Elementary.

The Summer Learning Program addresses  the prevention of the summer slide – a reality for too many urban students.

The After-school Learning Program provides structured programs for students to achieve academic success, build character and develop teamwork, all in a safe, fun environment.

Additional Partnerships

  • Reading With the Golden Eagles is a program in which Marquette University’s men’s basketball team reads to students once a month.
  • Reading with the Carroll Pioneers began with the Carroll University’s men’s basketball team reading to Waukesha students. It now includes five athletic teams.
  • The Read To Me Intergenerational Program includes partnerships between SHARP Literacy and Ovation Communities and also a partnership with Shorehaven in Oconomowoc. In both programs, elementary school students read with seniors at the senior living communities. They also cooperate in creating mural-based art projects.

Support SHARP’s Educational Tours