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Brucemobile Takes Museum on the Road

The Brucemobile , an educational outreach program on wheels, takes the Bruce Museum to schools in a field trip in reverse. It offers programs on such topics as dinosaurs and coastal ecology that can fit to teachers' needs and spark students' interest.

"The kids are always so happy to see us," said Peter Linderoth, manager of outreach education for the Bruce Museum. The base program is for kindergarten through fifth grade, "but we also we do middle school and high school, working with the Archaeological Society of Greenwich doing a prehistoric program and an Egypt Program. But we're always willing to teach our programs to the teachers' requests."

The Brucemobile's purpose, said Linderoth, is to take programs to schools that may not be able to visit the Bruce Museum. It reaches about 8,000 people a year at schools from Bridgeport to the Bronx, N.Y. The Brucemobile uses two Toyota Hylander Hybrids to keep the museum as a sustainable organization.

One of the more popular programs, Coastal Ecology, takes Long Island Sound to the classroom. "We bring horseshoe crabs, rock crabs, mollusks and other organisms and teach ... what animals need to survive and what habitats you can find animals in," said Linderoth. "I really enjoy teaching about Long Island Sound because it brings it home to help them learn what is going on around them. And it raises awareness."

A Fairfield County native, Linderoth has a background in environmental studies. He worked in Santa Monica, Calif., and at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk before moving to the Bruce. "On one hand, I like getting dirty and working in the field, but I really enjoy working with kids and helping them learn about their surroundings," said Linderoth.

The Brucemobile will likely expand its programming, but for now, the program will keep on rolling, taking the Bruce Museum to area classroom, he said.

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