Education about the earth and environmental responsibility is at the core of our mission. We welcome visits from school groups, scouts, ECHO Rangers, science clubs, and organizations of all kinds and ages.
The Gillespie Museum and the Rinker Environmental Learning Center are at the intersection of Amelia and East Michigan Avenues at 234 East Michigan Avenue, on Stetson University's DeLand Campus.
Available during regular visiting hours from August to May.
Conduct your own self-guided visit and enjoy the museum's exhibits, displays, and hands-on activities. Teachers or group organizers may arrange to preview the museum by calling or e-mailing. A staff member will help in planning your visit. Costs are outlined below.
Dates for Fall 2015:
- September 8 – November 24
Dates for Spring 2016
- January 26 – April 14
The typical visit includes three activities, chosen from the list below. Undergraduate student staff members guide visitors through each 25-minute session or activity. Teachers/organizers may decide whether or not to have the museum's gift shop open after the educational activities. Many groups also choose to bring lunches for a picnic on the museum grounds. Costs are outlined above.
Field Trip Activities
You may choose to study Rocks & Minerals in the museum or Florida Ecosystems in the Teaching Landscape.
Rocks and Minerals (Museum and GeoLab)
- Tour of the Museum (including the Mineral Collection, Florida Room and Underground World)
- Earthquakes and Volcanoes (Earth structures and Rock Cycle) in Connections Room
- GeoLab (Mineral Identification lab practical)
- Mining for Minerals (hands-on mineral hunting)
Florida Ecosystems (Outdoor Classroom)
- Native Plant Scavenger Hunt
- Soil Profile
- Pollination Study,
- Leaf Transpiration Lab
Field Trip Logistics
- Scheduling: Because we have a limited number of mornings for field trips during the school year, it is best to plan as early as possible. You may call or e-mail the museum to make arrangements at 386-822-7330 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arrival: Please plan to arrive at the museum's front porch at least ten minutes before 10:00 a.m. Because many of our student staff members have classes both before and after the scheduled visit, we have a tight schedule. Thus, it is very helpful for teachers and chaperones to decide how to divide groups before or soon after their arrival. Name tags for both students and teachers/chaperones are not necessary but always helpful.
- Museum Gift Shop: An extension of our educational mission, the museum's gift shop has inexpensive minerals and rocks, handmade jewelry, books and scientific/educational toys. Teachers/organizers may choose whether or not to have the gift shop open after educational programming.
- Lunch on the Grounds: There are wooden picnic tables on the grounds for picnic lunches. Larger groups (40 to 60) may also want to bring picnic blankets or towels. The museum will provide trash cans and recycling receptacles. On rainy and extremely cold days, we will move our visitors to the porches of the museum and/or inside the adjacent Rinker Environmental Learning Center.
The Gillespie Museum is a small museum with a small staff. For self-guided visits, we would ask that no more than 20 visitors tour at any one time. For field trip visits, our maximum number is 60, which will be organized into three smaller groups of up to 20. A good rule of thumb is that for school groups, teachers plan for one adult for every 10 students (usually one or two chaperones per each smaller group).
Educational tour fees may be paid by cash, check, or credit card.
- Students: $2.50
- Teachers/Chaperones: Free