2016-17 Museum Explorer Program

Museum Explorer was established in 2007, introducing K-5 elementary school students, from Los Gatos schools and the surrounding Santa Clara County communities to art and history in a museum setting. The program teaches critical analysis skills through fun and creative, interactive activities. NUMU educates, lends inspiration, and offers exposure to a range of cultural perspectives with the unparalleled resources of historical artifacts and original artwork. 


P R O G R A M  D E S C R I P T I O N S


Art I allows students to examine, experience, and understand artwork in NUMU’s unique setting through two parallel programs. Students’ imaginations are unlocked by Jerry Falek via interactive storytelling, allowing them to enjoy and interpret art on a deeper level. Then, surrounded by NUMU’s current art exhibitions, an art appreciation lesson will incorporate artistic perception, aesthetic valuing, and historical and cultural contexts. Students then create their own original artwork.


Art II offers a deeper exploration into the creative process of the visual artist. Lasting 50 minutes, two instructors work with a class and give them time to examine a theme from a current exhibition. Students use the real-life trial-and-error methodology that artists and scientists employ, focusing on process rather than product. Teachers are encouraged to follow up in the classroom with additional time for students to continue their exploration, and are given support materials for further lessons.


The Ohlone program, led by storyteller Jerry Falek, provides students with a deeper understanding of the way the Ohlone people thought about and interacted with the world around them through hands- on activities, games, and storytelling.


NUMU’s History tours introduce elementary school students to the history of the Town of Los Gatos, incorporated in 1887. This program will explore the major developments of the town through its history of railroads and logging, Forbes Mill, and significant figures in its past, including Charley Parkerhurst and Mountain Charlie. Using historical objects and photographs from the museum’s permanent collection, students put historical interpretation into practice through hands-on activities and storytelling.


Just a five minute walk from NUMU stands the annex of Forbes Mill, a historic landmark and the former Los Gatos History Museum. The exterior of the building provides a trove of information in its construction and use by James Forbes. Walk along the trail, identify native plants and growth, and explore the mural alongside the trail, depicting the wildlife and native Ohlone people of the Los Gatos area. (Led by teacher, with a guide provided by NUMU)

T H E   E X P L O R E R   T E A M

Jerry Falek, master teacher and performing artist, has worked with children, teachers, and audiences of all ages for more than 40 years. His teaching programs blend a background in special education with wide-ranging experience as a storyteller, puppeteer, dancer, and clown. He is known for bringing uniquely crafted performances and residences to such places as Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and Soledad Prison, and to schools, libraries, and museums in Central California, Alaska, Cambodia, the Caribbean, and German. He is also an award-winning bread baker and basket maker. Mr. Falek has collaborated with NUMU since 2006. 

Madeleine Crow is NUMU's Education & Programs Manager. She holds a joint honors degree in Art History and French from the University of St. Andrews, and has six years experience teaching, volunteering and working with children. She is currently completing an MBA and a Masters in Museum Studies with a focus in Interpretation and Education. She has taught the Museum Explorer program since 2015, and currently designs and coordinates the program's schedule and curriculum, and is part of the Explorer teaching team. 

C H O O S E  Y O U R  S I Z E

LEVEL I Programs for 1 class (up to 30 students) 70 minutes    |    $150
•Art (I or II)
•Town of Los Gatos
•Forbes Mill and Nature Walk

LEVEL II Programs for 2 classes (30 to 50 students) 70 minutes    |    $275
•Art I
•Art I + Ohlone
•Art I + History of the Town of Los Gatos
•History of the Town of Los Gatos
•History: Ohlone + Natural History: Forbes Mill and Nature Walk

LEVEL III Programs for 2-3 classes (45 to 75 students) 105 minutes    |    $375
•Art I + Ohlone + Forbes Mill and Nature Walk
•Art I + Town of Los Gatos History + Forbes Mill and Nature Walk
•Ohlone + Town of Los Gatos History + Forbes Mill and Nature Walk

Refer a class to NUMU’s Museum Explorer program and get $50 off your visit Referred group must register for a 2016-2017 Museum Explorer Program. For more details contact us at 408.354.2646 or at education@numulosgatos.org.

Museum Explorer November.jpg

M U S E U M  E X P L O R E R  D A T E S

This year, for the first time, we are offering smaller programs for up to 50 students, and larger programs for up to 75 students. 

Look for Level I & II Tour Days which offer 70-minute tours at 9am, 10:45am, 12:30pm or Level III Tour Days which offer tours at 9:00am and 11:30am.

We can mix and match the class sizes and times if given enough notice. Contact us with any questions!

Village School 4th graders

Village School 4th graders

February 6-10
Monday 6 - Friday 10: Level I & II 9am, 10:45am, 12:30pm
Please enquire for Level III times

March 27-29
Monday 27 + Wednesday 29: Level I & II 9am, 10:45am, 12:30pm
Tuesday 28: Level III 9am, 11:30am

April 25-27
Tuesday 25 + Thursday 27: Level I & II 9am, 10:45am, 12:30pm
Wednesday 26: Level III 9am, 11:30am

Program Sponsors: The Michael and Alyce Parsons Foundation | The Town of Los Gatos | Scott McDonald, Loann Nguyen, and Ceres Foundation

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