Planet Protector School Programs Win Superintendent’s Award for Excellent in Museum Education

Students that participate in one or more of the Roseville Utility Exploration Center's Planet Protector school program tours do a lot more than just analyze the contents of garbage, decipher the chemical makeup of our streams and learn how electricity flows – they discover long-term solutions to help protect our planets natural resources.  The California Association of Museums (CAM) and Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction agree, as they just awarded the Roseville Utility Exploration Center’s Planet Protector school tour program the prestigious Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education. 

"It is an honor to be selected by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to receive one of six statewide awards for excellence in museum education," says Bob Garrison, supervisor at the Utility Exploration Center. “We knew we had good school programs based on teacher evaluations and great feedback from the thousands of students that pass through our doors every year, but this award provides us with a benchmark measured against other museums throughout California.” 

The Utility Exploration Center is an environmental learning center supported by the City of Roseville’s utility departments, Roseville Electric and Environmental Utilities.  The Planet Protector school tour programs focus on three topic areas, including energy efficiency, water conservation and waste reduction.  Students learn to become Planet Protectors with a guided discovery of the Center’s exhibit hall and hands-on science activities in the technology lab.  There is also an optional zero waste lunch dump activity where students enjoy a meal on the campus and then learn about ways to pack and enjoy a zero waste lunch. 

The Utility Exploration Center welcomes more than 4,000 students from Roseville and around the region on an annual basis.  Thanks to grant funding from the City’s utility departments and the Roseville Citizens Benefit Fund, schools within Roseville city limits are able to take advantage of free transportation and school tour programs at the Center.  That money has allowed more than 1,800 Roseville students to participate in the Center’s programming at no cost to them in 2012.   

“The key to our success is the quality of our paid and volunteer educational staff, and the support we receive from the city’s utility departments,” Garrison says.  “It is a pleasure to work with such a great team of people and a privilege to provide the highest quality programs to Roseville’s schools.” 

Winning the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education is just another example of how much time and effort Roseville’s utility departments and staff at the Utility Exploration Center invest into educating our youth and working to help protect our planet’s natural resources in this award winning facility.  Located at 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd., the Center hosts more than just school programs, including environmental workshops, special events and unique temporary exhibits.  Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM, admission is always FREE.  For more information please visit www.roseville.ca.us/explore or by calling (916) 746-1550.