Roundtable Past Exhibitions | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

"I hope that the Roundtable program will continue to serve as an example of how the arts can bring science to life and inspire life-long learning in young people."

Faith Purvey, Teaching Artist

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Ideas for Learning

Explore K-12 project ideas created by Roundtable education and community collaborations. Discover project-based lessons and activities that promote interdisciplinary learning through science, language arts, history, and the visual and performing arts.

Voices from the Community

"The Education & Arts Roundtable is the most remarkable educational program that I have ever photographed.  The joy and wonderment I see in the children as they are awakening to the natural world is an inspiration.  I believe that this program is so important that it should be implemented in schools and museums everywhere." 
Don Farber, Photographer and Fulbright Scholar

What Artists Say

"The arts have this ability to capture the imagination, and I think if you can give that gift to students — [by embracing] creativity, innovation, and exploration — they can take their learning to amazing heights, because it's not just something on a page, it's something they've experienced."

Lee Arvinger, California Dance Institute

Teachers Share Out!

"This was a genuine coming together of ideas, which I had never experienced before."

Annie Lefkowitz, Teacher, Cienega Elementary School

Watch a Project Video!

Are you wondering what Roundtable projects are all about?  Click on the links below to view a video summary of recent projects.  See additional project descriptions under Project Ideas.

Claiming Our Space, Grade 4 >
STUCK 2, Grade 1 >
Our L.A. Basin, Grade 11 >
Tar Babies Unchained, Grade 8 >


Ooops . . . You Just Missed These Exhibitions!

Sorry you missed these recent student exhibitions in Inter/Act, but learn more about the Roundtable projects listed below in Project Ideas, and visit our photo galleries for additional inspiration.


Bridge Over Time: How Do People Use Public Spaces?
June 26 - September 12, 2010

“Bridge Over Time” is a collaborative after-school project with students from Parras Middle School, the Natural History Museum of L.A.County, and the Redondo Beach, CA, community.  Students explored the history of Redondo Beach, and reflected on “place” and “change,” and the past, present, and future contributions to their community.  Posed with the question, “How and why do public places change over the course of time and who is responsible for those changes?” their discoveries resulted in a student-written play, including period costumes, backdrops, and digital storytelling, that conveyed the life and times of Redondo Beach’s Veterans Park through the eyes of historic and fictional characters.

View PDF of project summary >
View PDF of full artist reflection >
View photo gallery >
View short project video >


How Do I Describe My World?  (2010)
May 8 - June 13, 2010

This project brought together first grade English Language Learners from Lennox School District, teaching artist Libby Gerber and the Natural History Museum staff to help students integrate their world through Language Arts, Visual Arts and Dance. Using observation skills, descriptive language, Adobe brick-making, and fossil casting, students discovered “how to describe their world” in a fun, interdisciplinary learning environment.

View PDF of project summary >
View PDF of project description in Spanish >
View photo gallery >
View short project video (Part 1) > 
View short project video (Part 2) > 

How Is Identity Influenced By Nature?
March 20 - April 25, 2010

Together with Museum staff and artist Libby Gerber, 7th grade students from Barnhart School explored the influence of nature on both ancient and modern civilizations. Their learning was made visible through a student-designed, hand-painted mural, and also through personalized collages and poetry that expressed the relationship between nature and their own identities.

View PDF of Project Summary >
View PDF of "Open Chest Figurine" >
View PDF of Visible Vault student worksheet >
View PDF of artist reflection >
View photo gallery >
View short project video >


How Do I Observe My World?
December 19, 2009 - March 7, 2010

In an eight-week, project-based-learning assignment, 4th and 5th graders at Cienega Elementary School learned to observe and question the natural world through the lens of both scientist and artist. They wrote, sketched, and documented their observations, as they explored the grounds in and around their neighborhood.  Using photography as a medium, the students deepened their awareness of the natural world by studying with both Museum scientists and an artist/photographer.  The students in this after-school club produced a series of photographs, poetry and journal descriptions aimed at answering the essential question:  How do I observe my world?

View PDF of Project Summary >
View photo galleries >
View project video >


Our L.A. Basin: A World of Wonder
August 8 - November 15, 2009

In a collaboration with the Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits and environmentalist Jessica Hall, high school students from Pasadena High School's Visual Arts and Design Academy explored the ecological history of the Los Angeles Basin and created a site-specific sculptural installation for the Museum's Inter/Act gallery space.  The 16 sculptures in this exhibition addressed themes of water conservation, land use, and environmental responsibility.

View photo gallery >
View project video >


April 18 - July 19, 2009

This exhibition followed the activities of first grade students from Kenneth L. Moffett Elementary School as they learned about the La Brea Tar Pits and Ice Age mammals through theater and dance. STUCK 2, a play about Ice Age mammals, was written by the students themselves and performed on March 13, 2009. This lively exhibition included video and photo documentation of field trips and dance and theatre workshops, classroom work, and student and parent reflections. It also included the stage backdrops that the students painted themselves, as well as their handmade costumes made from recycled materials. Project collaborators included 24th Street Theatre and California Dance Institute, along with Education and Research & Collections staff from the Page and Natural History Museums.  Learn more under Project Ideas.

View photo gallery >
View project video >


Claiming Our Space
January 24 - March 29, 2009 

Fourth graders from Cienega Elementary School explored the question, "How is space claimed?" through an exploration of local and historical Los Angeles landmarks and Los Angeles-area land use. Museum field trips and the study of land use millions of years ago, plus the exploration of neighborhood landmarks and the significance of personal spaces culminated in the assembly of a 3-D neighborhood map that included the landmarks and significant spaces "claimed" by these young students. Project collaborators included 826LA artist Jacqueline Dreager, the Los Angeles Public Library, and Education and curatorial staff from the Page and Natural History Museums.  Learn more under Project Ideas.

View photo gallery >
View project video >


Sonnets from Extinction
September 20, 2008 - January 4, 2009 

This exhibition featured over 70 Shakespearian sonnets written by seventh grade students from Kranz Intermediate School and inspired by the Ice Age fossils from the Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits. Students created sonnets — personal portraits — reflecting their life experiences and the imagined experiences of Ice Age mammals.  Project collaborators included hip-hop poet, A.K.Toney, and Education staff from the Page Museum. 

August 16 - September 12, 2008

STUCK! chronicled the activities of Moffett Elementary School first graders, as they learned about Ice Age mammals at the Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits and about the components and process of live theatre with 24th Street Theatre.  Their learning culminated in a play called STUCK! performed by the students themselves.  Included in the exhibition were student work and student reflections, field trip and classroom photos, parent and teacher reflections, and the performance of the play on video.  STUCK! was a pilot project, which became the much more complex STUCK 2, in 2009.