2018 National Geographic Live School Matinees Come to a Close

Students attended Brian Skerry’s Ocean Wild presentation on January 9. Photo by Jillian Shoptaw.

The Kauffman Center hosted another educational series of National Geographic Live student matinees this season, with performances for local students in January, February and March. The 2018 school matinees came to a close last week with a presentation by marine biologist/photographer Cristina Mittermeier about how different groups of people interact with water around the world.

Almost 4,000 students attended the matinees over the course of three dates at the beginning of 2018. Presenters for the National Geographic Live matinees included underwater photographer Brian Skerry, wildlife photographer Florian Schulz, and Cristina Mittermeier. These presenters covered a variety of topics ranging from the ecosystems of the Arctic to water conservation in Greenland.

Florian Schulz provided students with a glimpse into the vast world of animals who live in the Arctic region with his presentation, Into the Arctic Kingdom on February 6.

One teacher who attended said, “Many of our students have not been outside of their neighborhoods. The opportunity to have them experience a world class theater and presentation is invaluable. It inspires and motivates them to set higher expectations for themselves to help achieve short and long term goals because they have seen possibilities.”

Brian Skerry presented photos and stories to student audiences on January 9 in a presentation titled Ocean Wild. He amazed his viewers with facts about different sea creatures and spoke about some of the challenges currently facing the oceans and their ecosystems.

Also speaking about oceans, Cristina Mittermeier talked to student groups on March 6 about her experiences living with indigenous groups around the world and the relationships these groups have with water. Students gained appreciation and knowledge on the topic of water conservation in Mittermeiers performance, Standing at the Water’s Edge.

In advance of the presentations, the Kauffman Center provides educators with a study guide including classroom activities, vocabulary lists, and tips for what to expect at the student matinee.

“The study guide helped us prepare our students for what they were going to experience. We included vocabulary, visuals, geography and information about the speaker. We also used it upon return with the follow up activities and discussion,” said one teacher who attended.

The Kauffman Center is excited to provide educational opportunities like National Geographic Live student matinees for KC metro area youth through the Open Doors program. As part of the Open Doors program, the Kauffman Center offers schools opportunities such as the Open Doors Transportation Fund. This program aims to help offset the cost of bus travel for schools so that getting to and from the Kauffman Center for student performances is not an issue.

The Center also hosts student performances by resident arts groups Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. These performances give local students a chance to experience some of the best artistic features Kansas City has to offer. Visit the Open Doors webpage to sign up to receive more information about the Open Doors program and to view upcoming educational opportunities.

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