Martinsville, Virginia


Virginia Museum of Natural History renews long standing education programming partnership with Boxley Materials Company

By: Zachary Ryder, Virginia Museum of Natural History

June 20, 2023

Family Fun

The Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) and Boxley Materials Company (Boxley) have announced the renewal of a year-long partnership in support of the museum's wide-ranging educational programming initiatives. The $10,000 gift from Boxley to the VMNH Foundation will help the museum deliver and market a variety of STEM-based educational programs to be led by VMNH educators, scientists, and research staff, with the various programs to be delivered to schools, families, and general audiences throughout Virginia and beyond.

“Increasing access to STEM education throughout our communities is a key focus area for Boxley and our partnership with VMNH is a natural fit,” said Bo Farr, Vice President and Chair of the Boxley 360 Community Giving Committee. “Increasing participation in STEM programs helps address the workforce demand long-term and strengthens our communities by preparing workers to secure well-paying jobs in fast-growing STEM occupations, including those in the construction materials industry.”

The partnership is a continuation of a collaboration between VMNH and Boxley forged in 2019 designed to enhance the museum's educational programming efforts.

"Boxley's support of the museum's education initiatives over the years has played a significant role in helping the museum increase both the number of programs we are able to offer, as well as the diversity of audiences we reach," said VMNH Deputy Director Ryan Barber. "The renewal of this partnership will not only support the implementation of our educational programming, but it will also help us reach more audiences throughout Virginia and the surrounding region."

Specifically, the partnership supports the museum's standards-based school programming, as well as field trips to Boxley quarry sites located throughout Virginia, the museum's Homeschool Science & Engineering Academy, and VMNH Science Festivals.

VMNH standards-based school programs
Popular with schools throughout Virginia, the museum's standards-based school programming is offered in multiple formats and provides students with interactive lessons led by VMNH educators and scientists. Formats include:

  • At-the-Museum programs, in which school groups take part in educational programs within the museum’s exhibit galleries and classrooms.
  • Outreach programming, which allows museum educators to travel to off-site locations to provide standards of learning correlated programs to a variety of entities, such as schools and community centers.
  • Distance Learning Programming, which brings students to the museum without them ever having to leave their classroom. Through the use of two-way video, classes join museum educators to explore Virginia’s natural heritage and uncover its rich biological and geological history. Together, with the use of videoconferencing and interactive activities, museum educators spark imagination, enhance curricula, and support Virginia and national educational standards.

Boxley Quarry Field Trips
Through the partnership with Boxley Materials Company, VMNH educators and science staff partner with Boxley staff to deliver supplemental STEM-based lessons during selected school field trips to Boxley quarry sites.

Homeschool Science & Engineering Academy
The museum's Homeschool Science & Engineering Academy is a series of bi-monthly programs held from September through May that are designed to supplement students' learning and knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based topics.

VMNH Science Festivals
Favored by visitors of all ages, the museum's science festival series combines science education with immersive entertainment to provide audiences with one-of-a-kind experiences centered around popular science disciplines, such as paleontology, herpetology and entomology. 

"Demand for the museum's educational programming continues to increase and the programming we deliver continues to evolve as we constantly look for the best ways to engage with audiences," said VMNH Education Manager Christy Deatherage. "Partnerships like these are critical for success and we are grateful for Boxley's constant support of our efforts."

For more information about VMNH educational offerings, including how to request programming, visit