Alexander Graham Bell museum in Brantford offering virtual workshops overseas

Alexander Graham Bell poses for a photograph in this undated image from the National Archives of Canada.

The Bell Homestead National Historic Site in Brantford has taken its education program overseas.

The museum, which highlights Alexander Graham Bell, is now offering virtual education programs to students around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"With class field trips coming to an end over a year ago, we had to adapt so that we could still offer those programs, even though students couldn't come to us," said the museum's curator, Brian Wood.

The historic site was contacted by a principal of a school in Oxford, England, who wanted her students to participate in a virtual lesson.

"We didn't realize we were their first international outing, but we really appreciated all the love and care they put into it," said Lizzy Nesbitt, principal of Emmanuel Christian School in Oxford.

Students aged six to 11 participated in the virtual workshop, learning about Alexander Graham Bell's life and his invention of the telephone.

"What was really special for the children was certain things that they have seen in books that Brian kept bringing out, and they kept pointing to the board and saying, 'we've seen that, that's the one on the board that we've got a picture of,'" Nesbitt explained.

She says she hopes to have another virtual workshop again in the future.

"One of the really positive things that have come out of the last year is some of the fences have gone down," Nesbitt explained.

Staff at the Bell Homestead National Historic Site say they'll welcome more international workshops.

"I'm kind of excited to keep doing them even when in person field trips come back," said Sarah Hamilton, education coordinator at the museum.