For many of us, the word museum conjures memories of boredom, silence, dusty stuffed animals and cob-web covered displays. But museums are changing! Yes, they still have static displays, although the museum we visited last week had no dust, no hand prints on glass and no cobwebs. It was immaculate, despite the hoard of school children swarming through the exhibits.
Apparently museums are cool now. How could I tell? Well, the children were enthusiastically and nosily discussing the things they could see and do. Museums are enhancing their collections by making them interactive. Did I mention it was free!
It’s not just a collection of animal specimens (although that’s interesting too), children can push buttons, look into a microscope to see micro-organisms and sort phasmid eggs according to species. What more could a kid ask for?
Our museum in Brisbane has some great wildlife-related exhibits including:
Marine Reptiles: When walking into this exhibit, you feel like you’re having an underwater experience. More than just marine reptiles, all the animals are to scale and they are above your head, making you feel like you’re walking on the sea floor. It’s perfect for discussing underwater environments, adaptations, predator-prey relationships and marine wildlife conservation.
Museum Zoo: Imagine seeing 700 wildlife species from a tiny spider through to a polar bear and dinosaur side-by-side. This display is a physical catalogue of preserved creatures from smallest to largest and all the animals in between. This display is a great launch pad for discussing biodiversity and adaptations. Hurry because it closes July 11th 2011.
Endangered Species: This is an exhibit displaying ways in which our wildlife species are declining. It discusses habitat destruction, introduced species and road kills. Parents should be aware that some displays may be a little distressing to young children but it can initiate valuable discussions on what we all can do to take action for wildlife.
Playasaurus Place: If, like me, you have a child who loves dinosaurs, this is the place to take them. Unfortunately the exhibit was under renovation during our visit and poor Snooky just wasn’t content with only seeing Dinosaur bones.
We won’t be limiting our museum experience to one visit alone, there’s so much to take in. If our Little Miss gets her way it will be as soon as possible!
Have you been to your local Museum lately?