Education Collections houses around 37,000 objects, making this one of the smaller collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. However, while we might be smaller, we have one very unique attribute -- you get to touch our objects and specimens. Ever touched a Great Blue Heron? A 120 million year old Triceratops horn? Well, here you can. The Museum believes in the power of the real, the power of the authentic object so we have made a commitment to you, our audience, that upon visiting the museum, or participating in a museum program you will get to touch and explore for yourself authentic museum objects. What do you have to do to get to do this? How do you get your hands on this awesome resource? Come to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and sign up for one of our programs.
Upon entering the Museum, you will find with what we call Touch Carts scattered throughout the Museum - each and every Touch Cart has specimens from Education Collections on it. These are facilitated by Museum Volunteers how will be able to tell you all about what is on the cart, answer any questions you may have about what is on the cart and point you to related areas within the Museum. In 2010, 676,757 Museum visitors touched and interacted with our specimens on Touch Carts!
In addition, our On-Site and Off-Site Programs use Education Collections objects and specimens to teach classes on certain subjects. Either, here at the Museum, or off-site at your school, we send collections every where we can. Our expert teaching staff develop unique, informal science education programs that incorporate Education Collections at the very foundation of their programming. In 2010, 123,622 children and chaperones used Education Collections in classes to explore the natural world!
We also bring out objects and specimens for special events like all the events for the Snowmastodon Project, programs called Scientists In Action broadcast to schools around the country allowing the students real time interaction with a scientist in the field, often thousands of Miles away. Many times local schools will visit the museum for these broadcasts and Education Collections are brought out for those as well. For new members to the museum, New Members Night, is a great way to see behind the scenes of the Education Collections. Likewise for Educators, our Educator's Night is a great way to meet the collections staff and learn about unique resources we are proud to offer our local community of educators.
Finally, the most dynamic of our responsibilities that is ALWAYS changing is preparing Touch Carts for our Temporary Exhibits. We work closely with our exhibit and Visitor Programs staff to develop and insert unique Touch Carts into every Temporary Exhibit. These Touch Carts are themed toward one component or story of the exhibit and incorporate a huge hands-on experience into their teaching point.
These are all ways that YOU can get to touch, interact and explore collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. So, stop by today or signup for one of our programs and check it out and get your Hands on Science!