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Museum of Natural History

Posted by on January 29, 2012

Field Trip: Museum of Natural History
Location: 1400 Constitution Avenue NE
Washington D.C., 20002
Contact: 202-633-1000
Grades: Pre-School and up


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About the Museum:

Check the Natural History museum’s website for current exhibits, in addition to the following permanent ones.

Visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Educator’s Resource page for a large number of lesson plans and online activities for before, during, and after your trip to the museum.

Discover Stations are mobile carts positioned in selected exhibits, where groups of eight to twelve students come face-to-face with object-based, problem-solving opportunities and experiences. Museum educators and volunteers use objects from the Museum’s collections to introduce simple observational skills and interpretive techniques to help students draw conclusions. Activities focus on nearby exhibits and take about five minutes to complete. Discover Station programs do not require reservations.

African Voices:
Examines the diversity, dynamism, and global influence of Africa’s peoples and cultures over time in the realms of family, work, community, and the natural environment.

Dinosaurs – Hall of Paleobiology:
How did life and all its wondrous forms come about? The story begins almost 3.5 billion years ago and unfolds in this exhibit. Exhibit includes Dinosaurs, Life in the Ancient Seas, Fossil Mammals and Fossil Plants. Visitors can also watch museum paleontologists and trained volunteers extract fossils from rock and construct fossil casts and molds at the Fossil Lab.

Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals:
Highlights of this collection include the Hope Diamond, the National Gem Collection, the Mine and Rocks Galleries, the Plate Tectonics Gallery and the Moon, Meteorites and the Solar System Gallery.

Hall of Human Origins:
Visitors travel back through time through a time tunnel depicting life and environmental change over the past 6 million years. Explore actual archaeological field sites at interactive snapshots in time, examine over 75 cast reproductions of real skulls from around the world, engage with an interactive family tree showcasing 6 million years of evolutionary evidence from around the world, and address pressing questions and issues surrounding climate change and humans’ impact on the Earth.

O. Orkin Insect Zoo:
Visitors can observe live insects and other arthropods at the O. Orkin Insect Zoo. Volunteers conduct tarantula feeding demonstrations, work with live insects, and answer questions about the many-legged creatures that live in the Insect Zoo.

Sant Ocean Portal:
The museum’s largest exhibit, provides visitors with a unique and breathtaking introduction to the majesty of the ocean. The hall’s combination of 674 marine specimens and models, high-definition video, and the newest technology allows visitors to explore the ocean’s past, present, and future – including a precise replica of a 45-foot-long North Atlantic Right Whale, named Phoenix, who has been tracked by scientists since her birth in 1987, and a giant squid – so rarely seen that a living squid was not caught on camera until 2004.

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One Response to Museum of Natural History

  1. Libbie

    The Museum of Natural History is a fantastic place to go for a field trip, but make sure you plan to spend lots of time there! There is so much to see and experience.

    Several things have been made available for homeschoolers. One is the Forensic Anthropology Lab that meets once a month for lessons and a lab. It’s perfect for multi-age groups as well. Our experience at the Forensic Lab was great!

    Online you can also find lesson plans, and helpful resources for you and your children while preparing for a field trip, or for use at home.

    Overall, a visit to the Museum of Natural History is well worth the trip. I highly recommend it!

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