Discovery Basecamp: New Hands-on Exploration Area at Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Discovery Room closed
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Carnegie Museum of Natural History is pleased to announce the opening of Discovery Basecamp on April 27, 2013. This new, 1,900-square-foot gallery devoted to hands-on, interactive learning for all ages features real and replica specimens, educational kits, and tools for observation. It is located on the second floor on the Lee B. Foster Overlook, above Dinosaurs in Their Time. In this space, visitors enjoy a chance to slow down, rest, look closely at natural objects, hone their observation skills, and interact with museum staff and one another. Discovery Basecamp is available during museum hours and access is included in regular museum admission. Discovery Basecamp is sponsored by Agora Cyber Charter School.
“We’re pleased to support Discovery Basecamp, an opportunity for visitors to observe the natural world like a scientist, carry out investigations, and discuss current science topics,” says Lucy Allison, Local Development Manager of Agora Cyber Charter School. “We know the value of hands-on experiences and the role that they play in learning. Plus, they’re fun!”
In preparation of Discovery Basecamp, the museum’s Discovery Room closed on April 1. Many of the activities previously in the Discovery Room will be incorporated into the new space.
Old Favorites and New Opportunities
Long-time and frequent museum visitors will be familiar with the Discovery Room, located in the basement, and the temporary Exploration Basecamp, currently on the first floor. Positive visitor feedback, strong attendance, and the length of time families with children are spending investigating in Exploration Basecamp have prompted the education and exhibitions staff to establish a permanent and prominent space for hands-on learning. The new space, Discovery Basecamp, pays tribute to these popular spaces with its name, but it is much more than relocating these two areas.
Museum educators, learning researchers, and the visitor experience team have been working together to integrate activities from each area into Discovery Basecamp, as well as developing new ones based on the latest in learning research. Highlights of Discovery Basecamp include:
- The museum’s educational loan collection: Pull out a tackle box for an in-depth exploration of the world cultures or the natural world from otters to shells, pine trees to snakes.
- Question cards: Don’t know where to start? Question cards include useful prompts to get you on your way to scientific investigation.
- Skill-builder stations: Hone your observation and interpretation skills, and then accept the challenge to put your new skills to use in other exhibits in the museum.
- “How a scientist sees it” cards: Pick a card and join a Carnegie scientist in identifying a plant or animal specimen.
- Visualization stations: Explore a scientist’s toolbox of magnifying glasses and microscopes. Get an up-close look at animals in the wild on the video monitors.
- New and changing experiences: Learn about seasonal changes, hear about hot topics such as climate change and biodiversity, or try out an experimental exhibit before other visitors. Discovery Basecamp will be the place to go to find out more about changes—both inside and outside the museum!
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website, www.carnegiemnh.org.