Learning with Objects

Providing programs that complement and enhance classroom learning is one of the many important roles of the Museum. Last month, Dr. Michael Wiant presented a program on Native American life to more than 100 second-grade students in Chatham. The students had been studying how Native Americans survived in their environment. Dr. Wiant illustrated his presentation with animal skins, casts of tracks, artifacts, and a mastodon molar. The students sent Dr. Wiant thank you notes, which showed that in addition to enjoying the program, they were also paying close attention. We couldn’t resist sharing a few here.

Over 300 Go Behind-the-Scenes

Visitors from across central Illinois traveled to the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center (RCC) on East Ash Street for a rare experience. The Museum provided hour-long, behind-the-scenes tours of its second Springfield facility where the bulk of its 14-million object collection is stored. Curators provided insights into the breadth of the collection, how it is used for research and exhibition, and what it takes to care for these precious objects.

Volunteers from Springfield MakerSpace provided demonstrations of 3D scanning and printing, a technology that the Museum uses to document and share some of its collections. They also had hands-on activities for young visitors.

While the RCC is rarely open to the public, Illinois State Museum Society Members are treated to an annual open house at the facility as one of the benefits of membership.