Workings of Science: Interactive Natural History Museum Keystone Exhibit to Enhance the Public’s Understanding of the Processes of Science through Application of These …

September 1st, 1994 - August 31st, 1996 | PROJECT

The Milwaukee Public Museum will develop two test stations: A Wetland/Wood Station and a Mobile Testing Station that will be used to evaluation how hands-on activities that incorporate scientific tools and methods can be applied to supplement the educational experience of traditional natural history museum dioramas. As a result of the MPM's work, visitors will become engaged in a "field experience" by means of techniques to encourage observing, recording of data, and hypothesizing using tools that a scientists might use to study the natural environment such as a hand lens, radio telemetry receiver, scales, rulers, and/or calipers. Visitors will also have the opportunity to investigate further in the "lab". Here visitors will use such tools as a computer, microscope, measuring grid, and they will be encouraged to experiment, infer, predict, and classify. The intent is to have the visitor discover how scientific information is used to support decisions in every day life. The development of these stations will be accompanied by considerable formative and summative evaluation studies. The results will be disseminated in order that other natural history museums with dioramas may replicate these ideas in order that visitors might move beyond the primary "animal identification" phase in their examination and enjoyment of dioramas.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

William Hackbarth, Principal Investigator, Milwaukee Public Museum
W. Carl Taylor, Co-Principal Investigator, Milwaukee Public Museum
James Kelly, Co-Principal Investigator, Milwaukee Public Museum
Allen Young, Co-Principal Investigator, Milwaukee Public Museum
Mary Korenic, Co-Principal Investigator, Milwaukee Public Museum


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9355530
Funding Amount: 249954


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Geoscience and geography | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits