An interactive exhibition about animal skeletons: did the visitors learn any zoology?

June 1st, 2002 | RESEARCH

There are few studies concerning museum visitors' understanding of skeleton exhibits and whether such exhibits increase their understanding of the zoology displayed. An exhibition focused on the diversity of vertebrate skeletons and arranged according to the mode of locomotion was set up in Naturalis, the National Natural History Museum of The Netherlands, in Leiden. A prototype explaining the principal components of the skeleton was designed for each type of locomotion, for example, wrigglers, flyers, walkers, crawlers, swimmers. In addition, a panel provided in front of the exhibit case for each type of animal locomotion could be touched with an artificial bone at the appropriate place in order to activate miniature lights that corresponded with specific parts of the skeleton. At first visitors did not always understand the use of the artificial bone. However, many visitors, after reading the introductory text panels, knew what to do and used the exhibition in a very interactive way. Interviews and observations indicate that the exhibition did increase the zoo logical understanding of the visitors.


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Team Members

Sue Tunnicliffe, Author, Homerton College
Manon Laterveer-de Beer, Author, Naturalis


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 0021-9266

Publication: Journal of Biological Education
Volume: 36
Number: 3
Page(s): 130

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | General STEM | Life science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits