Since this is not a normal year, the world-famous museum has launched virtual field trips for online learning and family fun.
Tours can be customized for parents or teachers, and for different ages, to explore AMNH galleries, including the museum’s popular dinosaur exhibits, which include Titanosaur, the world’s largest dino.
Virtual Field Trips are based on virtual hall tours of galleries on Google Arts and Culture and allow students to locate, view, and explore specific exhibits, complete a core Student Investigation, and engage in extension activities like reading and writing tasks based on the exhibits explored.
Virtual Field Trips launches with two modules, one for grades 3-5, the other for grades 6-8, with more modules being added.
The first—a field trip to the Museum’s Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals—is designed for students in grades 3-5, who will be able to explore historic habitat dioramas to learn about animal adaptions to their environment.
The second offers middle school students in grades 6 through 8 a virtual visit to the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, and focuses on teaching how plate tectonics can explain Earth formations like ocean basins and continents. Explorations are aligned to Common Core, NY State Science Core Curriculum, and Next Generation Science Standards, and are customizable, allowing teachers to devote one class period to the trip or assign additional activities to extend it over two or more periods.
Virtual Field Trips are part of a comprehensive portfolio of education programming AMNH offers to support science learning and teaching, including Educator’s Guides for galleries and special exhibitions; OLogy, the Museum’s science website for kids; courses on Khan Academy, and quizzes on the educational platform Kahoot.
Last year approximately 400,000 school children with teachers and chaperones visited AMNH as part of a school or camp group.
The launch of Virtual Field Trips comes as New York City is working with private partners, libraries, and museums to create new resources and activities to keep students engaged during the rest of the academic school year and summer, since as teaching and learning has been so severely disrupted by school closures and stay-at-home rules.
Even though the museum itself is closed, there continues to be a wealth of educational resources online, with amnh.org/explore serving as a hub for regularly updated content. Among the offerings, the Museum is hosting weekly, live online programs on topics ranging from deep ocean biology to planetary science. In addition to opportunities to visit virtually through Google Arts and Culture, the Museum is sharing previously recorded guided tours of halls and collections weekly on Facebook. Audiences can also stay connected with the Museum on Instagram at @AMNH, on Twitter at @AMNH, on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhistory, and on Tumblr at amnhnyc.
Founded in 1869, it is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions.
The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including those in the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation.
The Museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 34 million specimens and artifacts, as well as on specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data and on one of the largest natural history libraries in the world.
Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and also to grant the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual visitation has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum’s exhibitions and Space Shows are seen by millions more in venues on six continents.
The Museum’s website, mobile apps, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) extend its scientific research and collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to additional audiences around the globe.
Visit amnh.org for more information.