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Inspiration and Cooperation

OHIO Museum Complex at the Smithsonian!

In May 2018, a team of 8 faculty members traveled from Ohio University to Washington DC to visit the Qrius learning laboratory in the The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center in the National Museum of Natural History. There we met with educational specialists, learning about programming and teaching resources for this specimen-based space. Our group toured the exhibition and learning lab, and talked with staff about visitor feedback in the iterative design processes, with strategies on how to make the most of interactive learning activities. We got a behind-the-scenes view of the auditorium hosting Science How webcasts, with tips on great topics for specimen-based outreach.

We also met with Curator of Dinosaurs, Dr. Matthew Carrano, to learn about progress on the Smithsonian’s new permanent exhibition, scheduled to open in 2019. The group discussed best practices in exhibition development and visitor engagement, with an expert’s eye to exhibit design/production. After a vibrant discussion, the team broke into smaller groups to tour key ongoing interdisciplinary exhibitions including “Objects of Wonder” and “Outbreak”, and the award winning photographs in the Windland Smith Rice gallery. On the same trip, Stevens also visited National Geographic Society’s headquarters in Washington DC to meet with educational staff and brainstorm exciting partnerships in education and outreach with the Society.

 

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OHIO Museum Complex at the Field Museum!

In January 2018, part of our team was able to travel to Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and visit John Sabraw’s exhibition at Thomas McCormick Gallery featuring his pioneering work with paint derived from acid mine drainage. We were joined by recent Ohio University alumnus, Dr. Eric Gorscak, a Research Scientist in the Integrative Research Center at the Field Museum of Natural History and featured expert on the Field Museum’s “Antarctic Dinosaurs” exhibition.

The team toured the Exhibitions Department and met with staff. Interactions centered around best practices in visitor engagement and exhibit design/production, with a focus on transdisciplinary connections that expand cross-college interactions around environment-art-health topics. After a vibrant discussion that included resources and planning for additional interactions, the group toured key ongoing interdisciplinary exhibitions including “Specimens” and “Mediterranean Cultures in Contact”, developing insights and perspectives on projects for the Lin Hall 210 gallery, recently renovated with funds from the Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery.

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