article written by Catherine Workman, Wellness Voyager
Museums are links to other worlds, to our pasts as well as the past civilizations that have been lost or built over. They are the keepers of history, of irreplaceable works of art and artifacts that have been dug out of sand and silt and ash. The artifacts, bones, and photos that decorate museum halls tell the stories of heroic moments in history, long extinct creatures, and unthinkable monsters.
Despite the growth of civilization and the rapid development of many areas, the truth remains that there are still many parts of the world that still haven’t been explored in depth, either because they are nearly impossible to get to or because they have been covered over with water or developments.
The Earth still holds her secrets, and there are some we may never discover answers to. However, museums offer the chance to learn about some of those mysteries through the artifacts they house, and can even provide the opportunity to learn about the human race via the past. That knowledge has proven invaluable over the years as we discover more and more about our ancestors.
When we think of museums, many times we think of exhibits that are not to be touched, kept safe from damaging fingers and flashbulbs so that future generations can enjoy them. But these days, many museums have found ways to incorporate technology into the visitor’s experience, and in some cases we may even be able to interact with the artifacts and their stories via smartphone. One of the greatest advances in technology is the ability to roam a museum from home using a computer or tablet, as many of them have upgraded their websites to include interactive maps and guided tours that can be viewed from any device.
Museums aren’t just for one type of person, or for people of a certain age; they are for everyone, no matter their background or heritage, and children can learn so much from what they have to offer. Whether they attend as part of a field trip with school or a visit with their parents, it’s imperative that every child has the opportunity to see for themselves what a museum can show them. Many establishments incorporate interactive exhibits just for children, which allows them to use all their senses while engaging in learning.
In any learning environment, when a child can take a hands-on approach, whether they’re learning how to create their own website in the classroom or learning about a notable figure like Winston Churchill via the exhibits at the National Churchill Museum, they are much more likely to retain the information and become excited about continuing their education in those subject areas.
Bottom line, museums are invaluable sources of hands-on learning, and we’d have a very bleak world without them.