The San Diego Museum of Man was awarded a $2 million grant from theNational Science Foundation National Science Foundation to explore this question and present science-based, interactive, and entertaining answers. The resulting exhibit Footsteps Through Time: 4 Million Years of Human Evolution, with exciting related Public Education Programs, opened in February, 2002.

The 7,000-square-foot interactive exhibit takes visitors on a journey through time and reflects the major scientific strides made in unraveling the mysteries of our uniquely human characteristics including bipedalism, brain size, and symbolic language. As visitors, you can touch and compare fossil casts of primates and hominids; experience how Lucy, an australopithecine, used simple tools to catch termites; view a Neandertal burial; and walk through a Cro-Magnon cave decorated with astonishing cave art. Other topics such as time, genetics, geology, and the role of environment in evolution come to life through hands-on, inquiry-based discovery.

The goals of this education website mirror the larger goals of the entire Footsteps program:

· To show science as a powerful tool for understanding our past
· To encourage young people, especially girls, to consider a career in science
· To offer new ways for teachers to include the study of human biological evolution in science curricula.

San Diego Museum of ManThe website also serves as a resource for students and families locally and nationally by presenting the story of human biocultural evolution in an innovative, fun, and interactive way through stimulating visuals and downloadable and on-screen activities like games, crafts, and puzzles. Students can use this Website for research information and as a springboard for diving deeper into the subject by consulting a bulletin board of breakthrough finds in paleoanthropology and related fields.

Footsteps Story

 

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