Informal Education at the Museum of Man consists of activities, classes, tours and special events that are motivated by curiosity and exploration, recognizing that each visitor is in a unique, individual place in his or her knowledge about any particular subject.

As an anthropology museum with a mission to gain and disseminate knowledge of human bicultural development for a broad and diverse audience, exhibit subjects integrate science and the arts, crafts, cultures, languages, religions and histories of peoples past and present.

Within this magnificent environment that supports and seeks to nurture life-long learning for every visitor, the Museum of Man's permanent exhibits in both cultural and physical anthropology subjects serve the needs of social science and science teachers and their students. For example, as they work on State Standards about Ancient Civilizations in Grade Six, students can experience much about the Ancient Egyptians' view of life and death by viewing the Museum's collection of tomb art, mummy cases, and burial artifacts. In workshops and guided tours offered by staff and Docents, students can touch artifact reproductions, view x-rays of an Egyptian mummy, and learn about the scientific aspects of mummification. Before students delve into study of Egypt, however, they are expected to "describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind . . ." Hence, a visit to the Museum's Footsteps Through Time exhibit can serve as the foundation for an entire year's studies of Ancient Civilizations. Footsteps highlights scientific discoveries that shape our knowledge about human biological evolution, as well as introduces the subject of culture while exploring the question "What makes us human?"

Informal science education activities planned around the Footsteps Through Time exhibit have included two "Meet the Scientists" Nights. In February, Dr. Margaret Schoeninger, professor of anthropology from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), was our guest who met with a small but enthusiastic group of visitors. In September, more than 200 guests joined the up-close-and-personal fun. Dr. Donald Johanson was featured, along with Dr. James Moore, professor of anthropology from UCSD, Dr. Madeleine Hinkes, forensic anthropologist from Mesa College, Laura Meldrum from the Society of Women Engineers, staff curators of physical anthropology Rose Tyson and Tori Heflin, and staff anthropologist/educators Amy Whitman and Trisha Biers. Visitors were able to touch replica skulls, bones and tools, and learn lots with the one-on-one meetings with the scientists. TEST

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