Behind-The-Scenes At The Museum Of Nature

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Today I surprised my children with a special treat—I took them (along with my mom!)  on a private tour of the Canadian Museum of Nature's nerve centre—the museum's Research and Collections Facility building in Gatineau. We're members at all of Ottawa's great museums, and we very frequently visit the Museum of Nature, or, as my boys like to call it: the dinosaur museum.

My future scientist eight year old was in heaven today. He got to explore the huge facility, check out the research labs, meet a few scientists, palaeontologists, and curators. He walked around telling us what things were, more sure of himself than some of the folks working there! 

We saw where over 1 million plants of all kinds are stored, pressed, and preserved. We saw some awesome (and huge!) minerals, dinosaur bones, and fossils. We saw the research labs—and lots of people in white lab coats. We even checked out the the Large Skeleton Room where a massive wall of antlers, whale bones, and skeletons of all kinds were on display. It was pretty impressive!

The coolest part of our morning tour was watching a palaeontologist working on and preparing a dinosaur fossil for display. Encased in this fossil was an old newspaper clipping from 1913, which was in almost perfect condition. 

It was quite the experience, and my boys loved the special treatment and the private tour. My son is already signed up to be a museum volunteer when he's in high school!

If a special "behind-the-scenes" tour of the Museum of Nature's Research and Collections Facility is something you and your family want to check out, too, you can! There is a open house for everyone taking place on October 19th from 10-4

Cameras are allowed, and you can go at your own pace on the self-guided tour. 

Some highlights:

- See how dinosaur fossils are prepared for study and display
- Meet an Arctic plant researcher, explore an Arctic field camp, and learn about lichens
- Check out the wall of antlers, whale bones, and skeletons of all kinds
- See mammal specimens collected during the 1913-1918 Canadian Arctic Expedition
- Discovery how new discoveries are made in the DNA lab, X-ray lab, and Heavy Wet lab.

It's a perfect way to spend a couple of hours this weekend—fun, and educational for the entire family. It was so cool getting a closer look and meeting some of the people who help make one of the city's best museums as great as it is!

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Brenda A. said...

We were so disappointed to be busy that day. We all would have loved the behind the scene tour. Me, especially, as I am nosy! We hope to go next year.