If we look closely, rocks tell us the story of their formation. So, grab your notebook and set out on a mini field trip to find out more about how the formation of a rock reflects its physical properties, and what properties architects look for in a building stone.

About the Session 

From an enormous protein structure to plaster casts of chicken heads, students will see models spanning different scientific fields, dating from the 18th century to the 20th. They will learn about the importance of models in scientific investigations and discoveries throughout Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They will analyse the representation of concepts including electricity and genetic inheritance, have an in-depth look at the history of molecular models, and operate a mechanical model of the solar system.

We offer facilitated workshops and self-led visits. There is no charge for our school sessions, but we welcome donations to support the Museum learning programme (recommended donation of £2 per child). Get in touch with the Museum Education Coordinator to discus your visit museumeducation@esc.cam.ac.uk

Museum Trails

If you are visiting the Museum with young children, why not download our Rainbow of Colour trail to print out and bring with you? It will keep the children entertained as they look for all the colourful specimens in the Museum, and they can even use it in the garden or any outdoor space too.

 

The following taught session is offered for KS5 students:

Anthropology, Archaeology and Identity (90 minutes)

This discussion based session examines the relationship between museums and people, as well as current issues with collection, curation and repatriation. Students will learn how the collections come to the Museum and how we navigate the ethics of display and access.

A museum teacher leads the first 45 minutes of the session. Students then independently investigate the galleries and conduct their own object research.

Museum of Me (60 minutes)

What is the role of museums in society? How should museums use objects to represent other cultures? How can objects help construct and display identity? These are some of the questions that frame this cross-cultural gallery-taught session, which combines critical thinking, self-reflection, discussion, looking and object handling activities.

Museum of Me (60 minutes)

What is the role of museums in society? How should museums use objects to represent other cultures? How do objects help construct and display identity? These are some of the questions that frame this cross-cultural gallery-taught session, which combines critical thinking, self-reflection, discussion, looking and object handling activities.

Extreme Environments (90 minutes)

How have people adapted to extreme environments such as deserts, jungles or polar regions? How do these environments impact their way of life and culture? These are some of the questions students will think about as they look at and handle objects from around the world.

Rituals and Beliefs focuses on the scene from a plaster cast taken of a stone lintel from the doorway of a temple in the city of Yaxchilan, now in modern day Mexico, and dating from 709AD.

The images depict a blood-letting ritual being performed by Lady K'ab'al Xook and her husnabd King Shield Jaguar. Lady K'ab'al Xook can be seen pulling a rope of thorns through her tongue in order to collect blood in a bowl filled with bark paper. Both figures are wearing jade and obsidian jewellery and dressed in resplendent costumes made fo fur and elaborate fabrics. 

Asteriornis maastrichtensis, affectionately known as the Wonderchicken, is among the most exciting bird fossils ever found. It has one of the best-preserved fossil bird skulls in the world, and gives us important insights into the evolutionary origins of modern birds.

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