6 Ways to Learn About History

6 Ways to Learn About History
The African Elephant in the Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, Photo Credit: Tinnaporn Sathapornnanont / Shutterstock.com

No, this does not involve getting out of the house at all

OT Staff
June 23 , 2020
03 Min Read

If your fascination with history and natural resources knows no bounds, and if you often find yourself thinking about the Earth’s ever-changing physical, biological, and cultural diversity, you should check out the Smithsonian National Museum of National History. It has a treasure of nearly 155 million objects, works of art and specimens, out of which nearly 146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History. The museum, in the wake of the pandemic, might not have opened its doors to the public, but has major resources online to satiate your inner inquisitiveness. Here are 6 ways in which you can get your hands on these irreplaceable records, without getting out of your house:

Digital Collections

Did you know that museum released images of 2.8 million artefacts and specimens in the public domain recently? All of these images can be downloaded and remixed to help you learn more about the natural world, without actually being out in the company of nature. Going one step more, the museum also has a collection of objects available in 3D.

Online Series

If watching a docs-series is your idea of a perfect night, then get your eyes on screen for Dr. Hans Sues talking about paleontology. The topics on this Youtube series range from cats to government conspiracies. A renewed season of the series will feature geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell. 

Virtual Tours
All of the museum’s permanent, temporary and past exhibitions can be delved into with the help of a virtual tour. You might want to check out "Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World," showcasing how epidemics spread across the world. The Museum Support Center tour will give you a sneak peek into what’s behind the scenes. The museum’s collection has whale bones, antlers, gorilla brains, bats etc on display. 

Underwater Charm
A Whale model at the Ocean Hall of the museum
If marine biodiversity has always garnered your attention, Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal is where you should dive in. Ranging from the anatomy of a penguin to shark conservation to topics like climate change and hurricanes, they’ve got it all covered. 

Step-Back in History
Human evolution has been a gradual process and a pretty fascinating one too. If you’ve ever wondered how our tail-bones disappeared, the museum’s Human Origins website is a great resource centre. It includes 3D artefacts, videos and research from scientists. 

Learn from the Scientists
Learning from a distance was a concept preferred by few. But this year has changed many perceptions, including that of distance learning. Get your hands on some of the best videos of scientists bringing their classrooms to your living room. Or head to the Learning Lab and explore natural history online, using collections items, videos, podcasts and text.

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