The American Museum of Natural History in New York City offers a range of fun and educational online resources for curious minds of all ages. Head to the museum’s website for videos, games, virtual field trips and live online program series, such as The Scientist is In, SciCafe and Astronomy Online. These programs feature museum scientists and other experts across a broad range of scientific disciplines. Interested readers can visit amnh.org/explore, which serves as a hub for online programs and resources.
Among the most popular online programs is Astronomy Online, said Scott Rohan, manager of public relations. Astronomy Online offers free guided tours of the universe as livestream events every first Friday of the month on the museum’s YouTube channel.
OLogy, the museum’s award-winning science website for school-aged children, is another very popular online resource, Rohan said. Also available as an iPad app, OLogy offers fun activities and games. Each month, a new online Ology Challenge asks students to participate in an activity for the chance to be featured on the website. The current challenge is to “Draw the Invisible.” Students create side-by-side drawings of what a specimen looks like to the human eye and what it looks like using an imaging tool.
“Among many goals, the museum’s online resources are designed to nourish students’ curiosity about the natural world around them, help them explore the methods and practices of modern science, and introduce them to the museum’s research, collections, scientists, and exhibitions,” Rohan said.
One way the museum has adjusted its online strategy is by reinventing popular on-site program series as online offerings. These include programs like SciCafe, an informal evening of conversation about cutting-edge science topics with experts from the field. SciCafe takes place online on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. ET. Other in-person programs that are now online include the museum’s Science Sense Tours. This is a unique series designed for individuals who are blind or partially sighted and their families. And there’s the Discovery Squad Tours, virtual tours aimed at those on the autism spectrum.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has also created new online programming. For example, there is the The Scientist Is In. This family-friendly series that features scientists from various fields talking about what they study and the tools they use. During the program viewers can submit questions for scientists to answer live. The next program —The Scientist Is In: Green Thumb — is Thursday, March 11, at 2 p.m. Botanist Donald McClelland will explore some of the most intriguing plants that live in ecosystems around us.
The American Museum of Natural History also offers many online resources for educators. In spring 2020, the museum launched Virtual Field Trips. These trips are designed for schools, teachers and parents seeking standards-aligned experiences based on the museum’s halls to incorporate into their remote teaching plans for students in K–12. Online professional development for teachers is also available from the museum’s Seminars on Science program. Additionally, there are several museum courses on Coursera, in addition to remote learning resources by grade level on OLogy.