ICYMI: The Art of Questioning for Deeper Understanding
In case you missed it -May 2023 Newsletter
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Museums as Storytellers
A tiny ant carried a leaf fragment along a path…in a museum. It wobbled every few steps but pressed on, undaunted by the leaf looming overhead. Nearby, in the butterfly vivarium, colorful butterflies swooped and circled plants. A circle of schoolchildren learned all about metamorphosis while observing pupae in various stages of transformation. Since when did a museum run headlong into words nearly impossible to spell…not to mention understand?
You might be asking yourself, “What’s a pupae?”
The answer to this and many, many other questions were on display in the new Richard Gilder Center of Science, Education, and Innovation, which opened this month at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. As part of my search for new formats for storytellers, I recently visited the Center and learned about how the museum uses its space to share its innovations around science storytelling., And, to explore questions such as “What’s a pupae?”
Until now, museums have told us how the world works by pinning thousands of butterflies to displays or perching jars of beetles on shelves. The new Gilder Center digs into complex ideas by exploring examples from nature that help answer questions about our world, not answers that pretend we already understand our world.