The Field Museum is home to 30 million specimens and artifacts, which are cared for and used in research by hundreds of Museum scientists who work behind the scenes. This fall, The Field will open the Grainger Science Hub: a new space that will give visitors a chance to meet these scientists face-to-face and learn more about their work.
This permanent learning space will open to the public on November 18, 2016. It will feature rotating displays highlighting the Museum’s latest scientific research and will be staffed with educators and scientists daily from 10am to 3pm.
“The Grainger Science Hub will bring together exhibitions and facilitated learning experiences in a dedicated space,” says Project Manager Tom Skwerski. “Visitors will engage with Field Museum staff and examine collections up close.” The new space will also feature multi-media pieces offering a glimpse into the Museum’s collections.
The first two exhibitions in the space will focus on the Museum’s DNA research and a recently acquired geological specimen containing some of the oldest minerals on the planet. The DNA exhibit will feature specimens from the Museum’s collection, including a shark fin and an eyeless fish, that illustrate recent DNA discoveries. Meanwhile, visitors will get to learn what geologists are discovering about the Jack Hills Conglomerate, a rock from Western Australia that contains zircon crystals that are over 4 billion years old. Displays will change on a regular basis.
The Grainger Science Hub is part of a generous grant from The Grainger Foundation to extend The Field Museum’s mission of scientific exploration and learning. This grant enables the Museum to continually invest in the latest research technologies and learning programs to push the boundaries of science and public engagement. “Hands-on experiences and real-life conversations foster memorable connections,” says Aimee Davis, the Museum’s Volunteer and Public Learning Experiences Administrator. “We are excited for visitors to meet our scientists and discover the stories our collections and research can tell.”
The Grainger Foundation, an independent private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, provides substantive support to a broad range of organizations including educational, medical, cultural, and human services institutions. The Grainger Foundation was established in 1949 by William Wallace Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc., North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products (MRO), with operations also in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The Grainger Foundation and The Field Museum share a common vision of inspiring scientific curiosity in individuals of all ages, now and for many decades to come.