On April 8, the Museum of Natural History welcomed the Child and Family Research Center (CFRC) class of four-year-olds for an interactive tour of the exhibits as well as a look at the behind-the-scenes Museum operations. Tours like this are offered to groups of all ages by reservation and provide visitors an immersive, hands-on exploration of the natural world and the unique place that is northern Nevada. Earlier in the day, a class of fourth-graders toured the Museum.
Museum Education Coordinator Cynthia Scholl leads engaging, age-appropriate tours that include holding and examining real scientific specimens housed in the Museum's vast collections. Guests are also given the opportunity to meet the Museum's resident Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, the garter snakes, Rooibos and Matcha and the rubber boa, Goldie.
"Everyone is always excited by the bugs and skulls, the live snakes, all the real plant and animal specimens they get to see, touch and feel," Scholl said. "It's hands-on experiences like the ones we offer that really leave an impression, especially on children. I hope most of the kids today will remember how to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly because they saw the difference themselves."
CFRC is the University's on-site childcare program providing early childhood care and education to children aged 6 weeks to 6 years old. Lead teacher Kaitlin Cortes enjoys having resources like the Museum of Natural History on campus for her students to enjoy.
"One of the greatest things about the CFRC is that UNR is our home," Cortes said. "We are so happy to be enjoying the Museum again, and I love that these kids will grow up being comfortable on a college campus and experiencing science in such an engaging and meaningful way. We’re eager to continue our exploration of the museum and all the other resources we have access to as the youngest members of the Pack." Cortes was recently named an Early Educators of the Year by the Nevada Department of Education.
The Museum lobby is open for self-guided tours Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m and Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4 p.m. during the. Spring and Fall semesters. In-person guided tours, like the CFRC spring field trip, can be scheduled in advance year-round on the Museum's website.