The Hefner Zoology Museum
Located in the campus of Miami University, Oxford, OH, the Hefner Zoology Museum invites teachers and kids to discover and explore the exciting world of science. Dedicated to promoting conservation and ecology the Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History features exhibits and collections that encourage appreciation for animal biodiversity, nature and the human place in it.
After an extensive renovation in 2001, the Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History welcomes its visitors with a number of rare artifacts of the earlier era. Here you will find antique display cases, wooden furniture and historic interiors that make visitors feel as if they stepped back into the past. But despite the all-time feel of the museum the experience it offers is rather modern, with exhibits offering interesting collections, beautiful photographs and graphics, as well as children's literature.
The artifacts represented in the exhibitions along with the dedicated staff of the museum will help the students develop their scientific interests and engage them in learning. Through a series of scientifically oriented questions the professional staff arouses the curiosity of the students guiding them to the well-supported answers based on evidence showcased in the museum.
The museum offers a variety of educational programs designed to complement the school curriculum for PreK-12 grades. All the programs and projects in which the students can participate are absolutely FREE. The PreK-12 teachers can decide when they would like to add such extracurricular activities as visiting the museum to their class work and even make changes in the educational programs to meet the teaching needs.
Due to the highly professional staff the Hefner Zoology Museum can organize some specially adjusted courses with meaningful activities taught by specialists with advanced degrees in science and designed to meet the specific teaching goals.
Up to 100 visitors can attend the museum grounds at a single day, divided in small groups engaged in multiple activities that typically last from 35 to 40 minutes, such as outdoor exploration (if the weather is fine), classroom work or individual research in the museum's Imaginariums.
Outdoor activities include a stroll in the local Bishop Woods, studying ponds and streams or identifying the birds in the area.
In the recently renovated classrooms students of any age can learn about birds and mammal, bees and other animals living in the area, their habitat, food and homes. For younger learners there are Imaginariums where kids can participate in special programs that allow them to see, touch and role-play the animals they study.
Older kids will enjoy “Discovery Trunks”, hands-on learning projects featuring various artefacts specific to each particular task, complete with guidelines for teachers.
A treasure among small museums, the Robert A. Hefner Museum of Natural History caters to the interests of a wide spectrum of audiences, including Miami University students and its faculty, teachers, preK-12 students and their parents as well as the general public. The museum is also engaged in numerous research and educational projects carried out by non-Miami scholars.