The KU Natural History Museum’s Mobile Museum program brings collection and hands-on activities to Kansas communities to explore biological diversity. The core of our mobile museum is 16 displays of specimens and casts with more than 90 species – and a really big pop-up tent!
Our mobile museum is currently used for two projects – one focused on microbial life, and one on paleontology.
Microbes on the Move
Microbes on the Move is an NSF EPSCoR-funded project that connects elementary-aged youth and their families with microbes through museum specimens, creating living microbial displays and exploring microbes in their local environment.
Visitors collect cultural fungi from the surrounding environment and create a display of living art, and build mini-microbial communities (known as Winogradsky columns) using local water and soil.
Exploration cards make connections between microbial life and more familiar organisms with fun action labels to learn about the major microbe groups (bacteria, archaea, algae, protists and fungi) by modeling an action related to the featured microbe such as 'Belch Like a Bison'. You can also explore our Virtual Microbes on the Move page (Adobe Spark). We also have Microbes on the Move accessible alternative text and image descriptions (pdf) available.
Pop Up Paleontology
Pop Up Paleontology is a donor-funded project with the mobile museum specimen displays which introduces families to fossils and the diversity of life over geologic time through specimens and hands-on activities. You can learn about it anytime with our Virtual Paleo Pop-Up Mobile Museum page (Adobe Spark). View 16 species displays, view illustrations, and try out fun action labels to explore how ancient organisms lived! We also have Paleo Pop Up Mobile Museum accessible alternative text and image descriptions (pdf) available.