Estonian Museum of Natural History opened a new interactive geological exhibition
18. March 2016
On 18th of March this year, Estonian Museum of Natural History opened a brand new exhibition hall. The new exhibition gives a broad overview of geology and mineral resources of Estonia, Estonian meteorite craters, geological history of the Earth, and many other interesting topics about geology. Many exhibits in the new hall can be touched, which makes the new room interesting also for visually impaired guests.
“In the broadest sense, the main goal of Estonian Museum of Natural History is to gather, study and share scientific information about Estonian nature,” says the curator of the exhibition Kairi Põldsaar. She continues: “Geology is one of the fundamentals of today’s ecosystems. Nevertheless, we have not had a geological exhibition in our museum for many years now,” and adds, “it was already about the latest time we opened the vastly interesting geology section in our building.”
Among many geological topics, the new geological exhibition gives visitors a general grasp of the formation of the territory of Estonia through the past six hundred million years. Main fossil groups along with typical rock types from different time periods in Estonian geological history are presented to see and touch, among them for example the tooth of a local mammoth. A separate section of the exhibition is dedicated to local mineral resources, real examples of which are presented for study and comparison.
Because the geology hall is small, the majority of detailed information is hidden into three interactive touch-screen computers. These are divided by main themes, into meteoritics, Estonian geology, and introduction to general geology, and contain lots and lots of interesting videos and picture materials for younger users as well. The smallest visitors will also find an interesting dinosaur cave in the exhibition room to climb into and play an interactive dinosaur game.
Some exhibits, such as the large geological wall-map of Estonia, are specially designed, considering the needs of visually impaired visitors. The different geological sections of the map are built using different materials and textures so that the contours of the map as well as the extent of each geological section on the map can be traced well even when eyes closed.
The exhibition suits well for individual visitors as well as for groups. Special programs are offered for school groups that complement the learning programs of general education system. Lectures on topics such as volcanoes, Earth interior, meteorites and formation of the solar system and many more are offered as guided tours in the room.
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