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Students discover all of Canada’s nature under one roof at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Located in a “castle” in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, the museum’s five floors of galleries include dinosaurs, a blue whale skeleton, iconic Canadian mammals, minerals and gemstones, Canadian birds and live insects. 

The new Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, an Ontario Signature Experience, offers a unique window to the Arctic’s geography, climate, people and wildlife.

“Students will have a great time exploring the museum,” said Dana Murchison, head of programs. “There is something for everyone to discover — from dinosaurs, minerals and insects to 3D movies. And when they leave, some may even be inspired to think about their connections to the natural world and how to protect it.”

Fossil gallery Canadian Museum of Nature
Fossil Gallery, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario
Credit: Martin Lipman/Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is interactive and fun for students, said Lorna Sierolawski, group sales and marketing lead. She noted the museum was recently renovated, and the new galleries offer lots of visitor touch points. Students can have fun creating a volcano or earthquake, or they can play a number of other interactive games in the Earth Gallery. 

In the Arctic Gallery, students love Beyond Ice, a unique multimedia installation where they can touch panels of real ice.

A popular evening activity called Night at the Museum is run from April to June for student groups of 50 or more. This after-hours visit and taco buffet is a lot of fun for students and teachers, Sierolawski said.

Themed workshops include hands-on activities; they are targeted to a group’s specific grade level and tailored to curricula (Ontario and Quebec). Subject areas include living things, water, plants, rocks and minerals, the Arctic, habitats, anatomy, biodiversity and sustainability. Workshops are offered from October through June. 

Students of all ages also can enjoy guided tours or do-it-yourself tours of the museum’s world-class galleries. New this year, students can compare and contrast polar and grizzly bears in a guided Hands-On Polar Bear Tour.

“We hope students have fun visiting the museum, that they learn something new about the natural world and that they can’t wait to return,” Sierolawski said.

Group rates are offered for a minimum of 15 people, and there is one free admission for every 20 people. Group menus are available and free motorcoach parking is available adjacent to the museum. n

For more information on the Canadian Museum of Nature call 613-566-4235 or go to nature.ca.

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