The Louvre. The Smithsonian. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. If only we could travel the world, taking in all of the history and art these top-notch museums have to offer.
Of course, for the vast majority of us, spending our lives traveling the world just won’t happen, at least not frequently. However, thanks to the world-wide web, you now have the ability to experience some of the world’s finest without leaving your home.
VIRTUAL MUSEUMS – ALL THE RAGE
The caretakers of the most valuable artifacts in all of history have embraced the future and are making their collections available to you in the form of a virtual museum. A virtual museum is a digital entity that draws on the characteristics of a museum, in order to complement, enhance, or…blah, blah, blah. Let me make it simple for you. Virtual museums are pretty much one of the coolest features of the internet today! Hundreds of museums have created these free online resources featuring a 360-degree view of an entire museums, allowing students to navigate the entire building and explore every special exhibit – all without the hassle of crowds! Some of our favorites include:
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Virtual Tour
- Google Art Project
- Vatican Museums (including a tour of the Sistine Chapel!)
HOW CAN I ENJOY A VIRTUAL MUSEUM?
Here are a few ideas to get the adventures started (PJs are optional):
Play “Eye Spy” With Your Friends: You can create your own image scavenger hunt for your fellow adventurers. First, explore the museum to find your favorite objects in the exhibits. Then, take a screenshot of your choice by clicking command + shift + 4 on a Mac, or by using the Snipping Tool on a PC. Next, trade images with a friend, and see who can find their partner’s pictures first!
Design Your Own Exhibit: What would you display if you were in charge of curating a museum? Think of a theme or concept, then sketch out what your exhibit would look like (for a starting point, click on the 2nd floor to study the shape of the Special Exhibit Gallery). Need some curating ideas? Click on the ground floor of the museum to access a list of fascinating past exhibits including Western Cultures, Soil, and Orchids.
Get Into Character: In Night at the Museum, Ben Stiller watches the exhibits in a natural history museum come to life at night. As you explore, pick a character or object that you would like to see come to life. How do you think your character would behave? Would they speak, and what type of personality would they have? Write a short story about your character and what kinds of adventures they would encounter in the museum.
What other games would you like to play in an empty museum? Let us know all about your virtual museum adventures on Facebook, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.