Each museum offers excellent opportunities for students and teachers to be educated on the history and culture of our world. The two museums that I feel offer the most resources are the Matheson Museum and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The Matheson Museum offers an interactive tour to a variety of groups such as girl scouts, grade school classes and historic clubs. Leading the tour is Sharon Faris. Faris dresses in full costume as Augusta Steele Matheson and takes the groups through a full tour of historic sites. During the tour the groups visit the exhibit hall, library, country store display, through Streetwater Park, the Matheson Home, and the Tison Tool Museum. Along with guiding the children through these historic sites the museum provides an activities book called "Travel in Time with the Matheson Museum." They also direct a scavenger hunt to help the visitors locate all the sites on the tour. This museum is an excellent resource for those interested in the preservation and renovation of Alachua County.
The Florida Museum of Natural History is also located in Gainesville, Florida and offers an immense amount of history about the developments of Florida. The museum has many displays depicting the different environments and landscapes our state has. They have a walk through cave and indian huts that provide exceptional learning tools for children and young adults. The cave mimics the limestone style found in Florida's panhandle and discusses its many forms of traveling water. Also built in the museum is a boardwalk through a mangrove forest, where estuaries and wildlife are discussed. Another exhibit is the Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land site. The fossil collection is from over the past 65 million years and is rated in the top ten in the U.S. of museum exhibits. Not only do they provide re-created exhibits but also videos, interactive computers and microscopes are all available to the public.
These museums are an excellent way to educate all ages about the history of the land and life of Florida.
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