Faculty and Students

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Let Us Help You to Enhance Your Curriculum

Our permanent collection of 22,000 objects can offer unique hands-on opportunities for just about any learning objective. Rooted in a mission to promote a deeper appreciation for human diversity, the collection’s greatest strength is in its ability to tell stories about everyday life across the world and through time. 

Museum Collections as Primary Research Materials

Object-based learning exercises coordinated by museum staff and faculty can get students out of the classroom and utilizing the museum collections as primary sources for a variety of research topics. Here are some ways faculty members are teaching with objects:

  • Explaining the production and use of stone tool technology with the Museum’s extensive archaeological collection
  • Making connections between clothing and cultural identity by examining the museum’s Latin American and Southeast Asian textile collection.
  • Exploring the past and present of Native American culture through the museum’s collection of Southwest and Plains baskets and pottery

Interpretation Lessons

Students will step into the role of a curator with our customizable interpretation lessons. This program encourages students to use critical thinking about cultural representation in museums and learn how museums write labels for objects using concise, descriptive language.

Please contact the Museum’s curator, Laura McDowell Hopper at lmcdowellhopper@niu.edu or 815-753-2011 to discuss how the collections can support your course goals.