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The Discovery Room

The Discovery Room is a hands-on, interactive space where children ages 3-12 and their accompanying caregivers learn about the world around them through inquiry based exploration and discovery. Almost everything within the Discovery Room is meant for visitors to touch, hold, play with and use. Children are encouraged to learn about natural history and science through reconstructing an archosaur skeleton, wearing masks from cultures across the world & time, holding a hissing cockroach, tracking animals and more!

The Discovery Room is divided into eight areas: paleontology, anthropology, invertebrate zoology, field biology, geology, astronomy, central microscope and the free play areas. The space includes a continuously growing range of real specimens, replicas, models, interactives and activities that offer open opportunities to learn about nature, life and the universe and to playfully explore the scientific method.

The Discovery Room is also the subject for school group visits through custom education materials developed by Museum at Prairiefire scientists.

Want to see a sneak peak of the Discovery Room before your visit? Access our 360º Virtual Tour of the room to see how the six scientific sections are presented in a hands-on interactive environment.

Paleontology

Come see prehistoric creatures come to life in the Discovery Room’s Paleontology zone. Reconstruct the skeleton of a 14 foot-long Prestosuchus, excavate fossils like real paleontologists and learn about ancient life on earth!

 

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Paleontology in the Discovery Room at the Museum at Prairiefire
Anthropology

See hominid history mapped out before your eyes! Learn about different cultures from across the globe through objects and artifacts!

 

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Invertebrates

Have you ever wondered how a bee sees flowers, where a scorpion lives or about the anatomy of a Praying Mantis? Come discover all of this and more in the Invertebrate Zoology Zone!

 

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Invertebrates in the Discovery Room at the Museum at Prairiefire
Field Biology

Biology is all around us. Complete a scavenger hunt of animals that live in our sycamore trees, find out where a corn snake sleeps and step outside to see these interactions in real life in our wetlands.

 

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Geology

Rocks make up the earth, and there are so many different types! Some glow under black lights, some are beautiful colors, and some you can even see through! Come learn about volcanoes, earthquakes and more in the Geology Zone!

 

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Geology in the Discovery Room at the Museum at Prairiefire
Astronomy

Have you ever wondered what the solar system looks like in motion? Ever wanted to fly over the surface of Mars? Astronomy is the study of space and all that is in it. Come create your own constellation and even smell the moon!

 

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Central Microscope

Everyday objects look completely different up close! Discover what makes Velcro stick together, the difference between salt and sugar and what a butterfly wing looks like magnified bigger than its actual size!

 

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Central Microscope in the Discovery Room at the Museum at Prairiefire

Areas to Explore

Paleontology

  • Put together a life size prestosuchus puzzle
  • Examine an exact replica of the skull of a camarasaurus
  • Excavate in a dig pit where you can be the paleontologist
  • Discover a puzzle reconstructing a dinosaur’s foot
  • Explore replicas of the hips of different animals

Anthropology

  • Try on masks from around the world
  • Have a tea party using tea sets from different cultures
  • Hold a Neolithic tool from 10,000 B.C.
  • Meet our Hominid Ancestors face to face
  • Play board games from ancient civilizations

Invertebrate Zoology

  • Discover how a bee sees in UV light
  • Find out what a tarantula eats
  • Learn about how corals are built
  • Put together the different parts of a praying mantis’s body

Field Biology

  • Examine animals that live in and depend on sycamore trees
  • Learn how a corn snake sheds its skin
  • Discover how bearded dragons stay warm
  • Observe the differences of butterflies from around the world

Geology

  • Discover what the inside of a geode looks like
  • Learn the anatomy of a volcano
  • See rocks from all corners of the earth
  • View earthquakes that are happening right now

Astronomy

  • Learn about constellations, the stories behind them and create your own
  • Fly over the surface of Mars
  • Smell the moon
  • Discover what the solar system looks like in motion

Central Microscope

  • See the difference between salt and sugar
  • Find out what makes Velcro stick together
  • Discover hidden details of a penny
  • Observe color changes of a butterfly wing
  • View preserved insects in amber

Free Play

  • Build your own designs with soft blocks
  • Construct natural scenes with wooden blocks
  • Hug the Moon, Mars and the Earth
View our Discovery Room Guide Download >

Plan For Your Visit

The Discovery Room will be open Monday through Saturday from 10:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:15 to 5:00 p.m. The Discovery Room is now open until 7:00 pm on Wednesdays for the Museum’s extended hours. The Discovery Room will run in 45 minute sessions. These will start 15 minutes after the hour every hour, starting at 10:15 am. The last session will begin at 4:15 pm.

 

After you purchase a ticket at the front desk, you may come to the Discovery Room at the beginning of a session. Each session will be limited to 80 visitors at a time. At the end of each Discovery Room session, visitors will be asked to clear the room so that the staff can clean up and reset the area.

We do ask that visitors be respectful of our objects, handle them carefully and put things back where they are taken from. Most of all, we ask that you have fun and come in to the Discovery Room ready to learn!

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Book a Field Trip

There are a variety of options for School Groups at the Museum. The Discovery Room, designed for ages 3-12, offers budding scientists a place to investigate the natural world around us. Journey through the Great Hall’s Science Theater, Paleontology Gallery, ALIVE augmented reality experience, and Picturing Science. Our current exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History is The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, which comes with a guided tour by MAP experts. Use our education materials for cross-curricular investigation of these colossal creatures that once roamed the planet for over 140 million years.

To book a Field Trip, Teachers can contact Tim Shaban at 913.333.3551  | kathryn@museumatpf.org. Learn More