Online Exhibits and Offerings
- Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments
- Earth forces are continually at work causing change. Climate, land, and living things are all connected. They interact with each other in complex ways. Even a small change can start a chain reaction that, over time, has big effects. Scientists study how Illinois' environment has evolved over the last 500 million years and how it continues to change even today. This online version of the Illinois State Museum's natural history hall explores the scientific evidence for environmental change in Illinois. This is available both as a flash-based interactive version, and also a non-flash version.
- Lewis and Clark in Illinois
- Learn about what Lewis and Clark did, whom they met, and what they saw in Illinois during the winter of 1804 when they were preparing for their epic journey to the West.
- Mazon Creek Fossils Web Exhibit
- This web exhibit features images of fossils of plants and animals from the Mazon Creek area of northern Illinois. These fossils formed inside concretions; some of them even show the soft tissues that usually do not become fossilized. From this fossil evidence, scientists have reconstructed ancient environments of Illinois.
- Midwestern U.S. 16,000 Years Ago Web Exhibit
- This Web exhibit features the extinct large mammals such as mammoths and mastodons, as well as smaller mammals that live here today. It explains the four possible reasons for extinction.
- MuseumLink Behind the Scenes at the Museum
- Behind the Scenes lets students learn about museum careers of curator, preparator, director, resesarch assistant, and other jobs involved with running a museum. It offers descriptions of the ISM collections and research programs in Botany, Zoology, Anthropology, Geology, and Art. There is sections on how to mount an exhibit, how to restore an object, how donations are handled, how exhibit murals are made, and how prehistoric environments and lifeways are reconstructed from evidence. Suggestions are given for students to create an exhibit and research objects.
- MuseumLink Forests of Illinois
- The Forests online exhibit includes information about prehistoric, historic, and contemporary forests of Illinois. The six types of forests are described and can be viewed in panoramas. The importance of fire, water, and conservation are emphasized. Lesson plans cover forest layers, pollen graph, leaf collection, dye plants, and forests as inspiration for art and literature. There is a field guide to native Illinois trees.
- MuseumLink Prairies in Illinois
- This exhibit traces the various types of Illinois prairie through time. Conservation and preservation are emphasized. Lesson plans for all grades include activities on surveying, plant adaptations, dye plants, poetry, and prairie restoration. There is a field guide of prairie flowers.
- Of Time and the River
- "Of Time and the River" is an educational Web site combining geology, archaeology, history, environmental science, and the changing ecology of the Illinois River to tell the story of this river during 12,000 years of human use. Our focus is a problem known as Non-point Source Pollution - pollution in the Illinois River from diffuse sources and not from a single point of origin nor introduced into the river from a specific source.
- Prairies in the Prairie State Web Exhibit
- This exhibit is a detailed look at Illinois prairie plants and animals. It focuses on Midewin Prairie, a restoration in progress on the property of the old Joliet arsenal. Insects, birds, and mammals are featured.
- State Symbols of Illinois Web Exhibit
- This exhibit features most of the official Illinois state symbols. Each symbol has a page of background. There is an interactive multiple choice game. There are also lesson plans for elementary students that help them become familiar with each symbol.
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