Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Launches New Website for Students
The National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center has launched “Culture Quest,” a website designed specifically for students and educators. Developed by the museum’s education department in collaboration with New York-area public school teachersfor grades 4-8, this new website brings the museum’s collection into classrooms and encourages students and educators to connect and engage with the museum, whether or not they are able to visit on-site. Culture Quest is accessible on the museum’s website, and it is available free of charge on DVD to educators by request.
Culture Quest focuses on the permanent exhibition, “Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian,” on view at the Heye Center in New York City. The exhibition encompasses Native cultures, traditions and art through the display of some 700 works that span the western hemisphere from prehistory to the present day.
The website contains three interactive sections created for use by students and one section that provides additional background information for educators. It allows online visitors to explore, in greater depth, the aesthetic, cultural and historic importance of 25 of the more than 700 objects on permanent view. Culture Quest features an online gallery where students can explore impressive headdresses worn by Native people from different regions of North, Central and South America, learn more about important pieces in the museum’s collection and view art created by Native people today. Structured as an interactivegame, Culture Quest sends the player to 10 regions across the Western hemisphere. For every activity completed the player collects a badge. When all 10 badges are collected the player becomes aCulture Quest Leader.
Culture Quest is supported by education sponsors Valerie and Jack Rowe and the Rowe Family Foundation; The Nathan Cummings Foundation, with the support and encouragement of Andrew Lee, Ernest J. Tollerson and Hannah Cummings; the Smithsonian Youth Access Grants Program; and the Smithsonian School Programming Fund.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has two locations—the George Gustav Heye Center in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in New York City and on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum is free and open every day (closed Dec. 25) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays (in New York only) until 8 p.m. For information, visit www.americanindian.si.edu.
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