The COVID-19 pandemic has necessarily prevented students from visiting physical destinations like museums and having the enhanced learning experiences that these field trips provide. Fortunately, there are still opportunities to gain enriching experiences from ‘virtual’ travel. Many museums feature world-class websites with online tours that students can attend right from their classroom or home if they’re learning remotely. The following ten museums feature collections that will not only inspire students but are conveniently accessible online.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History features multiple virtual tours, including narrated tours and online visits to some of the museum’s most popular exhibits. What’s great about this museum is that there are so many meaningful exhibits for students to enjoy, no matter their grade level. Students will enjoy these online tours, including the Hall of Fossils, Insect Zoo, Seamonsters Unearthed, and Objects of Wonder exhibits.
As one of the oldest art museums in the U.S., the Art Institute of Chicago features exceptional permanent and temporary exhibits. More than a million people have visited the institute (pre-COVID) to witness its celebrated attractions like Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks.” Along with online tours, the Art Institute of Chicago provides art activities to do at home and creative lesson plans for teachers.
The Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia, is one of the most illustrious museums on the planet. Its collection includes over 60,000 works of art by many of the world’s greatest artists, such as Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and da Vinci. The online tour is extensive, which makes this online visit suitable for older students. Or, teachers may want to confine their visit to just one of the tour’s galleries.
Located in London, the British Museum is one of the most renowned museums in the world. Its collections hold more than eight million objects from all over the globe, from nearly every epoch of human existence. When visiting the museum online, students can witness virtually some of the most incredible artifacts ever discovered, such as the Rosetta Stone, the Standard of Ur, and Elgin Marbles. Of course, teachers can really impress students by encouraging them to visit the museum’s Harry Potter exhibit!
The Virginia Air & Space Center is the official visitor center for NASA. As such, it’s a venue that brims with wow factor. The center displays exhibits that chronicle more than 100 years of flight and incredible space flight artifacts. One of the center’s most famous holdings is its Apollo 12 Command Module. For science and technology students, this center is a definite must-visit attraction. Pair your online visit with specific class lessons about the history of flight or the first space explorations.
As one of the most renowned museums in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has invested considerably in its online platforms, making it easy for people to enjoy its collections from virtually anywhere. Students can explore the Met’s outstanding collections of paintings, fashions, musical instruments, and more. Teachers should check out its “MetKids” online platform to find out more about its online features. The Met’s holdings are substantial. Consequently, teachers can pair a virtual visit to this venue with a wide range of curriculum subject matter.
Home to the “Mona Lisa,” the Louvre is filled with world treasures. As it’s located in Paris, it’s not easily accessible at any time unless you happen to be traveling to France. The Louvre features online tours and collections that virtual visitors can explore. From Egyptian antiquities to Renaissance art, the collections span centuries. Be sure to encourage students to check out Hammurabi’s Code and the Lamassu.
Students don’t need to know Chinese to enjoy a virtual visit to the National Museum of China. The Museum’s information is also presented in English. Students can visit it virtually to learn about China’s vast history, its emperors, its incredible cultural achievements, and everyday life for the Chinese throughout the centuries. Teachers can find many ways to relate artifacts in the collections with topics that students are currently studying.
Located in Florence, Italy, the Museo Galileo features a highly notable online platform where students can learn about one of history’s most celebrated scientists and astronomers. The museum features exhibits devoted to Galileo showcasing over 5,000 ancient scientific artifacts and instruments, including Galileo’s telescope. This museum visit is perfect for complementing studies in astronomy, science, and history.
Anne Frank, one of the best-known young writers of the last century, is also tragically known for her death at the hands of the Nazis. The Anne Frank Museum pays homage to this young girl, her family, and all the victims of the Holocaust. The museum offers a virtual tour as well as many online resources for anyone interested in learning more about this tragic period in time.
Your students will be blown away by the online exhibits. When your class can’t visit in person, visiting online from the comfort of home is the next best thing.