Middle and High School - Field Museum

One of the museum’s greatest strengths for older kids is showing science as it truly is better than any other museum I’ve been to: consistently presenting it, not as known facts to be memorized, but as theory that has been synthesized from observation. The Field Museum doesn’t just tell you the theory, it tells you why scientists believe that theory, and occasionally why they were wrong before. The young kid-oriented videos of Dinosaur Hall are a good example of this, with simple but fantastic videos discussing how theories about dinosaurs have changed over time and why. The exhibit What is an Animal? walks visitors through that question. It doesn't seem complicated at first, but thinking about all kinds of unique cases presented in the exhibit really help one understand how scientists draw the lines between animals and other types of living organisms.

Cultural exhibits are also great for middle and high school aged kids. Inside Ancient Egypt is great, with an Egyptian temple and artifacts. The Africa exhibit and Hall of China are also great for exploring past and present cultures, and sparking interest in distant parts of the world. And the Ancient Americas exhibit is quite good, as are the Pacific and Traveling the Pacific exhibits on the upper level.