On 11th May, I ran a seminar for masters students on the ‘Art Galleries and Museum Studies’ course at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Museology. The seminar was part of the ‘Science, Nature, Museums’ course ran by Dr Sam Alberti, and focused on ‘Museums and Formal Science Learning’. In order to give the students a chance to find out more about what we do in the museum, and to experience how we make use of the galleries and objects for learning, I asked them to take part in one of the tasks that forms part of our ‘Bones and Skeletons’ session.
The group was given the following instructions:
“You have 10 minutes to start designing the skeleton of a superhero based on the skeletons on display in the Birds and Mammals galleries. You can mix and match any bits that you want, but you must make a note of the creature from which they came and the reasons (skills/superpowers) that you have chosen them”.
I also gave the students some background to session, explaining that during a session, this task follows on from a discussion about the functions of the human skeleton, and object-handling in which real bones from various animals are used to find out more about teeth and diet, the different uses of hands and feet, and the ways in which different skeletal features relate to different types of movement.
The students were fantastic and fully participated in the activity, creating some very imaginative (if not slightly scary) superhero skeletons. Even better, they let me keep hold of the pictures so that I could put them on the blog…