State Darwin Museum

Anna Kliukina

Director, State Darwin Museum

State Darwin Museum

State Darwin Museum Vavilova Street, 57 117292, Moscow Russia

www.darwinmuseum.ru

Moscow, Russia
Intermuseum 2016 festival Grand-prix / ICOM Russia Award

 

The Projects Of The State Darwin Museum

 

 

 

The State Darwin Museum is the largest in the world and the only museum of evolution in Russia. It was founded in 1907. Today the exposition occupies an area of about 5,000 square meters and there are about 60 temporary exhibitions in the museum each year.

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The State Darwin Museum has been awarded the Grand Prix for the second time (the first Grand Prix was won in 2007) because all four presented projects reached the final.

The exhibition project ld"Birds. Technology of perfectionrd" became a finalist in the category "The best project in presentation and interpretation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage".

The interactive exhibition ld"Birds. Technology of perfectionrd" was based on the museumrs"s ornithological collections and dedicated to the unique abilities of birds. The curator of the project is Natalia Mikhailova.

This project not only revealed the rich ornithological collection of the museum, but also involved visitors in the process of understanding the overall scientific picture of the world. The items from the partner museums exposed interdisciplinary logical connections between biology, technical science, art, and physics.

Scientists and leading experts became consultants of the project. They told visitors about their scientific pursuits throughout the exhibition. The partners were the State Moscow and Saint Petersburg Universities, Research Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The main objects of the exhibition were presented not only as living organisms, but also as unique "biomechanisms" determined by the laws of physics and affecting different spheres of human activity. The exhibition was based on the principles of universal design.

The multimedia dynamic models and interactive exhibits especially created for the exhibition gave a wonderful opportunity to conduct some experiments and carry out an extensive educational program including lectures, master classes, film screenings, and meetings with young naturalists, scientists, art historians.

This project was made possible due to the well-coordinated work of our partners: the Experimentanium Science Museum, the Museum of Humans, the Paleontological Institute, the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the Memorial Museum of Professor N.E. Zhukovsky, and the Central Air Force Museum.

The project ld"DNA-investigation" became a finalist in the category ld"The best project in museum educationrd".

The project established a modern laboratory for biochemical research and developed a course named "DNA- investigation". The author is A.S. Rubtsov. The project expanded forms of educational work with students in the museum. It made the application of modern DNA analysis available to everyone, for example, in the diagnosis of hereditary and infectious diseases.

The company ZAO "NPF DNA-Technology" provided some expensive equipment and methodical assistance for the lessons in the laboratory. The staff of the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics gave scientific advice on choosing the most relevant topics for studies. The school teachers developed optimal forms of studies .

During their independent work in the classroom students acquire skills of working with modern laboratory equipment. This contributes to the development of scientific thinking, creative skills and team spirit. The program includes three lessons teaching basic DNA analysis.

During the "Extract your DNA" classes students independently collect their own DNA from the saliva cells. The classes "What does a sausage hide?" help to find the DNA of soybeans and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in frankfurters and sausages.

The lesson ld"Are you a sprinter or a marathoner?" tells about the angiotensin gene of the converting enzyme which affects sporting achievements. The project broadens and deepens the knowledge of molecular biology.

"The world in hands" project is a model program for social and cultural rehabilitation and integration of deaf-blind into society. The project became a finalist in the category" The best project in the field of working with disabled and people with special needs".

A program of social and cultural rehabilitation for deaf-blind people in the process of studying nature was developed in the State Darwin Museum in Russia for the first time. The author is T.S. Kubasova.
The program was developed for the most demanding audience including visitors with no visual or hearing abilities and complications in communication. The partners were the Society of Deaf-Blind Social Support, Sergiev Possad Home for Blind and Deaf Children, Deaf-blind Charitable Foundation, ld"Reakomprd" Institution of Professional Rehabilitation and Training of the Society of the Blind, and with participation of the visually and hearing impaired since childhood, candidate of philosophical Sciences, President of The European Deafblind Union (EDbU) S.A. Sirotkin.

The specialists of the museum used collections and a methodical cabinet. The program helped to open the world for the people with complex sensory impairments, because it involved all human physical senses. This was not only an opportunity to expand the competence of the deaf-blind but also an attempt to work out a strategy for better communication.

/This program promotes the self-development and integration of deaf-blind people into society as well as improving their quality of life. It was highly appreciated by the participants (adults and children). The results of psychological testing confirmed positive dynamics in the level of self-esteem, communication skills and emotional-volitional sphere.
According to the results of the program a methodological guide was issued which presents the results of work with disabled people and recommendations. This document was sent to all Russian museums.

The program expanded cooperation with public organisations of the deaf-blind, blind and deaf. With their support the museum implemented a pilot project of artists with different sensitivity of vision and hearing "TRANSCRIPTION OF NOISE". It was created on the principles of universal design and was available for disabled people.

The project was supported by the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, the Deaf-blind Support Fund ld"So-edinenierd" (Connection) and was included into a special program of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. The Museum continues to work with the disabled people and keeps implementing new projects every year.

The project "Inhabitants of stone jungle" is devoted to solving the problem of stray animals in the city. It reached the finals in the category "The best project in social interaction".

The traveling exhibition "Inhabitants of stone jungle" and an extensive educational program were created in cooperation with many partners including la"Association la"Exhibition halls of Moscowra", Moscow Zoo, International charitable fund for animal support, a shelter for dogs, ld"Royal Caninrd" company, photo club "35"ra",, patriotic club ld"Edinstvord", Kuzminskiy forest park, ld"Purinard" company, cultural-educational centre ld"Arkherd", Lab Digest-theater, and citizens of Moscow.

The traveling exhibition began the discussion and search for a solution to the comfortable cohabitation of people and animals in the city. Educational activities helped to involve a wide audience of all ages. The modular design helped to transport the exhibition to different halls.

The exhibition program included a wide range of activities: meetings with veterinarians and dog trainers, charity events, lectures, creative competitions, festivals, press conferences, an environmental quest (over 100 events). 16 animals found a new home thanks to the photo exhibition "Itrs"s better at home!". Over 12 000 people actively participated in the project.