Museum of Natural History invites kids for research vacation


Which is the biggest beetle in the world? And which is the strongest animal? Have dinosaurs lived in Bulgaria’s lands? Are there such animals, which even mom and dad have not heard about? The answers of these and many other questions kids will be able to get during the summer “Research Vacation at the Museum”. It will take place in an excessively attractive place for youngsters – the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia (NMNHS). It is the oldest museum in Bulgaria and recently turned 130.

There, in the realm of the thousands of stuffed animals like white bears and black panthers, jaguars, Ara parrots, beetles and butterflies from Lapland and the Himalayas, and even extinct animals like the Carolina parakeet, fossils and even a piece from the moon, young curious kids will learn about plants and animals from the stories of the scientists working there. The Museum Vacation is organized for kids aged 8-13, from June 3rd through the 28th, every week from Monday to Friday. They will have all-day classes on natural sciences, but the meetings with experts will alternate with related games. “Topics have been selected so that they would not sound too complicated for the children, yet capture their interest”, curator Vesselina Chirova explains.

“The subjects will be diverse. Some topics will be considered in two parts. There will be lectures on reptiles, Arachnida, on animals in cinema, as some of our scientists are also working in that field. Youngsters will also be able to meet live animals.”

In fact, research vacations at the museum have become a tradition now. The scientists have rich experience, which enables them to structure their lectures so that they can stir the imagination and provoke the curiosity of the young audience and drive them not only to ask questions, but to seek answers, to argue and feel themselves equal in the process of research. Children, with their unbiased minds, open to the world, want to know everything. However, they have their favorite topics.

“The ones they like best are related to animals in movies. They show also great interest in insects and reptiles”, Vesselina Chirova goes on to say. “This year we introduce two new plant subjects. Botanist Irina Gerassimova will talk about orchids. There will also be a lecture about trees and shrubs around us. We will take the children out and study some of the plant species in nature.”

Even after the first class children leave the museum charged with impressions and positive emotions, eager for the next day and the new stories about wild animals and curious plants, their parents explain. And who knows – for some of them these may be the first steps towards the choice of a profession?

English version: Iva Letnikova

Photos: NMNHS

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