Having started out with practically no specimens, the NMNS now has more than 700,000 pieces in our collection. There are great stories behind all the precious specimens that are in the storage or on display. Without an opportunity for visitors to explore the storage and appreciate all the exhibits, these stories might have been forgotten even before they could be told.
The establishment of the Naturalist Center provided the possibility for visitors to investigate the specimens, and these kinds of hands-on activities provide an alternative way to stimulate and motivate learning. Moreover, the experimental tools and result matching function of the librarian data searches provided by the Center, led the public to the field of scientific research. There is no better place than the Center for the public to check with the illustrated encyclopedias, make inquiries, and identify any unknown specimens they may have found in the wild.
There were over 1,500 new specimens purchased for science education in 2004, including vertebrate fossils in a standing position, specimens of skeletons, mollusks, all kinds of insects, microscopic slide specimens, special fossils from all around the world, various rocks obtained island-wide, musical instruments of ethnic minority groups, etc. In addition to guiding the visitors to conduct scientific explorations by themselves, the Center has already started to design educational activities centering on real specimens.
Our goal is to make a better utilization of museum collections and provide open-ended and challenging activities for visitors. By opening up this door in the Museum, the Naturalist Center shares the behind-the-scenes treasure with you and trust that you will notice and appreciate our hard work.