ABOUT THE MUSEUM
To preserve and protect natural and cultural history, to stimulate its understanding, and to encourage responsible stewardship of all natural and cultural resources.
We Accomplish This Through
The preservation of artifacts and natural specimens
The presentation of exhibits and educational programming
Cooperative partnerships with arts and cultural organizations, community oriented entities, and academic institutions throughout the Brazos Valley.
About the Museum
The Brazos Valley Museum hosts tours, lectures and classes. Educational programs for children include Nature Camps (held every spring/winter break, and summer), Birthday Parties, and school field trips (or if your school is in the area, have us come visit you!). Discovery Kits are available to teachers, home schoolers, scouts and others for their own use.
Each year, the Museum reaches about 50,000 children and adults with stimulating science programs, exhibits, special events, and affiliated programs such as the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley, Center for the Study of the First Americans and the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collections. Our programs are available thanks to the support of many individuals, businesses, and other institutions.
The Museum strives to stimulate understanding of the dynamic relationships between the people and their natural environment and to encourage responsible stewardship of all natural resources. The focus of the Museum is science and natural and cultural history. Galleries include: fossil exhibits, sculptures, antique farming and survey equipment, a discovery room with more than fifteen varieties of live animals, dozens of taxidermy mounts, educational resources and several rotating exhibits. Through activities at the Museum and through outreach to schools and other community organizations, the Museum teaches respect and appreciation for the region's natural and cultural history.
History of the Museum
Junior Museum of Natural History
The Junior Museum of Natural History was founded by the American Association of University Women in 1961 for the express purpose of providing object and activity-oriented natural science education to young people. All efforts were volunteer and extensively involved the Department of Biology at Texas A&M University. Dr. C. C. Doak, Chair of that department was one of the founders and a primary source of specimens. From its beginnings, under the leadership of Dr. Doak, the Junior Museum of Natural History aggressively reached out into the Bryan schools. Its first home was, in fact, in the Brazos County Courthouse in Bryan.
Increase in Collections
In 1970, the collections increased several fold when the Texas A&M Museum Collections were orphaned. Important acquisitions included a collection of Pleistocene mammals, local archaeological material, and two historically important local botanical collections from 1883 and 1897.
In 1979, an opportunity arose to relocate at the Brazos Center, a multi-use facility owned and operated by Brazos County, and used by over 100,000 people per year. This location has provided increased exposure for the Museum.
With 40 acres of county-owned land adjacent to the Brazos Center, environmental programs and exhibits have also expanded to include the use of a creek, nature trail, and demonstration habitats.
Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History
In 1993, the name became the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History to clarify the Museum's role in the community and to focus collections, exhibits, and programs on the local area. In 1991, a new 9,400 square foot Museum was built next to the Brazos Center on land donated by the County.
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is staffed by paid professionals, interns, and volunteers. Programs are provided to area schools and preschools on a contract and non-contract basis. There are spring, summer, and fall nature camps, with special programs on- and off-site for adults as well as children. Educational exhibits are changed regularly.
Why a Museum?
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History fills an important role. We inspire young and old to enjoy the process of learning about our natural environment and our cultural history in an informal setting. We make learning about science and history a “real” experience, as visitors are able to see actual artifacts and natural history specimens that are otherwise not available. The Museum provides programs and exhibits that offer unique experiences and enriches the science and history curriculum of the traditional classroom. Our programs use activities designed to encourage critical thinking skills and to teach the basics of life and earth sciences.
As societies worldwide undergo rapid changes, including global climate change and the information technology explosion, museums preserve and protect our cultural and natural history for generations to come. Thousands of specimens in natural history museums are used every day for research and study to answer questions about climate, biodiversity, medicine, extinction, disease, and natural resources. Natural history museums contain the building blocks that help us to understand changes in Earth’s geology, climate, and life forms. Natural history museums inspire and teach millions of people every year through exhibits and programming.
The faster our societies change, the more important it becomes for our citizens to have access to lifelong learning. Museums not only actively preserve real artifacts and specimens, but also provide a center of learning that connects visitors with REAL stories about the world we live in.
Broaden YOUR horizons….visit a museum today!
Read more about Museums economic and social value
From the American Association of Museums: