Instead of a clown or an arcade
birthday party, why not entertain your kids with a dinosaur-themed
party featuring a replica of Sue's skull?
For a fee, the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex
jaws that greet visitors in the main hall at Chicago's Field Museum
can greet the kids at your child's birthday party. Pair it with a
Sue-themed experience box and your child will be the coolest kid in
school thanks to the Harris Educational Loan Program at the Field
In 1911, an endowment from Norman Wait
Harris, founder of Harris bank, allowed the museum to create a
lending library unlike any other. Custom-designed and
curator-approved exhibit cases were created for anyone to check out
from the Harris Loan Center.
Today, more than 800 exhibit cases,
small dioramas put together as early as the 1920s, display animals
and plants in their natural habitats. Information is included with
each diorama. Experience boxes, which number more than 70, focus on
three disciplines: culture, biology and earth sciences. Each box
contains a wide variety of materials ranging from specimens to
artifacts that assist in teaching a particular subject.
Audio and video materials, as well as
children's books, are available for checkout.
"These resources are great teaching
materials for homeschools, families and curious kids," says Mara
Cosillo-Starr, reserve center manager. "We have seen older adults
come to the museum and delight in seeing exhibits here that were on
loan to their classroom when they were kids. It's a powerful
Topics can be researched on the
center's Web site to help parents and teachers decide which items
would fit their needs.
Anyone can check out these items after
obtaining a Harris Loan Center membership. Teachers pay $30,
homeschool teachers and parents pay $60 and museum members pay $30.
School groups can register for various fees. Larger items may
require additional fees.
Contact the Harris Loan Center online
at fm1.fieldmuseum.org/helc or call (312) 665-7555. Visit 10 a.m.-5
p.m. Tuesday-Friday or 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays,
Mondays and holidays.
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