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A Powerful Influence on Children and Young Adults: Museums Shape Futures

If you ask a child if they want to visit a museum, you might be met with an incredulous look. Without having experienced the wonder of a museum, kids may be inclined to think that it would be a boring experience. After a great trip to any museum, though, kids are often inspired, excited, and passionate about a subject that they never knew they were interested in. That’s the power that museums hold to transform perspectives and shape futures.

Sparking Interest in Meaningful Life Pursuits

Museums offer many educational experiences and in-depth perspectives on niche topics or events. As visitors gain a deeper understanding of the events or conditions that led to the existence of museum artifacts, they also gain curiosity.

MuseumpicImage via Pixabay by NASA-Imagery

A visit to a museum can be the catalyst that creates a lifelong love of modern art or makes a student decide to pursue a career as scientist, historian, or another profession that will enable them to make a meaningful contribution in the area of their newfound passion. With more museums offering hands-on learning activities, students having opportunities to visit museums may be greatly impacted by their experiences.

Cultivating Appreciation for History and Culture

Museums depict cultures and historical events in a unique way that’s not typically achievable by other means. With many museums offering a specific focus, such as art, historic events or periods of significance (such as the Holocaust or the Civil War), and more, visitors are immersed in experiences not possible to achieve in the outside world.

For instance, visitors to the National Civil War Museum have the opportunity to see artifacts used during the Civil War, creating a sense of connection to these events that is typically not cultivated by simply reading about the events that took place. This experience often fosters greater appreciation for history, for other cultures, for art, or whatever the focal point of a particular museum.

Museums Promote Critical Thinking

Exploring a museum with a focus on aerospace, archaeology, or another in-depth subject can cultivate intrigue and lead children and young adults to start asking questions in order to understand how things work, how certain technologies were developed, and what may happen in the future. Having these kinds of experiences at a young age and being not only allowed but encouraged to ask questions and think critically about new topics of interest leads to children developing confidence to aid learning, curiosity to motivate, and inspiration to pursue the things that interest them.

Curiosity, of course, leads to exploration, and these activities ultimately result in the advancement of technology or science. When people start asking questions and thinking about the who, what, where, when, why, and how, inspiration may strike that will eventually transform processes or entire perspectives, cultivating discovery or innovation. Museums don’t just hold the power to shape individual futures, then, but entire societies, fields, and schools of thought.

Above all, museums showcase achievements throughout history and highlight the evolution of many facets of life, science, and technology. By impressing upon children the ability to innovate, museums open a whole world of possibilities for curious young minds.

Catherine Workman grew up in a small town where she yearned to stretch her wings. Now that she’s left the nest, she spends every available weekend exploring different cities across the country and someday, across the world. She started with her friends to share her travels and experiences and hopes to inspire others to embrace the hidden gems of the world.