The Michigan State University Museum is the science and culture museum at MSU and Michigan’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate. The main exhibition building features three floors with fifteen galleries and exhibit spaces for collections and research, new and recent acquisitions, MSU faculty work and experimental student projects, and periodic traveling exhibits on loan from other museums. The long-standing exhibits include Collections Connections, Habitat Hall, Hall of Animal Diversity, Fossil Hall, Heritage Hall, and Science On a Sphere.

Collections Connections

The Michigan State University Museum collects, preserves, studies and interprets cultural artifacts and natural science specimens. Collections Connections presents selected artifacts and specimens so visitors can gain a better understanding of what the MSU Museum collects, what those collections signify, how they are stored and preserved, and how they are used. Visitors can view examples from the collections displayed in "open storage" in museum-quality storage cabinets. IMLS, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning, provides funds for critical upgrades to the MSU Museum's collections to ensure their safekeeping.

Habitat Hall

The Habitat Hall features seven life-sized dioramas depicting the environments of North America including forests, grasslands, deserts, tropics and the tundra. Also featured are complete, articulated skeletons of two Jurassic dinosaurs, Allosaurus and Stegosaurus, as well as several smaller displays related to dinosaurs.

Hall of Animal Diversity

Through the display of animals organized by themes of adaptation, the exhibit shows the diversity in animals and different species, and how they have evolved adaptations to their habitats. Exhibit themes include backyard animals, island animals, camouflage, patterns, day and night behaviors, and adaptations over time.

Fossil Hall

The Fossil Evolution exhibit at the MSU Museum is constructed as a time line with exhibits of fossils arranged in chronological order from the Cambrian Period (about 540 million years ago) to the Pleistocene Epoch or "Ice Age" that ended about 10,000 years ago. The specimens and illustrations serve as tools to show the gradual changes that have occurred on our planet according to fossil records.

Heritage Hall

Michigan’s cultural heritage is featured with an authentic fur trader’s cabin, a nineteenth century print shop, and a turn-of-the-century general store. The exhibit presents the legacy of the Great Lakes region by displaying three buildings typically found in Michigan ranging from the late 1700’s to the early 1900’s. There is also an area devoted to tools used in the harvesting of lumber in Michigan with corresponding images and photographs, accompanied by a diorama.

Science On a Sphere

Imagine yourself in a darkened museum gallery. Gradually, four projectors illuminate a giant globe, seeming to float in front of you. You see a spectacular animation, showing geophysical, environmental, and cultural data projected on the globe. You watch our spinning planet - our tiny “blue marble" - from outer space. Then, the image instantly transforms into the rotating sphere of Mars, a history of cities on Earth, or even the interior of a biological cell. Experience Science On a Sphere for yourself!

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