Discovery Basecamp

children in discovery room

Carnegie Museum of Natural History is pleased to announce the opening of Discovery Basecamp. This new, 1,900-square-foot gallery devoted to hands-on, interactive learning for all ages features real and replica specimens, educational kits, and tools for observation.

In this space, visitors enjoy a chance to slow down, rest, look closely at natural objects, hone their observation skills, and interact with museum staff and one another. Discovery Basecamp is available during museum hours and access is included in regular museum admission.

Old Favorites and New Opportunities

The Discovery Room, formerly located in the museum's basement, and the temporary exhibition Exploration Basecamp have been combined into Discovery Basecamp, a permanent space for hands-on learning.

Museum educators, learning researchers, and the museum's visitor experience team have been working together to integrate activities from each area into Discovery Basecamp as well as developing new ones based on the latest in learning research. Highlights of Discovery Basecamp include:

  • The museum’s educational loan collection: Pull out a tackle box for an in-depth exploration of the world cultures or the natural world from otters to shells, pine trees to snakes.
  • Question cards: Don’t know where to start? Question cards include useful prompts to get you on your way to scientific investigation.
  • Skill-builder stations: Hone your observation and interpretation skills, and then accept the challenge to put your new skills to use in other exhibits in the museum.
  • “How a scientist sees it” cards: Pick a card and join a Carnegie scientist in identifying a plant or animal specimen.
  • Visualization stations: Explore a scientist’s toolbox of magnifying glasses and microscopes. Get an up-close look at animals in the wild on the video monitors.
  • New and changing experiences: Learn about seasonal changes, hear about hot topics such as climate change and biodiversity, or try out an experimental exhibit before other visitors. Discovery Basecamp will be the place to go to find out more about changes—both inside and outside the museum!

Live Animal Shows

Free with admission
Meet a brightly colored iguana, a tiny hedgehog, or one of the many other creatures that call Carnegie Museum of Natural History home at daily live animal shows. Gallery experience presenters in Discovery Basecamp introduce visitors to animals in our living collection and answer questions about their habitats, diets, and more.
Live Animal Show Schedule
Weekdays - 1:30 p.m.
Thursday evenings - 6:30 p.m.
Saturdays - 11:30 a.m.
Sundays -  2:30 p.m.