The Grable Foundation awarded Carnegie Museum of Natural History a $100,000 grant that will help the museum develop educational programming about the Anthropocene.
The Anthropocene is the concept that human activity has had such a profound and pervasive impact on the planet that its effects will be present in the fossil record millions of years from now, thus warranting a dedicated geological era. The Anthropocene will be a major theme going forward at the museum, which is strategically positioning itself to address modern global issues.
“This generous grant helps us build an important educational piece of our Anthropocene programming,” said Dr. Eric Dorfman, the Daniel G. and Carole L. Kamin Director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “We are engaging our core audiences in an important, timely topic that is a natural fit for the museum’s mission.”
The grant will allow the museum to create programming and a local network of educators as part of a project that will span three years.
Using funds from the grant, the museum will work to convene a network of schools and informal learning and community-based organizations to examine the concept of the Anthropocene. After establishing the network, the museum will work collaboratively with its partners to develop informal learning resources that address common priorities for child and family engagement.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History will use these co-designed resources to provide professional development for school teachers, community organization representatives, and museum educators around Anthropocene concepts.
“Working with a network of educators will allow us to mold the museum’s expertise into the best possible programming,” said Laurie Giarratani, director of education at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “The Grable Foundation’s grant will help us achieve key initiatives that will elevate our content.”
Over the course of the project, these activities will structure an iterative design process for resource development, ensuring that connections are made across classrooms and informal learning environments and that museum programs are responsive to community needs.
In October, the museum will launch an entire exhibition around the Anthropocene entitled We Are Nature. The exhibition will utilize pieces of the museum’s collection to analyze and discuss humanity’s impact on the environment.
All four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh explored the concept of the Anthropocene this year when they collaborated on the first iteration of Carnegie Nexus—an initiative that taps the intellectual assets of the museums as they collaborate to present insightful, multi-disciplinary programming on ideas that impact us all.
The Grable Foundation strives to help children and youth become independent, caring, contributing members of society by supporting programs critical to a child’s successful development in southwestern Pennsylvania.