Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Museums' Open Day - 27/28th November 2009

Francis Ndiritu M.

The Earth Sciences Department of the NMK once again has emerged top by scientific and research ratings during the just concluded Museums' Open Day to the public. The occasion was organized on 27th and 28th November 2009 and graced by the Director General National Museums of Kenya among other dignitaries. The Museum Open Day (s) is a day or days set aside every year where by the public is invited to have a glimpse of the roles and functions of the museum in national building. During these two days, all the Departments show cased their prowess of which the Earth Sciences tied with the Center for Biodiversity as winners in the scientific potential rating. Of prehistory Concern was a very well rehearsed display organized by the Paleontology, Archaeology, Geology and Palynology sections of the NMK.

photos 1 and 2 represents some of the interactive parts provided by the Earth Sciences Dept. during the open Day. Grinding stone was and is a crucial tool if food processing and an important artifact in prehistory. In the second photo the public was given an opportunity to have a photo and compare themselves with their ancestors (Pic courtesy of Earth Sciences Dept, NMK)

The Departments tent was basically a crowd puller, from the well documented and simplified chronology of human origins story represented by skull replicas of different hominids preserved at the NMK. The paleontology Section show cased a fabulous presentation of hominid skulls that best explains the origins and evolution of mankind from the earliest known fossil to the modern man. This was to pin the anatomical changes that has occurred in man over time. This was compared with the simultaneous changes in food selection that man has used. The changes in feeding is a likely factor which shaped the evolution of humankind. Man started with law and unprocessed food and with time mastered the art of processing food.

The left photo shows the human origins table whereas the right one show the changes in diet and food processing that man has used with time (Pic courtesy of Earth Sciences Dept, NMK)

The Geology Section show cased some of the mineral resources the country has, their uses, locality and the future of geology as a discipline. The public got the opportunity to identify themselves with minerals that came from their localities. Meanwhile, the Palynology Section was warning the public on the effects of global warming using Mt. Kilimanjaro models to prove how the snow has been varnishing over time.

Dr. Idle Farah, Director of the NMK with other dignitaries visit
the Geology and Palynology Sections during the Museums' Open Day
(Pic courtesy of Earth Sciences Dept, NMK)

The Archaeology Section also killed it with a fascinating fine collection of prehistory artifacts. To bring a real taste of what these artifacts meant to the users, the section compared these artifacts with their modern counterparts tools. These included grinding tools, cutting, pressing, cooking, lighters, storing etc.

Miss Christine explains to the chief guests some important
points at the at the Archaeology table during the Museums' Open Day (Pic courtesy of Earth Sciences Dept, NMK)

The information desks was also present where by the Department had produced brochures, newsletters, T-shirts, books, mugs etc for giving out and selling to the public.

The information desk where books, newsletters, brochures, t-shirts, mugs, plates and other materials were placed for the public to pick and buy (Pic courtesy of Earth Sciences Dept, NMK)