The Journey Museum and Gardens

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The Journey Museum and Gardens

The Journey Museum and Gardens is a museum in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA with 7 acres (28,000 m 2) of gardens. It is set up as a journey through the history of the Black Hills, starting with the Native American creation stories, moving into the 2.5 billion years of history in the rock record with the geology exhibit, paleontology, archaeology, Native American inhabitants, and concluding with the pioneers that traveled west.

Exhibit galleries

Geology and paleontology
The Geology Gallery contains a wall that shows a 2.5 billion year rock record of the Black Hills area. The Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology provides artifacts and information for patrons to better understand the timeline. Along with the geology section is the paleontology section with fossils, much of which is on loan from the Black Hills Institute of Geological Resarch in Hill City, South Dakota. A model of an on-site dig with a tent provides patrons with a sense of field work, sometimes with an retired paleontologist working in it who can answer questions. A model of a T-Rex and a Stegosaurus accompanied by a roaring sound track are also included in the exhibit.

After the Geology and Paleontology exhibits is the Archaeology Gallery. This gallery is split into five sections, according to time period. It is divided into five sections listed in the chart below. The Archaeology Gallery contains artefacts and information from The South Dakota Archaeological Research Center.

Sioux Indian Museum
The Sioux Indian Museum, the next gallery after Archaeology, contains 5,500 pieces regulated by the United States Department of the Interior's Indian Arts and Crafts Board. Most of the collection is from the collection of a Native American arts collector who owned a trading post on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. This part of the collection was collected from the 1890s to the 1930s. The Sioux Indian Museum contains beaded items, ceremonial items, traditional Native American clothing, an exhibit of items made from animals, kids items (such as dolls and games), instruments, Native American saddles, and tipis. There is also a holographic Native American elder who tells three stories from local folklore.

The Minnilusa Pioneer Gallery is the final gallery in the timeline layout of the museum. This collection has a trapper's cabin, a board walk, saddles that you can try out, a hardware store modeled after the first major hardware store in South Dakota, and several story boards with information and artifacts about the pioneer days. It features famous local legends such as Jim Bridger, General Custer, Wild Bill Hickock, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Red Cloud. It also covers the interaction between Native Americans and early settlers during the period from the first encounters to the modern day reconciliation.

Adelstein Gallery
The Adelstein Gallery is a free gallery. Every few months the exhibit in the gallery changes. Sometimes the gallery will contain exhibits put up by outside entities, or contain an exhibit about relating to the current time of the year. The exhibit usually relates to the local area in some way or another. Common exhibit themes have been artwork or cowboy/rodeo items, but it ranges far beyond these. It is also commonly used as a facility that can be rented out.

Small exhibits
The Journey Museum has several side exhibits either inside or between the main galleries.

  • Star Room: A self-guided tour begins with a "Star Room" which represents the time between the forming of the universe and the forming of the rock record in the Black Hills.
  • Custer's Black Hills Expedition of 1874: This exhibit is located between the Sioux Indian Museum Gallery and the Pioneer Gallery. Photos and artifacts from the expedition such as a gun, eating utensils, a stirrup, a canteen and stopper, and a knife. This exhibit also features in a special way information and artifacts about the expedition's geologist, Newton Winchell, including his journal from the expedition.
  • Aviary Room: The aviary room is located off of the Hardware Store in the Pioneer gallery. It contains just over 9 dozen stuffed birds and 8 stuffed animals from the Black Hills area. These were collected by Henry Behren from 1888 to 1911 within 25 miles (40 km) of Rapid City.
  • Flood exhibit: The Flood Exhibit is located at the end of the Pioneer Gallery, just past the storyboards. The flood of June 9, 1972 was a key event in the history of Rapid City and the Black Hills, as it destroyed a large part of Rapid City and either killed, injured, or left homeless thousands of Rapid City residents. Created as a memorial for this event, this exhibit contains maps, pictures, survivor testimonies, news articles, and information about recovery operations for the flood on a touch screen display. It also has a short film that loops regularly that visitors can watch.
  • Black Hills Forests Then and Now: This exhibit is located at the end of the Pioneer gallery, right next to the flood exhibit. This exhibit covers the changes that have happened in the forests in the Black Hills over the past 11,000 years. It also talks about how we have used it as a natural resource during the past 500 years when humans occupied the area.

Activity tables
In addition to the drop-by activity table on Saturdays, there are regular activity tables in every gallery that families can stop by whenever the museum is open. These have coloring pages, books, and a few activities relating to the gallery it is in. Admission is the standard admission for the area of the museum where the table is.

Grounds and gardens
The museum is surrounded by several acres of western native gardens maintained by a variety volunteer gardeners from the area. The gardens are created with the intent to feature indigenous plant life from the local Black Hills area and other plants found natively in the Western Hemisphere. The large garden area is split up into several small gardens wrapping around the museum. Various gardens contain vegetables, flowers, and trees.

The Journey Museum holds several regularly scheduled events. Additionally, they also have many special events that they book through the year, like a sculpting class for children or a presentation on how to make gingerbread houses.

Family Fun Days
Every third Sunday of the month, the Education Department holds a two hour event from 2-4 pm about a particular topic for children in grades K-5 and their families. This event usually includes a movie about the topic, a presentation of some sort, and a craft. For example, in August 2008 they had the Dog Days of Summer, with a 23 minute film in the theater, a presentation with a search and rescue dog, and a craft making toilet paper roll puppies. Admission is $3 per person. Kids and their parents must each pay admission. The admission allows you to visit the main museum exhbits.

Something on Saturday
Every Saturday, the Journey Museum Teen Team runs an drop-by interactive activity table from 1-3 pm about a particular topic. The topics cover a very large range of fields and changes every week. The table usually has a book or two about the topic, coloring pages, some fun facts, a display of some sort, and a craft or activity to do. This takes place inside the regular museum galleries. Admission is free for children and standard museum admission for the adults that are accompanying them.

Museum Theater
Throughout the year, the Journey Museum Education Department puts on several plays in the Wells Fargo Theater. These are part of the Museum Theater Productions produced by the Journey Museum. Past plays have involved topics such as the Flood of 1972 and Pioneer Women.

As part of the mission to further natural history, several education programs operate through the museum.

Children's Library Lab
Located in the Archaeology portion of the museum, the Children's Library Lab opened on July 1, 2008. It is a center for classes and various drop-by activities throughout the week. The drop-by activities available include books, puzzles, videos, CDs, puppets, microscopes, and discovery boxes. Discovery boxes are small boxes with activities, information, and objects relating to a certain activity. These are made for certain age ranges from 3 years of age to 13 years of age. You can check these boxes out and take them with you into the rest of the museum. The Children's Library Lab also has over 200 new children's books to read.

Adult classes
The Journey Museum has a few teen and adult classes that they run throughout the year, such as classes on how to use your GPS , training (for volunteers) , and Lego Mindstorms NXT robotics classes and seminars. Here is an example of the structure of one of their classes as posted on their website:

Education materials
The Journey Museum has several different types of educational materials available. Primarily, the museum's education department offers children's books, DVDs, "Teacher Ambassador Trunks," and "Experience Science Kits."

  • Books and videos: The Journey Museum Education Department has over 200 books and dozens of movies, in both DVD and VHS format. These are available to rent for two weeks for three dollars each. The collection of books features a lot of scientific, cultural, and historical books. Many of the videos are about topics that were used for family fun days in the past.
  • Teacher Ambassador trunks: The museum has a group of teachers on staff that are current teachers at a school in the Rapid City area. This group is called the Teacher Ambassadors. The teacher ambassadors have created curriculum trunks with all the materials that a teacher would need for a unit on a particular topic. The cost is usually ten dollars, and teachers rent them for 2-4 weeks, depending on the particular trunk (Some take longer to go through with a class).
  • Experience Science: Experience Science is a series of elementary science modules designed to cover all of the major content areas in Life, Earth, and Physical Science. Each module includes a comprehensive teacher guide, hands-on activities, and print resources. These kits are created by Houghton Mifflin.

Dates Section 7500 BC Paleo-Indians 7500-1500 Plains Archaic 1500-900 Plains Woodland 900-250 Plains Village 250-50 BC "Historic" NXT Robotics Seminar Schedule Days Topics Day 1 Build Robotics, Computer Software Play, and Behaviors Day 2 Programming Basics, Zig-Zag Challenge, and Calibrating the Sensor Day 3 Going the Distance, Touch Sensor Basics, and Light Sensor Basics Day 4 Four Side Challenge, Intro to Loop, and Challenge Loop to Loop Day 5 Line Following, Challenge, and The Fork Be With You Day 6 Sound and Ultrasonic Sensors, Final Challenge, What's Up Dawg, and Graduation Modules available for each grade level Grade Life Science Earth Science Physical Science K-1 Alive Earth Magnets Matter and Heat Sound 1-2 Organisms Weather Air 2-3 Life Cycles Rocks,Soil, and Fossils Forces, Motion, and Machines 3-4 Aquarium Habitats Space Light Energy and Matter 4-5 Terrarium Habitats Rocks, Erosion, and Weathering Electricity Magnets and Electromagnetism 5-6 Classification Exploring Space Chemistry Human Body Weather and Water

Building Activity

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