Museum of the Great Plains

The Museum of the Great Plains (MGP) is a regional history museum located in Lawton, Oklahoma. The Science Museum of Minnesota worked with staff at MGP to revitalize 17,000 square feet of exhibits as the new Donald W. Reynolds Great Plains Discovery Center. The Science Museum created interactive activities and role-playing experiences to provide MGP’s primary audience, families with grade school children, with a visitor-friendly museum that brings history to life.

Image © duggar11 via Flickr

BACK TO PROJECT HISTORY

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Assemble a pot
Assemble a pot
Sometimes, if there are enough fragments from the same pot, archaeologists can reconstruct it. Can you put this one back together?

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Cattle drive campsite
Cattle drive campsite
Learn the rules for etiquette around the chuck wagon. Grab some grub before you unroll your bedroll.

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Design a wind turbine
Design a wind turbine
See how much electricity you can generate by designing a wind turbine. Try several different variations.

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Design your own cattle brand
Design your own cattle brand
Make sure you can tell your cattle from other people’s. Design your own cattle brand and make sure it’s one-of-a-kind. Take it home, or leave it for others to see.

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Dig Site
Dig Site
A mammoth was killed on this dig site 11,000 years ago. Grab some tools and start digging. Take a map so you know where to dig and can identify what you find.

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Floor Map
Floor Map
Explore this big floor map of the Great Plains. Use one of the magnifiers to get an even better view.

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Hide scaping
Hide scaping
It took a lot of work to turn a buffalo hide into clothing. Using this tool made from elk’s horn, see how difficult it would be to scrape a bison hide.

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Prairie grass roots
Prairie grass roots
As much as 60-80% of prairie plants are underground. Scroll up to see how you measure up to the roots of this switchgrass.

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People of the Plains
People of the Plains
It takes all kinds. Read more about these prominent “People of the Plains.”

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Rope a calf
Rope a calf
Rope a calf. It’s harder than you’d expect.

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Saddle shop
Saddle shop
In this recreation of Lawton legend Howard Council’s Saddle Shop, learn the steps to making a saddle, listen to Howard tell stories, and decorate your own leather medallion.

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Take-apart Buffalo
Take-apart Buffalo
Native Americans used almost every part of the buffalo. Find out how each piece was used with the “Take-apart Buffalo.”

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Tell your own story on a hide
Tell your own story on a hide
Many Plains natives told stories and shared information by painting pictures on animal hides. Use the suggested images to tell your own story, or make some up yourself. You can take your story home, or leave it up for everyone to see.

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Tipi
Tipi
Tipis like this one were home to nomadic people who lived on the Southern Plains. A tipi could be set up in 20 minutes and taken down in even less time. Use the “snoop tags” to explore what it was like to live in a tipi.

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Terrible Tuesday Tornado Theater
Terrible Tuesday Tornado Theater
Feel what it would be like to shelter in a storm cellar while overhead a tornado rages. In this recreation of April 10, 1979, or "Terrible Tuesday", survivors of that storm recall the day with a mixture of fear, gratitude, and grief.

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Twisted drive belt
Twisted drive belt
Some drive belts on farm machinery are twisted. Why is that? Try it and find out.
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