Museum Curiosity Lab Information

Our Curiosity Labs create a space for students to discuss and investigate Nebraska history with curious minds, critical thinking, and empathy. Our goal is to provide a more student-centered, curiosity-based tour.

While diving deeply into a single topic, your students will work with their classmates and our Curiosity Guides to investigate primary and secondary sources to collaboratively build an answer to the Lab's central question. Our Curiosity Guides will help students engage with history through stories and opportunities to interact with real historical objects and photographs.

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First Nebraskans

Given background information and objects, photos and documents to investigate, students work in small groups to discuss what these primary sources and stories tell us about how native tribes such as the Lakota, Pawnee, Ponca, Omaha, and Winnebago have been and continue to be part of Nebraska over time. Historic “eyes-only” objects include a Lakota peace pipe, a Santee beaded bag, an essay written by a young girl at Pine Ridge Agency day school, and more!

Nebraska Pioneers

Given background information and primary sources to investigate, students work in small groups to discuss what the objects, documents, and photographs can tell us about how families made the move to Nebraska and the new life they made together. Historic eyes-only objects include a sod-busting plow, a Norwegian immigrant’s trunk, a sewing box full of an African-American family's keepsakes, a Czech immigrant’s bagpipe, and a homesteader’s letters to his family.



Lewis & Clark, the Oto-Missouri, and Omaha Frontiersmen

During Lewis and Clark's famous journey from 1804-1806, they met the Oto-Missouri tribe twice in what we now call Nebraska. What did the tribe make of these strangers and how might they have worked together? Touchable reproduction items such as explorer's tools, drawings, and written descriptions help students answer this important question about the interaction of different cultures.

Free Roam

After the tour, your students can go through the entirety of our Museum Gift Shop and purchase all the books, toys, and candy they want.

History Grab Bags

A condensed Museum Gift Shop experience. Rather than a free shopping time, students can purchase specific History Grab Bags that are already full of fun souvenirs.

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