Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Edna Lawrence Nature Lab

This is the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design. Large cabinets line the walls.

You can open some of the cabinets and touch the collections.

My boy was thrilled to touch this dried puffer fish, and feel how prickly it was.

Our friend loves conch shells. He asked me to get him a conch shell for his birthday so that he can cut a hole in one end and make a horn to blow.

It is fun to get a close look at things you would never have a chance to get close to if they were alive.

You are allowed to draw the collections using dry media.

This student is modeling an armadillo out of clay.

This little girl visits the lab frequently, and while her mother draws, she explores. She showed the boys what was allowed, how to handle the corn snake, and where to wash your hands after touching the live reptiles.

Look at some of the amazing collections. Insects, shells, bird's eggs, pods, seeds, skeletons, stuffed animals, pressed plants and flowers.

These are models of human skeletons. The real bones are locked in a cabinet.

The lab has a Victorian feeling, with the dark old cabinets, untidy plants, and collections of curiosities.

There are some things which you can't touch. But just looking is fun, too. Here, the boys are looking for Pedro the fire-bellied toad in a terrarium.

You're not allowed to touch the objects which have fur or feathers, because they will start to fall apart. This is a coyote from our area.

This dissected turtle, showing all of the internal organs, was fascinating for my boy.
"It's not gross to me," he explained, "Because I'm a scientist."


Christie said...

That place looks amazing! It makes me want to research RI to see what else we could do there and how to make a trip out of it! Thanks for sharing.

softearthart said...

Wow, what a cool place, a treat for the adults, let alone children. cheers Marie

Lucy said...

That has got to be the most amazing place I have ever seen. I am now dreaming of a season ticket (and private jet!)

Beth said...

Lucy, it's free! Marie, it is a treat. I loved watching the children explore, but I would also like to explore myself one day, and do some drawing there. I think it will be a new favorite place. Scottchriscoricallicassi...I'm curious to know where you live! love, Beth

Hip Mountain Mama said...

What a neat place. My kids would love to visit a place like this!

softearthart said...

Hi Beth I live in New Zealand, Thanks for liking my "Spring" picture, cheers Marie

Jessica said...


I absolutely cannot get over this place! How amazing--you are all so fortunate to have experienced it!

Thank you for sharing!!


Little gamer said...

I've jusy read your post on Magic Onions and thought I'd pop by.
The nature lab looks and sounds like magical place.

Sarah said...

That looks like so much fun although as a museum person, I would wonder if the fur items are actually treated with arsenic--most of them were!

Kimberly N said...

Wow thanks for all the great pictures. I lived walking distance from there for 4 years and had no idea it was there!

jenn said...

Your son's comment is so true it's priceless.