What does it mean to be human?

The Museum of Natural History is looking for volunteers to support the new Hall of Human Origins, which opens March 17, 2010. This permanent exhibition tells the epic story of human evolution and explores new answers to the question: What does it mean to be human? Volunteers will guide visitors to parts of the exhibition that match their interests and share insights about the exhibition, the museum and the museum’s Human Origins program. They will help visitors understand how humans evolved over millions of years in response to a changing world by answering questions, providing information and engaging visitors in the exhibition. 

Volunteering can be immensely rewarding. Among the benefits:
•  Expanding and enriching the understanding of human origins
•  Sharing a passion for science and learning with visitors to the museum
•  Becoming a member of a dedicated community of educators and scientists
•  Ongoing enrichment and professional development
•  Free parking and Imax tickets
•  20 percent discount at Smithsonian gift shops

Museum educators and scientists will provide a 10-session training program, beginning Jan. 9, 2010, to prepare new volunteers. To be eligible to volunteer, candidates must:
•  Be at least 18
•  Make a commitment of eight hours a month for at least one year; four-hour assignments are available on weekdays or weekends. The typical shift is one four-hour assignment every other week
•  Attend museum orientation and training sessions featuring lectures, workshops, lab activities, on-the-job experience, mentoring and independent study with museum educators and research scientists
•  Have good communication skills
•  Be willing to learn

To learn more, contact or complete a Volunteer Application Form online.

Posted: 22 December 2009
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The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.