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Q?rius Volunteer Shares Her Passion for Anthropology and Biology

by Haley Bryant -- Apr 1, 2015
Photo of Haley Bryant

I am a Nashville native who moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue a master’s degree in anthropology and museum training. I also possess a B.S. in Biological...

Q?rius volunteer Haley Bryant points to some of the objects in the anthropology and archaeology section of the Margaret A. Cargill Collections Zone.
Q?rius volunteer Haley Bryant points to some of the objects in the anthropology and archaeology section of the Margaret A. Cargill Collections Zone.

As a recent transplant to Washington, D.C., a budding anthropologist, and a future museum professional, volunteering in Q?rius has been such a wonderful opportunity for many reasons. The people who gravitate to Q?rius (both volunteers and staff) are so intelligent, interesting, and supportive. From the high school volunteers on the Q?Crew to the retirees, everyone brings such a unique perspective and fascinating story to the group. Many individuals are retired scientists or teachers, or future geologists or marine biologists, with so much wisdom and humor to share. 

I moved to the district to begin a graduate program in anthropology and museum training at George Washington University, without knowing anyone or being familiar with the city. I knew I wanted to spend as much time in Smithsonian museums as possible and gain more museum education experience.

Every day I spend in Q?rius I get to interact with visitors of all ages, share my passions for anthropology and biology, and help visitors engage with fascinating science concepts in a way they can’t experience anywhere else. It is a very special experience to hold a Neanderthal skull in your hands, and even cooler to place it next to a replica Homo sapiens skull!

During every shift in Q?rius at least one visitor tells me how unique their experience has been and how incredible the space is. It is so rewarding to watch a visitor choose an object in the Margaret A. Cargill Collections Zone and learn something entirely new about it from their up-close-and-personal encounter! Natural history museums have historically taken a hands-off, categorical approach to education. Q?rius has broken down the walls between the objects and the visitors and allows for personalized, cross-disciplinary comparisons and a more flexible learning experience. Learning happens more readily when it's fun, and I find it so exciting that Q?rius has embraced that! 

Learn More: Volunteer Opportunities in Q?rius

Categories: Q?rius News