The Thomas D. Shaffner Exhibit Hall is organized around several broader themes.
Each of these themes is supported by several galleries that have distinct, individual focuses. The museum uses themes as a means to describe the educational concepts presented to visitors and thus, the themes are not in contiguous space within the exhibit hall. Each gallery consists of a group of exhibits that are organized around a particular focus.
The five educational themes are:
Learn more about Exhibit Hall Themes and Galleries.
We welcome you to visit us to enjoy the visual treasures throughout the exhibit hall.
The museum continuously improves the educational content of individual exhibits and less frequently entire galleries. The particular specimens on display change one at a time as new specimens are added to the collection or older ones are moved onto exhibit. The text content of exhibits change as new specimens are exhibited and through the process of continuous renewal. Many of these changes are practically invisible to a repeat visitor. More obvious changes are the creation of entirely new exhibits to replace existing exhibits. There are exhibits, such as new acquisitions, that change frequently.
Modern society depends on minerals and the products made from them. With the assistance of Chrysler, a new permanent exhibit was installed that educates visitors about the diversity of minerals used in the production of automobiles. The exhibit includes mineral specimens to augment text that illustrates the importance of minerals to anyone who drives a car!