Teaching Through Collections


The Power of Museum Collections

Objects tell many stories. They are touchstones that bring memories and meanings to life, and forge connections between the present and past. Museums collect these objects, care for them, and use them to help people understand the world around them.


Objects can help bring history to life. Teaching with museum collections sparks curiosity and imagination, and encourages further exploration.


Explore objects from the Denali Museum Collections by theme:



Pair of homemade metal crampons.

How has mountaineering shaped the history of the Denali area? Why and how did mountain climbers' experiences change over the years? Explore objects related to mountaineering in the Denali region.


Color postcard of a train at McKinley Park Station.

How do people travel in and around the Denali region? Did transportation methods change over time? From dog sleds to airplanes, examine transportation-related objects from people who live in and visit the Denali area.


Antler projectile point on a gray background, with a centimeter ruler and color card for reference.

How did ancient humans live? What kind of tools did they use? Discover archaeological artifacts from the peoples who have lived in the Denali region over the past 13,000 years.

Explore activities connected to Denali Museum Collections:

PDFs meet accessibility standards. If you encounter any issues, please contact us at ua-museumlearn@alaska.edu.

Analyze an Object

Make an Impression Fossil

Sketch an Artifact

Plant Presses

Field Journals

Create a Crampon Model

Create a Museum Exhibit


About the Teaching Through Collections Project

The UA Museum of the North and Denali National Park and Preserve partnered to provide opportunities for educators and the community to connect with Denali museum collections.

Online Exhibit: This website presents photos and information about objects in the Denali Museum Collections, along with suggested activities for educators.

Teacher Workshop: In the spring of 2018, UAMN and Denali NP&P held two workshops for Denali-area educators, one at Tri-Valley School and another at the Alaska Association of Student Governments conference. The workshops focused on learning from objects, with examples drawn from Denali collections and featuring local culture, science, and history.

Outreach Event: In April 2019, UAMN and Denali NP&P held an outreach event at Tri-Valley School for area residents, featuring hands-on activities centered on Denali collections. Visitors saw objects from the Denali museum collections, explored fossils, made plant presses and field journals, and created mini museum exhibits.

Hands-on Kits: In the fall of 2019,  UAMN and Denali NP&P developed kits with activities and resources  focuses on Denali museum collections.  Kits were distributed to Tri-Valley, Cantwell, Anderson, and Talkeetna schools.

Learn More


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