Hands On Nature

An adult and child explore the Royal Ontario Museum's Hands On Nature travelling exhibit

Discover biodiversity!

Preserving the diversity of life on earth is not only beneficial but essential to humanity. Learn about the different subject areas of biodiversity, for example the broad perspective of habitats, the relationships between species within food webs, and the gene pools of particular species.

Habitat destruction is the most serious threat to biodiversity, but there are others as well. Particular problems in this era of globalization are the trade in endangered species and the introduction of non-native species, which can have devastating consequences. Fortunately there are people and organizations that strive to preserve or restore native habitats and species, and Hands On Nature encourages participation in these efforts.

This exhibition is accompanied by a school case, which includes everything from skulls to spiders, and introduces the topics of biodiversity, classification, adaptation and species at risk. Active learning through observation and experimentation stimulates visitors to become more aware of their natural surroundings. Containing activity centres, specimens, colour photo-cards, and teachers’ notes, the school case is designed to put learning directly into the hands of your visitors!

Topics covered:

  • Diversity of Life
  • Biomes of Canada
  • Species Interaction
  • Invaders
  • Endangered Species
  • Conservation

Curriculum relevant for:

Grade Curriculum Relevance



Grade 1

Life Systems: Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
Earth and Space Systems:Daily and Seasonal Cycles

Grade 2

Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Animals
Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment

Grade 3

Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants
Earth and Space Systems: Soils in the Environment

Grade 4

Life Systems: Habitats and Communities

Grade 6

Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things

Grade 7

Life Systems: Interactions Within Ecosystems

Grade 9-12

Canadian and World Studies: The Environment and Resource Management Science


  • 2 display cases 183 x 73 x 26 cm (72 x 72.75 x 26 in)
  • 2 display cases 183 x 78 x 75 cm (72 x 30.5 x 29.25 in)
  • Display case 183 x 78 x 52 cm (72 x 30.5 x 20.25 in)
  • Display case 183 x 146 x 75 cm (72 x 57.5 x 29.5 in)
  • Shipping crate 132 x 193 x 80 cm (52 x 76 x 31.5 in)

Space required: 93 square metres (1000 square feet)

Weight: 771 kg (1700 lbs)

Supplementary materials: Exhibition posters, exhibition/installation manual, educational kit with hands-on activities

Booking period: 8 weeks

Fee for 2014 rentals: $1600 plus shipping costs