It’s time for another attraction highlight, famous as an addition to some of our favorite Washington DC educational student tours, and brought to you by my recent real live experience in the nation’s capital. Today: The National Museum of Crime and Punishment. And since I was sucked into the fascinating feeds of our travel and adventurer followers on Twitter, I’m giving the brief rundown. Hopefully this will be enough to tempt your appetite for this museum, because I’d have to call it hands-down one of the best for student groups in the city.
I knew where to go when, AND I SAW IT ALL!
You may have heard me say, our tour of Capital City was sort of the whirlwind version. Lots and lots of attractions – more than we would recommend in one trip for one of our groups – and not a lot of time at most of them. This led to the Great Smithsonian Confusion of 2010 in which I entered museum after museum, well aware that I only had time to dig into about one exhibit really well or to speed through a quarter of the museum for its highlights. Where to begin? Where to stay long enough to actually read and learn? Can you get ADD from this attempt?
But the Museum of Crime and Punishment is one of those amazing museums that uses its design to lead you sensibly and understandably through each exhibit a little like a fun house only without the wavy mirrors. I came to adore this type of museum design while in DC, and I know you’ll love it for student groups as well.
Intense themes, suitable for children
Although at first glance this museum looks a little like a tribute to the bad guys, it’s actually a celebration of the good ones and a walk-through guide to safety for kids. There are a lot of criminal profiles inside, memorabilia from the classics like Bonnie and Clyde, for instance, and lots of stories of murder and general mayhem. Still, throughout the museum, students are the priority. There are Q&A games on the walls that help kids understand common safety sense that can make them far less vulnerable to crime. Similarly, the crime-solving, CSI-style, hands-on police-work sections of the museum really override the bad guy stuff.
So much hands-on
Stand in jail, investigate a crime scene, practice your eye-witness skills, examine a body, stand in a police line-up (yikes!) – the chances to participate in your own education abound in this exciting museum that’s like every visitor’s starring role in an episode of CSI.
A Real Live Television Studio!
Some students may know already that America’s Most Wanted films at the Museum of Crime and Punishment. The studio makes a thrilling finale to the tour with its own interesting exhibits and things to learn. All totaled, this museum should go a long way in educating students on the world of law enforcement and investigation, encouraging each and every one toward the right side of crime and punishment.