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Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment » Wester Center for Archaeology & Paleontology

Wester Center for Archaeology & Paleontology

Wester Center for Archaeology & Paleontology

This is not the kind of museum where a velvet rope stands between you and the exhibits. This is a place where you will wrap your hands and your mind around significant prehistoric finds. You'll enjoy fun, interactive displays, a movie theater that shakes, and exhibits designed to engage and entertain. Take a step back in time, and glimpse what life was like when Southern California was home to mastodons, mammoths, and saber-toothed cats. And introduce yourself to our early Native Americans and settlers.

World-Class Museum Attractions

Designed to stimulate your senses from the moment you walk through the doors, you'll discover all of the following and more

  • Snapshots in Time Gallery that features an expansive pit carved into the floor of site of "Little Stevie," a juvenile mastodon.
  • "Max," the largest mastodon ever found in the Western United States; "Xena," a 16,000 year old mammoth; and "Sammy," a giant ground sloth.
  • Discovery Lab with hands-on mechanical and computer-based interactive stations.
  • Big Dam Hole Exhibit showing the massive Diamond Valley Lake construction project that led to this museum's fascinating collections.
  • 270-degree theater and stage with a floor that shakes and shifts with the action of the film on the screen.
  • Historic Archaeology Alcove re-creates a typical Southern California home built in the 1880s.
  • Pre-Historic Archaeology Alcove reveals how Native American communities lived and survived in earlier times.
  • Big Picture Display features a recap of life from 230,000 years ago to the present.
  • Large hall for traveling exhibits and events.
  • Museum store with an impressive array of unique art, educational items, clothing, toys, and more.

Laboratories and Research

The Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology is the ultimate resource for archaeological and paleontological study. It has three preparation and research laboratories designed to support research and teaching at secondary and post-secondary levels.

It is a resource that supports the advancement of knowledge and understanding of our environmental and cultural heritage.

There are educational, research, and service opportunities available to the general public as well as students, faculty, and staff from other learning institutions.

Curation Facilities

This collection of fossils, ornaments, ceramics, tools, and plant evidence is so monumental that it will take years to properly study before these items can yield their centuries-old stories.

While archaeologists and paleontologists look for clues and put the pieces of these puzzles together, the museum's curation facility protects and stores over one million specimens.

It provides a climate-controlled, highly secure setting for further research and public display of these artifacts.

Education and Conference Center

The Education and Conference Center provides media and classroom space for students from elementary school to post-graduate researchers. What better way to bring lectures on archaeology and paleontology to life than in an environment where it is all on display?

This space was designed with large, comfortable classrooms to enhance learning, as well as meeting rooms for large and small groups to gather for special events