Visitors in the Learning Lab
Visitors looking at fossils under the Microeye microscopes in the Learning Lab

Explore 450 million years of Hoosier history in the heart of campus. The IGWS Learning Lab is an experiential learning center that brings our collections out of storage for hands-on discovery.

Part museum, part lab, and part classroom, the Learning Lab is where you can compare thousands of rocks, minerals, and fossils, create art inspired by our collections, explore real-time data sets, and participate in interactive activities. Pull open drawers to discover real specimens and question the world beneath your feet using scientific evidence. The Learning Lab is open to people of all ages and abilities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday in Room 1011 of the Geology Building.

After you explore the Learning Lab, extend your visit by touring our exhibits. Rotating displays on a wide variety of earth science topics are located in the east lobby of the Geology Building. Exhibits feature select objects from IGWS collections.

Tours and Programs

The IGWS offers a variety of programming to meet the needs of teachers, students, and community members. Drop by for a self-guided exploration or contact us to schedule a group visit.

  • Hands On! Self-guided tour- Drop in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday for a firsthand exploration of the rock, mineral, and fossil specimens in the Learning Lab. Explore at your own pace with self-guided materials.
  • Class Field Trips- Bring your preschool, K-12, university, and homeschool groups to the Learning Lab for a free field trip. Each field trip includes a 30- to 40-minute presentation, several hands-on activities, and a collections scavenger hunt. Tours can be scheduled during our normal business hours and on select Saturdays; all trips are subject to availability.
  • GeoCreate- Dive into a range of art-making practices and make your own artwork inspired by our collections. This drop-in program is offered on select Tuesdays; no registration is required.
  • Webinars and Lectures- Are you interested in learning more about a specific topic of Indiana geology? Contact us to schedule a virtual webinar or group lecture at the Learning Lab.

Current Exhibitions

eARTh: March 2022–August 2022

The natural world has always been depicted in art form. Discover the Survey's history of scientific illustrations and view artwork from our collections.

Research Spotlight: Indiana Water Balance Network

Water connects us all. Learn how IGWS geologists are monitoring atmospheric, soil, and groundwater parameters with this student-curated exhibit on the Indiana Water Balance Network.

Digital Exhibitions

Coming Soon! eARTh: The Art of Earth Science

Scientific illustration is the visual representation of scientific concepts. Discover the Survey's history of scientific illustrations and view artwork from our collections.

Resurrecting Megajeff: Uncovering the Hidden History of IU's Lost Megalonyx jeffersonii

"Megajeff" is a nearly complete skeleton of a Megalonyx jeffersonii giant ground sloth that once existed within the natural history collections at Indiana University. Surviving fossilization, railroad transport, and fire, the specimen was ultimately destroyed by a lack of understanding of the importance of natural history collections. This digital exhibit was supported by the Office of the Bicentennial.