We are pleased to launch a new live-play mystery based on the Megatherium Club, an actual group of young naturalists who lived in dormitories in the Smithsonian's Castle. Geared toward teen visitors (you must be 13 years or older to play), “The Mystery of the Megatherium Club: Mustaches & Mayhem” runs July 8th-Aug. 27th, with limited timeslots daily. Spend an hour with your friends or family investigating the Castle, solving puzzles, and following clues hidden by these mischievous former inhabitants of the Castle. Sign up now!
About the Game Development
The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and the Office of Visitors Services (OVS), with generous funding from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, developed the idea for the game in a series of human-centered design workshops with teens from the Washington metropolitan area. In conjunction with the game, OVS is kicking off its teen docent program, in which teens will serve as game masters throughout the summer.
About the Megatherium Club
Many scientists lived in the Smithsonian’s Castle in its early years. With the permission of Smithsonian Under Secretary Spencer F. Baird, but to the dismay of Secretary Joseph Henry, young naturalists lived in the building between exploring expeditions to remote areas of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The two founders were zoologist, William Stimpson, and naturalist, Robert Kennicott.
- Listen to the Smithsonian’s Sidedoor Podcast, first episode of season two “If These Bones Could Talk,” on Robert Kennicott and the Megatherium Club.
- Learn what the Smithsonian’s forensic anthropologists discovered when examining the bones of Robert Kennicott, a key member of the Megatherium Club, who was thought to have died by suicide while on expedition in the Yukon (courtesy of The Washington Post.
- Visit Robert Kennicott’s bones, as well as specimens he collected, at Objects of Wonder, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History!
- "Connecting Teens and the Castle," Bigger PIcture Blog