By Alexa, age 11
In the “Virtual World’s Institute: What Happened to the Neanderthals” 2-week summer program at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), you will answer many questions like: “Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?”, “What is an Atlatl and what was it used for?”, and “What’s the difference between a Hominin and a Homonid?”

In the first week, you will learn about anthropology as you look into the differences between species (like Human versus Neanderthal), explore the Hall of Human Origins, and meet AMNH scientists. Then in the second week, you will create a virtual universe using Skyrim with a Neanderthal or Human family to show what it is like to be one.
I learned a bunch and had a lot of fun, but my favorite parts were probably going behind the scenes, meeting people (both the scientists and classmates), and building the virtual universe in Skyrim. I really enjoyed this program and I think it is a wonderful opportunity, especially for people interested in connecting science and technology. Registration for this summer is currently open for kids going into grades 6 to 8.