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The Penn Museum currently has precautions in place to encourage healthy practices.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

For the rest of 2020, admission at the Penn Museum will be free for high school and college students.

The back-to-school initiative, which began on Sept. 1 and will end on Dec. 31, allows high school students between the ages of 13 and 19, as well as both undergraduate and graduate students, to visit the Penn Museum for free. The offer is valid Tuesdays through Fridays between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for high school students. Undergraduate and graduate students can visit the museum at no cost Tuesdays through Fridays between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“Teens are in a transitional moment, where they examine and test the world around them to help shape their identities. This free admission opportunity arrives at a time when teens crave outings away from their houses and neighborhoods," Ellen Owens, the Merle-Smith Director of Learning and Public Engagement at the Penn Museum, said in a news release.

The Penn Museum officially reopened its doors to the public on July 28 after closing in March due to COVID-19. 

The free admission initiative does not apply to groups of students. Groups of college students must apply for free admission through the Penn Museum website, while high school groups must apply via email, the press release stated.

Changes to the visitor experience include purchasing timed tickets in advance online and following a one-way pathway through the Museum in order to limit capacity and comply with social-distancing measures. Visitors and staff members are required to wear a face covering at all times and remain at a six-foot distance from other visitors. 

“By welcoming youth and supporting their understanding of diverse cultures, we embody our mission as a learning and research institution. But we’re also providing an after-school safe space, where individual teens can explore the 10,000 years of history inside the Museum’s galleries, or use the artifacts and other content for school assignments,” Owens said in the release.

Though the Penn Museum has opened to the public, it will continue to offer digital programming and events for all ages with its Penn Museum at Home program. The program includes at-home anthropology projects for families and children, a lecture series, and virtual interactive learning workshops for students.