The Beneski Museum is dedicated to:
- Preserving and interpreting the physical evidence of the geological history of the Earth, the evolutionary history of its inhabitants, and the processes that have shaped both through time
- Providing direct experience with the materials and former inhabitants of the Earth
- Challenging visitors to consider problems of scientific interpretation
- Stimulating the scientific curiosity and observational acuity of students and scholars, fostering in them a spirit of inquiry, stewardship and wonder toward the Earth
In order to effectively accomplish these goals, the Museum in 2018 partnered with the Amherst College Science Center to employ the Seven Tenets of the Nature of Science (as outlined by Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick, Bell, & Schwartz, 2002; Osborne, Collins, Ratcliffe, Millar, & Duschl, 2003; Bell 2009). Below, each tenet is detailed and explained showing how it is intrinsic to the educational philosophy of the Beneski Museum. In all programming and educational materials, the museum hopes to convey to visitors not only the vast collection of scientific knowledge (facts), but also the process and understanding of the Nature of Science itself (systems). Additionally the museum wishes to help improve scientific literacy, inspiring in visitors a desire to learn and explore, and empowering them to push the frontier of what is possible.