Hanover College Science Center lab coordinator Micha Whitted, above, talks about a simulation dummy used for classes at the college. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Hanover College Science Center lab coordinator Micha Whitted, above, talks about a simulation dummy used for classes at the college. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
As you walk through Hanover College's Science Center, you might not know if you're in a museum or a classroom building.

That's not an accident.

Stan Totten - curator of the school's Museum of Natural History, which is located inside the Science Center - calls it a "halls and walls" museum.

Displays are located throughout the building. Most of them hang from walls, are built into alcoves or are integrated into the building's lounges.

"The students probably think this is just what classrooms look like," Totten said.

The museum was added when the new addition was built onto the old Science Center in 2000.

On Saturday, the center will host its first community open house. The event is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The open house will include tours of classrooms, laboratories and interactive demonstrations.

A demonstration of the college's human simulator will be held from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. The simulator is a human-like dummy that can be programed to mimic certain ailments, based on the problems the programer wants to demonstrate.

"It can blink, it can breathe, it can bleed," Micah Whitted, the Science Center's lab coordinator, said.

There will also be demonstrations on amphibians from Southeast Indiana at 11 a.m., an introduction to botany at noon, an exploration of chemical synthesis at 1 p.m., and a session on body composition determination at 2 p.m.

There will also be self-guided walking tours of the museum's displays.

"There are lot of things in here that the community probably doesn't know about," Totten said. "There's stuff here you just don't see every day."

Displays at the museum include a prehistoric titanothere skull, wooly mammoth tusks, dinosaur eggs, a variety of fossils, a large collection of minerals and stones, coral specimens, Native American arrowheads, spear points and tools and taxidermied animals.

Totten founded and developed the Hanover College Museum of Natural History and has served as curator since it opened.

"I've always been kind of a collector," he said.

Before that Totten served 27 years as Hanover College's Faculty Athletic Representative and he served two terms as president of the Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference.

He also taught geology at the school for 40 years.