More than 1,000 visitors
attended the popular
Starry Night public
program in November 2011.
Left: Museum docent Evelyn
Hemp leads a school group
presentation on forests at
Dickinson Hall in 1976.
Earth Day BioBlitz
More than 700 visitors participated in the Museum’s
Earth Day event, which included a BioBlitz in the
adjacent UF Natural Area Teaching Laboratory.
Educator Open House
In collaboration with the School Board of Alachua County
and more than 20 community organizations, the Museum
hosted an annual “Educator Open House” to provide
information on the educational resources and learning
experiences available throughout North Central Florida.
Outreach – Museum on the Move
The educational power of the Museum moved directly
into classrooms when the “Inquiry Box” program was
revitalized in January 2012. Staff and docents utilized
items from Museum collections to engage 1,594
students in inquiry-based activities and discussions.
Scout Programs Mentor Future Scientists
An important part of Museum programs is mentoring
future citizens and scientists. In April, 22 Girl Scouts
and their chaperones from throughout the Gateway
Council explored paleontology during an evening of
hands-on activities. The scouts excavated a miniature
“fossil dig,” assembled dinosaur fossil replicas and
talked with female Museum paleontologists.
Title 1 Assistance Program
To provide under-served communities the opportunity
to visit the Museum, the Florida Museum Associates
Board funded bus transportation and admission for
434 fourth-graders from nine Alachua County Title 1
schools to participate in
Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway
guided programs. Students used science process
skills to examine fossils and artwork that illustrated
adaptations, extinction and prehistoric environments.
Participating teachers attended a workshop to learn ways
to connect the exhibit with their classroom curriculum.
Other Public Programs
Science Cafés provide opportunities for discussions
about science topics in an informal venue like a
restaurant, offering the speaker and audience members
a chance to have a conversation not possible during
a traditional lecture. The inaugural café last fall at
the Museum attracted more than 125 attendees and
more than 250 participants attended the four spring
cafés held in local restaurants. The
Cruisin’ the Fossil
exhibit provided opportunities to showcase
Museum paleontologists and their work through a
Sunday lecture series. The “Ask a Paleontologist” series
gave the public an opportunity to bring fossils to be
identified. The Museum also hosted the 13th annual
juried art competition presented by
the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners
and Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives
Last summer, the Museum added two positions for
Junior Volunteers, who are 12-17 years old. Veteran
JVs gained hands-on experience in the
exhibit Paleo Prep Lab, learning to
clean and curate fossils. A few experienced JVs
worked in Assistant Curator of Lepidoptera Akito
Kawahara’s lab. These students learned to run
polymerase chain reactions used for DNA studies.