GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This winter break students can ring in the holiday season with scientific exploration and natural history investigation during the Florida Museum of Natural History’s school holiday camps beginning Dec. 23 through Jan. 17, 2014.
The camps for students enrolled in grades K-5 for the 2013-2014 school year provide natural history exploration through museum exhibits and hands-on activities.
“Holiday camps are always an opportunity to have fun while learning about something new – whether it’s engineering feats or how prehistoric people managed day-to-day living,” said Florida Museum of Natural History public programs coordinator Catherine Carey. “Museum camps are hands-on and sometimes messy, but always fun.”
“Float My Boat” on Dec. 23 will dive into engineering principles while students learn to construct a plane, float a boat and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For some Alachua County students, trash doesn’t equate to garbage, but instead may be morphed into creative works of art. The Florida Museum of Natural History will display these artistic creations during the 15 annual Trashformations showcase Nov. 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Trashformations recycled art show and competition is open to middle school, high school and college students. All entries are constructed from 70 percent or more recycled material and judged on the criteria of “most creative expression” and “most innovative use of recycled materials.”
“This event helps you look at recyclables in a new way,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland. “It’s always interesting how someone turns milk jugs into an ibis or cans into an owl. This is an opportunity for us to showcase our local, young talent. Every year you always get wowed by something.”
Students in each division compete for cash and other prizes and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Liars, crooks, murderers and tyrants — find out more about plants and how they evolve to compete for resources at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s next “Science Café” on Monday, Nov. 11.
The final “Science Café” of the fall series will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Saboré, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129 in Town of Tioga. University of Florida department of biology and Florida Museum of Natural History doctoral candidate Grant Godden will discuss “Despicable Plants: A Botanical World of Liars, Crooks, Murderers and Tyrants.”
“My ‘Science Café’ explores the origins and evolution of seemingly sinister strategies such as fraud, theft, murder and oppression,” Godden said. “It draws from numerous botanical examples of despicable plants. These include deceptive orchids, parasitic witchweeds, and carnivorous and allelopathic plants.”
The program format provides a comfortable setting for community members and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have an opportunity to tour the universe with astronomy experts during the seventh annual Starry Night event, from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 15.
Free, space-themed activities include a portable planetarium show and the opportunity to view the universe in 3D as well as rocks from space including a 70-pound meteorite.
Outside, visitors may gaze at the moon, planets and stars through professional quality telescopes and learn about the night sky with members of the Alachua Astronomy Club and UF astronomy department. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Cedar Key shellfish aquaculture industry is the topic for discussion at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s next “Science Café” program Oct. 28 at Blue Gill Quality Foods, 1310 SW 13th St. in Gainesville.
State shellfish extension agent Leslie Sturmer will discuss “Farming the Sea: The Cedar Key Story” beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“When Florida’s commercial fishing businesses were declining, University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant collaborated with other entities to build a new hard clam aquaculture industry near Cedar Key, where about 80 percent of Florida’s clam farming now occurs,” Sturmer said. “The industry has a statewide economic impact of over $50 million, supporting more than 550 jobs in Cedar Key alone.” (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover the many species inhabiting your yard, home and body at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s first “Science Café” of the fall series on Sept 30.
The program begins at 6:30 p.m. at Saboré, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129, Town of Tioga. The restaurant opens at 6 p.m. and offers a limited menu for attendees. University of Florida guest speakers Andrea Lucky, assistant research scientist for the entomology and nematology department and Jiri Hulcr, assistant professor at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation will describe “The Beauty and Complexity of Insects, Fungi and Microbes Under (and on) Your Feet.”
“Biodiversity is all around us, including our own backyards, not just in faraway places,” Hulcr said. “There is so much we are still discovering about the wildlife that lives around us, and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Don your beachwear and join the Florida Museum of Natural History for a “surf’s up fun for all ages” celebration of its newest temporary exhibits, “Surfing Florida: A Photographic History” and “Surf Science: Waves and Wildlife,” Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The free family-friendly event celebrates the significance of Florida’s coastal waters and its role in the ecosystem. Learn about beach and sea animals while discovering the biology of bioluminescence through an interactive display. Guests can test their surfing skills on “Robo-surfer,” an inflatable mechanical surfing simulator operated and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will celebrate its eighth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 19-20.
The free event celebrates the importance of backyard wildlife and its role in the ecosystem and includes the largest butterfly plant sale of the year beginning Friday, Oct. 18.
Visitors will have the opportunity to view Lepidoptera specimens normally not displayed and speak with representatives from groups including the Florida Bluebird Society, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Lubee Bat Conservancy, and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Explore the rich archaeology of St. Augustine through an all-day trip Aug. 3 with the Florida Museum of Natural History and University of Florida Creative B program.
Gain an all access pass to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, Colonial Quarter, Castillo de San Marcos and Government House Museum. The trip also includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Florida Museum’s upcoming exhibit “First Colony: Our Spanish Origins,” which highlights St. Augustine as the nation’s oldest permanent European settlement. The exhibit is scheduled to open to the public in October.
“This trip provides an experience only the museum can offer,” said museum education assistant Tiffany Ireland. “Participants have the opportunity to visit important sites led by the scientists and researchers who have excavated and study artifacts detailing the 500-year-old culture and history of St. Augustine. (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Get ready to pop some popcorn and break out your favorite blanket.
The Florida Museum of Natural History will show free movies each Saturday in July beginning with “King Kong” (1933) on July 6 as part of the University of Florida “Creative B” program. The museum is open to the public from 6 to 10 p.m. and UF students receive free admission to the “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” exhibit each movie night with a valid Gator 1 ID.
The series includes a guest panel question-and-answer discussion on the art and validity of each film’s science content. The programs start at 7 p.m. and movies begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We are using science fiction movies to teach and discuss different science topics,” said Tiffany Ireland, Florida Museum education assistant. “Using this summer’s theme of cryptozoology we will discuss the need and use of scientific inquiry, research and discovery.” (more…)