GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Prepare for a dizzying race around the globe and join the Florida Museum of Natural History for a thrilling quest at the “Passport to: Around the World in 80 Days” gala Feb. 20 from 7 to 11 p.m.
This year’s event features dinner catered by Blue Water Bay, the ultimate voyage created by Keith Watson Productions and dancing with The Savants of Soul. This is the first year the gala is raising funds for children’s educational programming through the museum’s Center for Science Learning.
“We want to offer a variety of engaging opportunities that foster students’ sense of wonder and discovery,” said Betty Dunckel. Florida Museum Center for Science Learning director. “We hope these experiences will generate excitement, expand interests and deepen understanding of science and its importance in our daily lives.”
Proceeds will provide critical funds to support museum projects for pre-K through 12th-grade students, including admission assistance for Title 1 schools, outreach to elementary classrooms and (more…)
‘T. rex Named Sue’ Jan. 24 opening features fossils, family fun with Ronald McDonald, UF mascots Albert & AlbertaJanuary 16th, 2015
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will celebrate the opening of its new featured exhibit “A T. rex Named Sue” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 with family fun including a fossil dig and other dinosaur-themed activities.
Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with museum researchers and representatives from fossil clubs, sample McDonald’s iced coffee while meeting Ronald McDonald, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and see University of Florida mascots Albert and Alberta from noon to 1 p.m.
“Because our state was underwater while dinosaurs lived, this is a rare chance for Floridians to glimpse the lost world of Tyrannosaurus rex right here in Gainesville,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland. “It’s also important for children to speak with scientists and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Collectors can share their passion with Florida Museum of Natural History visitors during Collectors Day Jan. 10, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This free event is the museum’s longest-running public program and allows visitors to interact with regional collectors and learn about the identity, history and context of their collections.
“A collection is a representation of someone’s time in their life,” Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland said. “We’ve had collectors as old as 4 and as young as 80.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to view more than 100 collections, some containing objects that are more than a century old. More than 1,300 visitors attended the 2014 event.
Returning fan-favorites include antique and primitive tools, classic cars, plastic models, paintings of World War II fighter planes, dolls, James Bond merchandise and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — One man’s trash will be another man’s treasure during the 16th annual Trashformations student recycled art competition awards ceremony at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 21.
Middle school, high school and college students are eligible to enter the contest, which requires entries contain at least 70 percent recycled materials. The application deadline is Nov. 14, and entries must be delivered to the Florida Museum on Nov. 20 between noon and 5 p.m.
“Trashformations showcases the museum’s commitment to sustainability in our practices and exhibitions,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland.
Judges select winners based on creative expression and innovative use of reused materials. Students in each level compete for cash and other awards, and the Florida Museum will display winning entries through Dec. 1.
The Florida Museum hosts the Trashformations awards ceremony in collaboration with the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and Office of Waste Alternatives.
Patrick Irby, an Alachua County waste alternative specialist, said discarded materials, either buried or burned, impact human lives every day. Buried garbage can leak into soil and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It’s written in the stars that Florida Museum of Natural History visitors will have an opportunity to observe the universe with astronomy experts during the eighth annual Starry Night from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 14.
Visitors can stargaze during a planetarium show and with professional-quality telescopes provided by area astronomists at this free, family-friendly event. A 3-D “AstroWall” will also allow visitors to view the cosmos in another dimension.
Representatives from the Alachua Astronomy Club, Santa Fe College natural sciences department’s astronomy program, the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium and UF astronomy department will help visitors uncover the mysteries of the night sky.
“I think people love space because it is something we are completely surrounded by but also something most of us have never experienced first-hand,” said Florida Museum educator Amanda Harvey. “We’re really lucky to have an opportunity like Starry Night where people that specialize in the field come together to share what they’ve learned and are learning to help us understand space and to make it more familiar.”
The event features UF astronomy department professor Fred Hamann who will discuss “Quasars and Black Holes: A Journey Toward the Gravitational Abyss.”
Attendees will earn a prize by tracking their activities with a “Passport to the Universe.” They also have an opportunity to dine under the stars by visiting the event’s food vendor, High Springs Orchard and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are invited to get a closer look at the natural world by participating in their next adventure at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
On Nov. 9, Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to practice scientific investigation at the Florida Museum’s “She’s A Scientist: A Girl Scout Exploration” program.
The program from 1 to 4 p.m. allows Brownie or Junior Girl Scouts to experience hands-on activities and experiments while meeting local scientists. The Scouts can earn a museum patch created for the event.
“I am very excited for this new program,” said Florida Museum educator Amanda Harvey. “The Scouts will have a unique opportunity to meet with many of our local scientists and to learn what kind of research is being done right here in Gainesville.”
The program is $5 per Scout including the patch. Girls may attend with their guardians or (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is planning a “fintastic” celebration for the “Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived” exhibit from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 26.
The free, family-friendly event celebrates the prehistoric shark and its connections to modern-day species, including conservation efforts needed to protect sharks.
“I hope visitors are inspired to learn about their environment’s past and protect their environment’s future,” said Florida Museum educator Tiffany Ireland.
Employees and students from the museum’s departments of ichthyology, invertebrate paleontology and paleobotany, as well as the FOSSIL program, will have displays on sharks and fossils. Visitors may also speak with representatives from the Florida Paleontological Society, Florida Fossil Hunters and other area fossil clubs about their discoveries and research, including prehistoric sharks that swam over and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors are invited to flutter, flap and frolic at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s ninth annual ButterflyFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4.
The free event features live butterfly releases, butterfly gardening workshops and one of the museum’s largest plant sales of the year. The three-day sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 3-5 includes more than 150 species and 2,500 plants.
“ButterflyFest is one of the museum’s signature events and fun for everyone,” said Florida Museum public programs coordinator Catherine Carey. “There is something for the serious and casual gardener, as well as families, scouts and students.”
The event celebrates the importance of backyard wildlife with an emphasis on pollinators like butterflies, bees and birds by providing family-friendly activities and presentations. This year’s theme is “Wings, Wildlife and Biodiversity.” The festival also features a children’s activity area, entertainment and food and merchandise vendors.
Festival attendees may march in costume at the Pollinator Parade, watch the University of Florida juggling club Objects in Motion and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History begins its fall “Science Café” series Sept. 15 with lepidopterist Akito Kawahara discussing “Discovering How Insects Jam Bat Sonar: A Story About Nocturnal Fieldwork in the Depths of the Amazon, Borneo and Central Africa.”
The program at Saboré, 13005 SW First Road, Suite 129 in Town of Tioga begins at 6:30 and reservations are required. For more information or to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Amanda Erickson Harvey, 352-273-2062.
Now in its fourth year, the Science Café program brings guest speakers and community members together at local establishments to discuss contemporary science over food. Seating and food orders begin at 6 p.m. with the program starting at 6:30 p.m.
“Our fall Science Café series begins with a program that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the museum’s McGuire (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is celebrating the Panama Canal’s 100th birthday this August with a new gallery exhibition and family-friendly event.
Opening Aug. 9, “Panama: Tropical Ecosystem” focuses on the region’s biodiversity and the cultural importance of nature in a country of rain forests, volcanic beaches and mountains. On display through May 31, 2015, the exhibit features photographs, stereographs, plant illustrations, books and artifacts highlighting the rich variety of flora and fauna in the land between North and South America.
“Visitors will learn about Panama’s natural environment, including how it’s represented in art and (more…)