Editors: A complete list of activities follows this release
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum visitors will have the opportunity to uncover Earth’s geological wonders by observing simulated volcanic eruptions, sifting for minerals and gems and other activities during the ninth annual “Can You Dig It?” event March 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This free, family-friendly event provides visitors an understanding of Earth’s materials and processes through hands-on activities and educational demonstrations.
“It’s not just a walk-by-and-look-see kind of event,” said program organizer Matt Smith, a senior lecturer and undergraduate advisor in the University of Florida department of geological sciences. “People who come tend to spend some time and really engage.”
The latest additions to this year’s list of activities include learning how to identify real meteorites from impostors and (more…)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a free presentation with paleontologist Timothy Rowe at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 as part of the 2014-2015 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program.
Rowe will present a lecture titled “What Happened to the Dinosaurs?” at Powell Hall, 3215 Hull Road, on the University of Florida campus. His talk complements the museum’s current featured exhibition, “A T. rex Named Sue,” which presents the story of the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. A reception will follow the presentation.
The J. Nalle Gregory Regents Professor of Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, Rowe primarily studies the evolution and (more…)
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…)