Tuesday, March 21, 2023

2023 Winter Trivia Nights

How well do you know your life science trivia? A total of 20 teams asked themselves this question at our two Bean Museum Trivia Nights this semester. 

Our February Trivia Night was centered around the life and studies of Charles Darwin, while our March Trivia Night had a hopeful springtime theme. Each night had 3 rounds of trivia, and ended with a competitive game of Kahoot! 

Teams could earn candy for correct answers, and the winners got to pick out animal stickers! Cookies were also provided for everyone who attended. Congratulations to all of our winning teams, and we hope to see you again next semester! 

Alyssa, museum educator

Monday, March 20, 2023

2023 Night at the Museums Report

Friday March 10th was a night to remember as thousands descended upon BYU five campus museums in an effort to win a prize. At each museum, patrons solved a clue that directed them to a certain area within the museum where they could earn a sticker: five stickers earned the patron the grand prize of a museum tote bag!

At the Bean Museum, we were tote-ally dedicated to making sure everybody who came through had a good time. The way to the heart is through the stomach, so we came prepared with 1,000 donuts that anyone could have (unfortunately there were more stomachs than we anticipated so the donuts ran out before the night was over but next year will be a different story ;) ). The heart and the mind don’t always agree, but they do communicate, so we did too! We created special curiosity carts and programs where patrons could learn about ducks, whales, or cheetahs, depending on where they went.


Another fun station to visit was our prize table, located by the ocean exhibit where things went swimmingly for the visitors who spun the prize wheel. There was a prize for everyone, whether it was chapstick, a shell, a small animal figure, or something else. Plenty of patrons had their phones out to commemorate the occasion, but for the ones that wanted something a little more professional there was a photo booth set-up complete with props that can only be found at a life science museum. After all, we never said what kind of professional.

If you didn’t get the chance to go this year, there’s always next year. And if you’re hoping to attend something a little sooner, Easter Family Night is right around the corner and open to everybunny! 

Arissa, student educator

2023 Darwin Day

Despite the chilly morning, visitors made the trip to the Bean Life Sciences Museum on Saturday, February 11th. What set the museum apart from any ordinary weekend on this day was the celebration of Charles Darwin! Today we can thank this scientist known as the “Father of Evolution” for much of our knowledge about how species develop and adapt in a world of changing ecosystems. 

Patrons were greeted with a sticker and a stamp card, which was used to indicate participation at four engaging activities that taught about the science of evolution. Stories about Charles Darwin’s exciting and informative voyage on the HMS Beagle were shared. Creative artwork featuring Charles’ very own beard kept hands and minds busy, kids and parents alike. Visitors had the opportunity to compare adaptations between specimens to learn about the distinctions that make them unique and help them survive. As patrons completed these activities to celebrate Charles Darwin’s legacy, they also remembered his contributions by enjoying a slice of his birthday cake! Through laughs and smiles, appreciation for our earth and the processes that keep it ticking grew with the festivities of the day!

McCady, student educator

Thursday, February 9, 2023

2023 Winter Birding Nature Experienceship

On Saturday, February 4th, 20 brave birders embarked on a chilly journey with birding expert Merrill Webb in pursuit of the American icon Haliaeetus leucocephalus, commonly known as the Bald Eagle. Utah is a favorite wintering spot for the majestic birds, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) hosts special events for birders and eagle enthusiasts throughout the month of February.

Our first stop was the Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery, where the DWR had hot chocolate and collectible pins to celebrate “Utah Bald Eagle Day”.

From there, the group heading to the “Eagle Tree”, a large dead tree that has hosted 100s of eagles over the years! Our group spotted 4 that day.

Pictured: birders at their scopes, looking toward the eagle tree. 

Total for Fountain Green: 3 (Bald Eagle, Eurasian Collared-dove, Black-billed Magpie)

Our next destination was Salem Pond, in Salem, Utah. We saw an abundance of waterfowl, as well as another Bald Eagle, regally perched in a tree near the road.

Pictured: Bald Eagle, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser.

Total for Salem Pond: 10 (Canada Goose, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, American Coot, Bald Eagle, Northern Flicker, Pied-Billed Grebe, Stellar’s Jay)

Our final stop was the East Bay Golf Course. We skipped the green, but teed up our scopes and binoculars to spot more waterfowl. What we found was not par for the course! Golf puns aside, this location hosted two Great Blue Herons, a Northern Pintail, and mostly impressively, a Black-crowned Night-heron.

Pictured: Northern Pintail, Great Blue Heron, and Merrill Webb in his natural habitat.

Total for East Bay Golf Course: 7 (American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, American Coot, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-heron)

Total number of species spotted for the entire trip: 20

We are grateful to Merrill Webb for leading out this adventure, and to the birds for providing such wonderful amusement on a cold morning.

Sylvia Duke, educator

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Understanding Covid-19 and Change the Climate

Disco lights. Artwork. Cookies. Crowds. The upper floor of the Bean Museum was not the serious setting one would expect when thinking of museums. On January 23rd, after years of work, two new exhibits entered the scene, exhibits with a particular focus on the world we currently find ourselves in.


The first of these exhibits, Understanding COVID-19, explores the history and science behind the virus and subsequent vaccines, with a variety of interactive displays. The second, Change the Climate, delves into the changing world around us—the causes, effects, and solutions of climate change, shown in video, art, and personal examples. Both exhibits shed light on topics relevant to us today and to our future, dispelling misconceptions and encouraging responsibility and stewardship for the earth we live on. Also featured were the unique contributions of local artists, with artwork themed around the exhibits, ranging from masked watercolor animals to origami cranes to stunning art made of recycled trash.

At the opening night, members of the campus and community crowded upstairs to explore the new attractions, grab a sweet treat, and talk with the behind-the-scenes crew responsible for bringing the exhibits to life, a celebration of the museum’s continuing mission to inspire wonder, understanding, and reverence for our evolving planet.

Sage, museum educator

Friday, November 18, 2022

2022 Clue Date Night Recap

 30 couples got out their magnifying glasses and donned their trench coats for the Bean Life Science Museum’s Clue Date Night on November 12, 2022. The night started as many romantic evenings do: delicious food, mood music, and rumors being spread by the maids. The rumors on this particular night? “Who are these six strange characters invited by Monte L. Bean? And where has he gone?” Tragically, Mr. Bean would never arrive to his own banquet, as it was soon discovered that he had be murdered - in his own museum!

After a quick briefing, the 30 pairs of detectives set to work, faced with a task of utmost consequence: determine the location and weapon used in the murder, and ultimately rout out Mr. Bean’s killer. These quick-thinking sleuths had to parse riddles, use reason and logic, and deduce the truth from the six whose motives were anything but honest.

Miss Scarlet and Mr Green assisting our detectives in determining who could have possibly committed this unthinkable act.

One of the maids – in the face of unparalleled horror – bravely helping detectives as they examine the possible murder weapons.

After arduous examination, two extraordinarily clever detectives determined the facts of the evening: Mr. Bean was murdered on the patio, with the hippo tusk, by none other than hunting master, Colonel Mustard. The seemingly daft old-timer concocted a villainous plot as revenge against Mr. Bean for failing to tell his guests that the Colonel had trophied most of what was on display (medical professionals later determined that the Colonel is a pathological liar. He is also probably not a military-designated Colonel). After a daring pursuit by Mr. Bean’s employed, the criminal was caught. Justice and cake were served.

The team of winning sleuths, with Mr. Bean’s six strange acquaintances. 

The face of a guilty man.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Halloween at the Bean 2022

The Monday night before Halloween was all tricks and no treats here at the Bean Museum! For three hours, hundreds of patrons and families came in to celebrate their favorite spooky holiday, many of them in their costumes! Dinosaurs and princesses and cats (oh my!) and many more made an appearance to everyone’s delight.

Upon arriving, everybody got a bingo sheet showing all the fun things available to do at the museum! There was a photo booth where patrons could pose with real bones and skulls and claws, resulting in some rather unique family photos. Afterwards, they could wander the museum looking for the skulls and pumpkins that were hidden throughout the exhibits.

They were also invited to visit our craft room and curiosity carts, where either Candace and Vanessa helped them to make spooky scary fridge magnets to take home with them or Radagast the Brown taught them about spiders and owls and other frightful animals that sometimes go bump in the dark! The curiosity cart also showcased a live tarantula and a real black widow, who luckily didn’t lose any more husbands that night.

Anyone listening during the event could also hear the announcements about our spooky spectacular shows being held down in the basement auditorium. During one of three times, patrons could go down and learn about the most terrifyingly awesome animals there are in nature, featuring another one of the Bean Museum’s very own tarantulas! Screams and a good time were to be had by anyone who enjoys an adrenaline rush.

Once someone got a bingo, they could take it to the prize table. There, they could spin the prize wheel and earn sea shells, small animal toys, or reusable shopping bags. No matter what they won, everyone left with a smile and we can’t wait to see them again next year! 

Arissa, student educator