Wednesday, July 3, 2024

2024 Junior Naturalist Report

This year, Junior Naturalist at the Bean Museum taught campers to think like scientists, create collections, and present their research.

Day 1 -

On our first day we covered how to make and record observations. This day also included a visit to the Museum of Paleontology and the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, where we learned how those museums obtain, handle, and present their collections.

Day 2 -

Collection day! Campers were instructed on correct collection practices, then went out into the field to gather specimens! We went to the Provo River Delta and Aspen Grove, and campers collected both plants and insects.

Day 3 -

This day focused on preparing the campers’ collected specimens. We also had tours of the Bean herbarium and insect collection to see how those collections are used.

Day 4 -

On our penultimate day campers continued working on preparing their specimens, and learned key features of plant and insect identification. They were able to identify their collected plants to the species level, and insects to the family level.

Day 5 -

For the final day campers researched specimens in their collection, and created presentations to share their findings. Campers set up their presentation in our Utah’s Diversity exhibit, where family, friends, and museum visitors had an opportunity to learn more about the work the campers had done all week.


Sylvia, museum educator

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

2024 Critter Camp Report

In week one of critter camp, our campers learned about land animals! During their days at the museum, they learned about the habitats animals live in, visited the “ice age” in the museum freezer, and tried eating like animals using tweezer beaks and sucking straws. We also explored how animals use their senses by playing games where we identified mystery scents, or tried to guess animal specimens while blindfolded! We even got to meet some real live land animals, including a tarantula, hissing cockroaches, and a bearded dragon. After our two days in the museum, we took what we learned on the road and went on a field trip! Armed with field notebooks, our campers adventured up Big Springs trail. We had a great time exploring and searching for land animals, and documenting all the cool things we found.

After our adventures learning about land animals, our critter campers dove right into water week! On our first day we focused on the oceans, and explored the museum searching for ocean creatures. We made ocean themed snacks, read books, and then had a chance to get our hands wet by painting with water outside on the concrete. The next day we talked about ponds and rivers, and our brave adventurers took the bus to the BYU duck pond. There we had hands-on experiences with feeding and watching the ducks and turtles, and seeing their cool water adaptations in action. Our last day of water exploration tied everything together with a field trip up the canyon. The campers got to explore and take notes in their field notebooks, explore some watery areas, build nests like ducks, and they even had a water fight!

After exploring the land and the water, there was nowhere left to go but up! During Week 3 of critter camp, our campers learned all about the animals that fly, float, or glide through the air. We learned about the important role that bees play in the environment, and then got to go outside the museum and “pollinate” the flowers with powdered sugar. Our campers designed their own birds, flew paper airplanes, and tried to flap their wings as fast as a buzzing fly. We also learned about how bats echolocate, and practiced some echolocation of our own! After two great days of learning about air animals at the museum, we took our new skills on the road to visit the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake! Our campers had face to face encounters with some pretty incredible birds, and we even had birds fly right over our heads during the bird show. Air week was a soaring success!

Leah, museum educator

Thursday, April 11, 2024

2024 Game Night Report

One Saturday each month, the Bean Life Science Museum hosted a game night after hours. Students came either with their friends, a willingness to make new friends, or just an urge to grab some candy, play one round of Uno, and leave. While life-science-themed games like Wingspan, Evolution, or a new game called Zoo King were provided, students were encouraged to bring their own games. If you have a game your roommates refuse to play with you, try coming to the next game night where the educators aren’t allowed to tell you, “No, I don’t want to play Settlers of Catan with you.”

Joanna, museum educator

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

2024 Easter Family Night Report

It may have been April 1st, but Easter Family Night at the Bean Museum was no joke! Families, friends, and everyone in between came to enjoy a hoppin’ good time. Visitors could snap a picture at the Easter photo booth, make carrots and eggs in our craft room, or enjoy a program about different animals. The highlight of the night was an egg-cellent bingo scavenger hunt, where winners could spin the wheel for a special prize! 

That’s all yolks!

Sylvia, museum educator

Monday, April 1, 2024

2024 Winter Trivia Night Report

On the Saturdays of January 20th, February 17th, and March 23rd, ten teams battled to be the most knowledgeable in various subjects. Teams chose from various specimens to represent them as their mascot, and fought for prizes like bucket hats, t-shirts, water bottles, and more! 

January’s theme covered extinction and endangered species. We explored invasive species that threaten native animals, and dinosaurs that disappeared long ago.

February’s theme helped to celebrate the birthday of the mighty Charles Darwin and his accomplishments. We learned about his life and his discoveries, along with the evolution of civilization and other parts of life.

March lifted everyone’s spirits as finals approached with some funny Disney questions. We had sections covering Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar, as well as talking about some well known animals from Disney. This is the Bean Life Science Museum, after all.

Ethan, museum educator

2024 Night at the Museums Report

The most popular museum event of the year has come and gone again! On Friday, March 22, over 1000 people came through the 5 museums on BYU campus. 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! 

It was a perfect mix of educational and fun, with visitors having the opportunity to learn from biome programs, curiosity carts, and of course our museum educators ready to share! For visitors with an appetite for not just learning, we had plenty of maple bar donuts and a station with balloon animals and other creations.

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.

We ended up with extra donuts at the end of the event (an exciting prospect for museum workers who wanted to bring some home) but it’s also a sign that there’s always room for more visitors during our yearly Night at the Museums event!

Amy, museum educator

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

2024 Mystery Dinner Night Report

On March 9, 2024 history’s greatest and most influential scientists were invited to the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum to witness the unveiling of a brand new exhibit. Following the dinner, invited guests were horrified to realize that the specimen, Ursus Gummimus or the North American Gummy Bear, had been stolen! 

The museum’s security team quickly locked down the museum and identified eight primary suspects: Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, Sally Ride, Jane Goodall, Bill Nye, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Beaker. 

Guests completed tasks, puzzles, and riddles to reveal that the specimen had been stolen and hidden in the museum by none other than Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist. Thanks to three teams, she was quickly brought to justice and the specimen was returned to its exhibit in one piece.

Jonathan, museum educator

Pictured above is the second place team with the eight suspects, Monte L. Bean, and our head security guard.

Below are the eight suspects waiting for the thief’s identity to be revealed.