Monday, June 17, 2019

Critter Camp (Week 1) - Land Animals

The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum kicked off the start of summer the first week of June with Critter Camp. Kindergartners and first graders came to the museum to learn about the many different animals that live on our planet. The first week of Critter Camp, we learned about land animals. The kids learned how different land animals eat, move, and use their senses to survive through games and activities.

For our first round of activities, the kids learned the different ways land animals can eat their food. The different eating strategies include scavenging and digging for food, scooping up food with a beak, sucking up food, and catching food with a sticky tongue! To imitate and get a better understanding of these eating strategies the kids scavenged for sticker animals in paper bedding, sucked up M&M’s with straws and moved them into a cup, picked up chickpeas with tweezers, and caught paper flies with sticky hands!

For the second round of activities, the kids learned about the different senses land animals use to survive in their environments. These senses included touch, sound, sight, and smell. To learn about these different senses, we felt inside mystery boxes using our sense of touch to discover what was inside, listened to different animal sounds, compared pictures of how humans see things to how animals see things and met a live lizard, snake, and tarantula to learn about the different ways land animals can smell.

Finally, to end our first day of Critter Camp we learned about the different ways land animals move. As a group, we slithered like snakes, galloped liked horses, climbed like monkeys, waddled like penguins, and hopped like kangaroos. To master these different movements each child took a turn acting out a movement while everyone else had to guess what animal they were moving like. The kids went home with lots of new knowledge about land animals and the fun prizes they earned throughout the day. 

On the second day of Critter Camp- land edition, we went exploring! The kids were troopers as we hiked up Rock Canyon and Big Springs Trail in Provo, in search of land animals. While hiking we were able to find a deer, a squirrel, and lots of different insects. Jonas, one of our amazing educators also found a snake that we were all able to look at! When we discovered a new animal the kids were able to draw and color our findings in their own field guides! We returned home tired but happy with the discoveries we had made!

Friday, May 31, 2019

The First Annual Bean Museum Bio-blitz

The Bean Museum's director, Dr. Duke Rogers wanted to get museum team members out in the field to get hands-on experience collecting specimens for the Museum's research collections. We had a good group of full-time, part-time, and student employees attend all or part of this field trip. We spent 4 days collecting in Huntington Canyon and the San Rafael Swell in Emery County, Utah.

Below are the written experiences of the student educators who were able to participate:

Dr. Michael Whiting (Curator of Entomology), Joseph?, Dr. Duke Rogers (Curator of Mammalogy), Dr. Shawn Clark (Entomology Collections Manager), Jennica Baldridge (educator), Holly Gibson (educator), Lindsey Rees (educator),
Dr. Robert Johnson (Herbarium Collections Manager)

Educators Emily Stowers and Brie Hardy with Dr. Duke Rogers

Brie Hardy:
Our trip to Huntington Reservoir was a blast and an amazing learning experience! Dr. Rogers taught us about the value of museum collections. Specimens from the field can provide invaluable data about the organisms in nature, and have even helped scientists to discover new species. I loved participating in collection of a wide variety of species—bats, rodents, insects, and plants. The collection managers and curators from the Bean Museum know so much about the wildlife in Utah. It was great to see them in action and to gain a little more knowledge for myself!

Emily Stowers (educator), Lindsey Rees (educator), Dr. Janene Auger, Brie Hardy (educator)

Dr. Robert Johnson with Joseph DeTemple

Lindsey Rees: First of all, HUGE thank you to all the museum staff that put this together for us. Having the opportunity to be a part of collecting with the museum's curators and experts was a one-of-a-kind experience that I don't think I'll ever forget. Being out in nature surrounded by experts was like having a library of knowledge surrounding me, so that whenever I had any question about wildlife, there was an expert with a beautiful response. It's how I'd imagine it would be like to hang out with David Attenborough. I loved learning how specimens are collected and studied, from small mammals to bugs to plants to birds.

Dr. Shawn Clark with Lindsey Rees, Jennica Baldridge, and Holly Gibson
The bug collecting part still occasionally gave me the "heebeejeebees," which is ironic because I'm okay holding a tarantula for work every day but little beetles can still on occasion make me nervous, which I eventually got over until the Entomologist with us asked me if I touched one of the beetles we found, after which I replied no, and he then said "Good. It would've given you a bad blister." I don't know much, but now I know which beetles to avoid. Easily one of my favorite parts of collecting bats. SO COOL. The Mammalogist on site had this little machine that allows you to detect sonar from bats and even tell which direction it's coming from- if it was an app I could download, I would've downloaded it yesterday. Seriously so much fun.

On a more random note, we stopped by a Canyon Wall that has preserved Native American paintings from before-Christ times, and while I have no idea what any of the paintings meant, it was spiritual in its own way, and even brought tears to my eyes. All surrounded by incredible wildflowers and complete silence, as it's so isolated from everything.

Anyway, all in all, I learned a lot and loved the hands-on experience. As a college student, I spend a lot of time in classrooms and at the museum I spend a lot of time surrounded by mounts. I love both of these things immensely, but nothing really compares to getting to learn outside. Real passion for nature comes from spending time quality time in it, and I look forward to more experiences like this in the future.

Dr. Leigh Johnson (Curator of the Herbarium)
Emily Stowers: The bio-blitz campout was a super cool, eye-opening experience for me. I've been camping a lot in my lifetime but never with a botanist, entomologist, and mammalogist. On the bioblitz I was able to see lots of super cool animals up close like bats, chipmunks, beetles, and even a lizard! It was way fun to find these things, but what was even more fascinating to me was learning how the animals we caught would contribute to science and the research done at the museum. Working alongside our museum's curators we collected many different species of insects, rodents, and plants! I was able to learn a lot about the things we collected such as how the role they play in their habitat, how they came to be in Utah, and how they would be used for research. I am very grateful that the museum allowed me to attend this super cool trip!

Lindsey Rees & Holly Gibson (educators) with Dr. Duke Rogers
Jennica Baldridge: As an educator at the Bean Museum, we don't typically have a lot of contact with the curators of the collections and are not super familiar with their methods or research. The first beneficial aspect of this trip was that I felt like I got to know many of the other employees of the museum. Even in the few days since we've gotten back, I have seen several of them throughout the museum and have been able to stop and talk with them instead of having no idea who they are. Also, it was very educational as previously I had only a vague idea how collecting specimens for research was actually done. By going on this camping trip, I got to see first hand how this process works and actually participate myself. It was amazing to have so many educated people together. I felt like no matter what question I had, whether it be about plants, birds, mammals, insects, or just nature in general, there was always someone right there I could ask who would know the answer. Overall, it was an amazing experience that I feel like has better prepared me to educate patrons on how the museum and it's collections work together.

Jake Burgoyne, Dr. Leigh Johnson, Dr. Duke Rogers, and Jennica Baldridge (educator)
Holly Gibson: The bio blitz was an awesome opportunity to have some hands on experience in the field. I really enjoyed learning how specimens are collected and prepared for study and other uses. We caught live mammals, studied different species of birds, used a net to capture bugs, etc. One of my favorite parts was catching bats. We set up a net over some water once it was dusk and several bats flew in. We got to have a close look at them as Dr. Rogers took them out of the net and taught us about them. All in all it was a great experience getting to be out in nature where it all happens, and I know experiences in the wild help us to be better museum educators. Can't wait for next time!

Jennica Baldridge, Holly Gibson, Dr. Robert Johnson, Dr. Michael Whiting, and Lindsey Rees

Friday, May 10, 2019

Bean Museum Summer Camps 2019

With summer just around the corner, the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is proud to
announce the return of its four popular summer camp programs: Critter Camp, Junior
Naturalists, BYU Museums Camp, and Biology Boot Camp. Each camp provides an
interactive learning environment for a variety of ages, and focuses on different aspects of
the natural world and the sciences that study them. Information about each camp is listed

Critter Camp is a program geared towards youth in kindergarten and first grade. The camp
meets for three weeks in June on Tuesdays from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, and Thursdays from
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Thursdays include a field trip! Each week focuses on different
critters: the critters of the land, the critters of the water, and the critters of the air. You may sign
up for only one week, or all three weeks depending on availability.
Week 1 of Critter Camp runs June 4 & 6, where children will learn about land critters.
Week 2 of Critter Camp runs June 11 & 13, where children will learn about water critters.
Week 3 of Critter Camp runs June 18 & 20, where children learn about air critters.
In past years, camp participants learned how animals navigate their environment with their
senses through interactive activities and games, visited outdoor sites like Cascade Springs,
met live animals, and created animal crafts.
The cost for each child per week is $50. Reservations for Critter Camp can be made here.

Junior Naturalists is a partnership camp with the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum and
Thanksgiving Point Institute. This program is 4th and 5th grade aged youth, and runs from
June 24-28. The camp runs from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM from Monday through Friday. Participants
learn exactly what it takes to be a scientist out in the natural world. Throughout the week,
the participants spend time at the Bean Life Science Museum and Thanksgiving Point as they
learn to collect, record, prepare, and identify various plant and insect species, as well as share
their scientific findings with the public.
To view the cost of the program and make reservations, click here.

The BYU Museums Camp is intended for youth ages 11-15. This program has two
opportunities for sign ups. The first runs from June 10-13 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The
second runs from June 17-20 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Lunch and snacks are provided for
this camp. The BYU Museum Camp takes youth that are interested in museums and their
corresponding careers, archaeology, anthropology, biology, art, and paleontology through the
various BYU museums found on campus. Throughout the week, they will learn through
activities and presentations about curation, collecting and research, education and outreach,
as well as other aspects of the museums. Activities include viewing live animal shows, working
on design and building challenges, helping paleontologists in their lab, and curating displays.
The cost is $159 and reservations can be made here.

Biology Boot Camp is a program geared towards youth in 2nd through 5th grade. The
camp meets for three weeks in July. Unlike Critter Camp, each week will cover the same
material, which means a child only needs to attend one week to experience the full camp.
It runs Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Field trips are included on
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which includes a trip to Hogle Zoo! Throughout the week,
participants will learn about the different groups of living things that make up our world,
including plants, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish. The youth will learn
through games, activities, projects, and even special behind the scenes tours of the museum’s
research collections.
Week 1 of Biology Boot Camp runs from July 8-12.
Week 2 of Biology Boot Camp runs from July 15- 19.
Week 3 of Biology Boot Camp runs from July 29- August 2.
The cost of the camp is $150 a person and reservations can be made here.

We are very excited to host and educate the youth that come to our camps this summer. Many
adventures await them! For more information about the camps, please visit our website at Act fast! Spots are filling up quickly!
If you would like more information about all of our upcoming events and programs, subscribe to our mailing list here.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Easter Family Night 2019

Easter Family Night is always one of our most popular events of the year and this year was no exception! Over a thousand patrons joined us a couple weeks ago at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum for a night of fun Easter-themed activities. Families, friends, kids, and college students alike had fun participating in our live animal shows, crafts, Easter egg scavenger hunt, and photo booth.

In the downstairs auditorium, guests could attend one of our three live animal shows of the night. We had two shows about animal adaptations and one show about vertebrates. At each show, guests got to meet three live animals!

In the craft room, visitors colored spring-themed coloring pages and made clothespin and paper eggs. Using a clothespin, you can open and close the egg to reveal an adorable baby chick.
Thank you to The Thrifty Home for this cute Easter craft!

About 50 colorful Easter eggs were hidden around the museum for our scavenger hunt. Everyone loved finding eggs in our exhibits and searching for camouflaged green eggs hidden in plants. Anyone who found 10 eggs won a customized Pokemon-inspired animal card. And anyone who found 10 green eggs won the chance to spin our grand-prize wheel for a shot at a Bean Museum custom pen, chapstick, water bottle, reusable bag, or reusable straw!

To top off the night, patrons took a photo at our photo booth. They will receive a copy of their picture with a customized Easter frame so that they can remember this fun night! Here are some pictures we took before the patrons arrived.

Thanks to everyone who attended this event. We love to see our guests at our Easter and Halloween Family nights year after year. To see upcoming events like this one, visit our website.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Pokemon Go Night

The Bean Museum hosted its first ever Pokemon Go Night on Saturday, March 23, 2019 to celebrate the opening of our new exhibit, "Understanding the Principles of Evolution." Individuals and families were able to participate in a scavenger hunt and a Pokemon Go tournament, while exploring how evolution really works.

The scavenger hunt was great for people of all ages, especially for those who didn't have a phone to play Pokemon Go. Visitors explored the museum to find the animal that matched the Pokemon on their paper. Each corresponding animal found in the exhibits had a word associated with it. After finding all the words and unscrambling them, visitors presented the phrase to museum staff to get their prize!

The prizes for completing the scavenger hunt were a Pokeball cookie and an exclusive animal card made especially for this event!

Pokemon Go players, ready to test their skills, participated in a trainer battle tournament. People came from all over, even an hour away to compete. 48 players signed up and the group was split between the Sword and Shield Brackets. It was a tough battle, but two people came out on top.

The winner of the Sword Bracket was "LMusgrave" and the winner of the Shield Bracket was "CKFxD." Each of the winners received a voucher for free ice cream from the BYU Creamery and a Pokeball cookie! Lures were going all night long so trainers were able to catch Pokemon during the event.

It was a fun night at the Bean Museum where families and friends were able to get together to battle, solve riddles, catch Pokemon, and eat cookies all while enjoying the Museum's exhibits. Thanks to everyone who came out and to the employees who made this event happen. Visit our website to see what's happening next at the Bean Museum and for more information on the new "Understanding the Principles of Evolution" Exhibit.