Happy Arbor Day!

Friday, April 29, 2016
Happy Arbor Day from the Bean Museum!
Since Bean Museum patrons are smart, I’m assuming you know trees can be really heavy, but did you know that some trees are actually THE heaviest organisms in the world? Pando, a colony of quaking aspen trees, is considered to be the heaviest living organism weighing in at about 6,600 tons. Each trunk in the colony shares identical genetics.
Quaking Aspens 
To learn more about trees, visit the Arbor Day Foundation.  
To learn more about Provo’s very own trees, visit BYU Tree Tours to find out how you can discover purple leaf plums, lily magnolias, and horsechesnuts right here on campus! After all…casually dropping scientific tree names can be pretty attractive on a date. #arborday #funfactfriday

Conservation Kids

Monday, April 18, 2016
Conservation Ken and Conservation Katy are the Conservation Kids, super heros that are based on Katy Knight, head of the education department at the Bean Life Science Museum and Ken Packer,  exhibits designer. These super heros can be found all over the museum as cartoon versions. They also can be seen in person on the first saturday of every month from 2-3pm. The purpose of the Conservation kids is to educate patrons about ways they can help protect the planet. Shanna Dungan, former educator, created some short videos about the Conservation Kids. These can be found on  youtube as well as with the links below.
The Conservation kids also appear at various events at the Bean Museum, they often ask patrons questions about how they can help protect the planet and award the guests with candy, tickets or bookmarks.
The hope is to do more with the Conservation Kids to reach out to guests as well as community members in helping all become better Stewards of the Planet, which is the overarching theme of the museum.

 Origin Story

Ep. 1 Reduce

Ep. 2 Reuse

Ep. 3 Recycle

"The Amazing Role of Social Behavior (even) in Fishes"

Monday, April 11, 2016
Every semester the bean Museum hosts what is called a "Tanner Lecture" downstairs in the auditorium of the museum. We have scientists who specialize in many different things from universities and organizations all over the world share with students and professors some of their research and findings. For this winter semester we had Dr. Ingo Schlupp present to us. He is the Presidential professor of Biology and the Associate Dean for research for arts and sciences at the University of Oaklahoma. His presentation was called "The Amazing Role of Social Behavior (even) in Fishes"

For Fish one of the first and most important descisions is who to mate with? males may not have to deal with that problem as much, they just want to mate but females need to make this important choice once a season and she needs to find a suitable and fit partner to pass on genes. So in Fish we see that there is generally female choice and male competition as hypothesized by Charles Darwin.

Kinship, or how related you are and how you treat your relatives. Fish like Dwarf Ciclids raise their offspring and their offspring are more successful, healthier than dwarf ciclids that grow up independantly. Fish can tell how related they are to other fish as well! They are more accepting or less territorial toward related fish.

The Social Environment- you hear the term of don't be a sheep, maybe you should hear don't be a fish. They will follow eachother and copy and imitate and lie as well. Fish have a dynamic social behavior.  They also can have leaders, in big groups like sardines, herring and anchovies do to avoid predators.  They can change their sex, fish can do lots of crazy cool things.

These are great opportunities to learn lots about what researchers are doing and how they do it. This world if full in interesting things to explore.

BYU Student Employee of the Year Award

Monday, April 4, 2016
Did you know that every year there is a competition for BYU student employees to get not only the "employee of the month award" but an award as the "best employee on campus for the whole year!?" No big deal right? No way! Nathan Hawks, one of our museum educators, was nominated by Katy Knight and turns out he won! Here is the clip from Y News:
"The Bean Museum's Katy Knight is the proud supervisor of this year's BYU Student Employee of the Year. Nathan Hawks is a lab assistant who presents live animal shows, gives tours and many other things. Katy said, "Nathan's talents in a variety of areas makes him one of the most unique, dynamic, and valuable employees I've ever had at the museum. His outgoing and approachable personality make him valuable as a docent, his knowledge about animals and science allow him to focus on teaching students and patrons rather than content or script."  

Way to go Nathan for being the best student Employee at BYU and always doing your best to make the Bean Museum a better place. He is in no way prideful or arrogant, he just does what he can and what is needed. If you haven't seen a show from him or participated in discovery drawing then you best be coming to do that.

Nathan's nomination will now move on to a state student employee competition. And if he rises to the top of that, he will be entered in a national competition. Nathan is great and we invite you to come and meet him and see for yourself!

Curiosity Carts

Monday, March 28, 2016
In order to help increase the experience for our guests in learing, we have applied a more hands on approach, literally, this is stuff they can touch! The curiosity carts, one is about fur and the other is about trees, we have some more tenative ideas to come, like an ocean theme perhaps. In the fur cart we have furs from many different mammals We invite the patrons to observe with their eyes and hands to make observation about what the purpose for that fur is. mammals have developed fur to accomplish all sorts of things, keep them warm, camoflage, defense, and even cool the, down. With every cart we have an ipad that provides more opportunities to learn with interactive slide shows with videos and pictures. This allows the guest to learn at their level, if they just want to touch and guess which furs come from what animal or if they want to read inforamtion about each animal and their skin covering type and watch videos about it or they can egage with our knowledgeable educators for even more information.
We also have this available with a cart about trees. With this one we have many pieces of wood from different trees. Kids can touch these and count the rings to see how old these trees are, our oldest counted one is from a juniper that is 406  years old! We have leaves they can examine, seeds and animals that live in trees. On the ipad they can learn about tree types, how rings are formed, how an acorn grows and more!
It is our hope to utilize more learning like this in the museum. Our hope is to show you the wonders of the earth and hopefully as you learn more, you will care more and want to take part in being a good steward of this planet. Come check the curiosity carts out and learn something new!

Easter Family Night

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The monday before easter we had our annual family night at the museum. This year we had an easter egg scavenger hunt, the guests had to use their eyes to find all the eggs in the museum for a candy prize. We divided the eggs into levels of easy (green eggs) medium (yellow eggs) and hard (pink and orange eggs). There were a total of 35 eggs hidden in the musum, 5 green, 10 yellow and 20 pink and orange. The conservation kids came to visit and gave out the candy prizes as well as hints.

While the guests were not loking for eggs we had other activities for them like the cocaroach and tarantula game, we had them in their terrariums and placed candy inside to test the gusts bravery to place their hands on the inside to get their candy reward. We also had Nathan Hawks drawing cariacatures of guests who  completed one of the egg search levels. We had our head mout photo booth with items from our educatiuon collection to pose with for fabulous pictures. In our crafts room guests could make bunny ears head bands with paper, crayons, glue and pipe cleaners. We also had two live animal shows presented by Hailey Brown and Nathan Hawks

It was a full house, over 1000 people came to visit for the family night. Many people found the eggs they were looking for and signed up on our e-mail list to take part in a survey to let us know how the museum is doing. We had great success and look forward to more to come!

Lucy the Uromastyx

Monday, March 14, 2016
We have a new addition to our live animal family, say hello to Lucy! She is a Uromastyx, also known as a Spiny-dabb lizard. In the wild these lizards live in the northern deserts of Africa as well as the Middle east. These lizards are vegetarians, eating seeds, dried fruit, and greens.

The name Uromastyx is greek for "Whip Tail." The reason they got that name is because they use those spines on their tail almost like a Stegosaurus would, to whip in defense and those spines are sharp! Their tail is their line of defense, they will also hiss and open their mouth to show you their little teeth. It that doesn't work they also use their speed to get away from a potential threat.

They like it hot! They do fine in temperature rising above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. They don't like temperatures cooler than 80 degrees! They are active in the day and sleep in their burrows at night with their tail at the entrance to dissuade an attacker.

Uromastyx come in so many varieties of species and colors, ranging from drab tans and browns to beautiful reds, yellows oranges, greens, and even blues! They range in size from 12 inches to 36 inches, that is three feet! Lucy is likelky a Saharan Uromastyx (Uromastyx geyri) which are found in Mali, Niger and Algeria. Lucy will grow to about 14 inches and weigh 220-270 grams.

Females are generally less colorful than males, males like to show off just like a peacock. Males also have longer claws and spines, likely for fighting purposes. This is what a male would look like compared to Lucy. Look at that color!

Females lay 5-40 eggs, depending on the species, Lucy would lay around 8-10.

In some parts of the middle east these lizards are eaten for dinner!

Like many lizards their colors change due to their temperature. A Bright lizard is a hot lizard!

Lucy is getting ready to be used for shows. You should be seeing her in live animal shows in the next few months. We are excited to have her and look forward to you all being able to meet her!

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