Monday, March 11, 2019

New Exhibit: Understanding the Principles of Evolution

If you have been to the Bean Museum recently, you might have noticed a closed-off section of our museum on the main floor. You might even say our exhibits are evolving...

We are excited about the opening of our new exhibit, Understanding the Principles of Evolution, on Wednesday, March 13. This exhibit will feature four main sections covering the following topics: adaptation, natural selection, artificial selection, and supporting evidence of the theory of evolution.

Duke Rogers, director of the Bean Museum, explained the purpose of this new exhibit in our museum:

The museum’s Exhibits Committee had been contemplating the development of an exhibit about evolution for some time.  This past September, 2018, we decided to move ahead with an evolution exhibit and have its opening coincide with a College of Life Sciences seminar by Dr. John Hawks on March 14th, 2019.  Dr. Hawks, the co-describer of the fossil hominid species Homo naledi, was invited by faculty in the Biology Department and we decided to have a permanent display about the science of evolution as well as a temporary exhibit dealing specifically with hominid evolution – the general topic of Dr. Hawks’ research seminar.  The Biology Department offers two classes about evolution and has a number of hominid fossil reconstructions that faculty generously allowed us use in the hominid display.  The Exhibits Committee hopes that our patrons will spend time contemplating our “Faith and Science” display before taking in our new evolution exhibit.  Our evolution exhibit fits the museum’s mission of showcasing the Earth’s biodiversity as well as explaining how science and faith are two compatible “ways of knowing”.

Regarding evolution, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have said, “The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution. Organic evolution, or changes to species’ inherited traits over time, is a matter for scientific study. Nothing has been revealed concerning evolution. Though the details of what happened on earth before Adam and Eve, including how their bodies were created, have not been revealed, our teachings regarding man’s origin are clear and come from revelation.” (New Era Oct 2016)

The purpose of this exhibit is to explore the well-supported scientific theory of evolution. The purpose is not to establish doctrine for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We hope that visitors will enjoy this exhibit and be inspired to learn more about how evolution impacts the natural world.

The following are a few highlights of our new exhibit:

1. Our first ever 3D-printed objects in the museum, including 5 canine skulls.

2. Fossils from 3 continents. (Africa, Europe, and North America)

3. Specimens from every continent except Australia.

Visit our website or read this BYU News article to learn more about this new exhibit.

We hope you enjoy this new addition to our museum and look forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Night at the Museums 2019

On February 22, all five of BYU’s museums collaborated to put on one of BYU’s most popular events: Night at the Museums! The Museum of Art, Museum of Paleontology, Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Education in Zion, and the Bean Museum became venues for food and activities for the night. Here are some of the things we had going on at the Bean Museum:

Guests chowed down on Cougar Tails (of the donut variety). Yum! Fun fact: Cougar Tails hold the title of No. 1 selling college specialty concession.

College students, kids, couples, and families alike, all loved posing with animal props at our photo booth.

We had two live animal shows in the auditorium. Visitors got to meet several live animals including a snake, a frog, and a tarantula.

Visitors had fun looking at the different exhibits and interacting with the Bean Team, our museum’s student educators. They especially loved the fur cart, where they could touch different animal furs, scales, and feathers.

Guests that attended all five of the museums could complete a scavenger hunt. The goal: solve a riddle that leads you to a hidden sticker at each museum. Guests who found all five stickers won a special Night at the Museums water bottle!

Thank you to everyone who attended Night at the Museums. We had tons of fun at this event! We hope to see you at BYU’s five fantastic museums next year! To learn more about upcoming events at the Bean Museum, visit our website

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 2, 2019 Nature Experienceship: Birding with Merrill Webb

“The early bird gets the worm!” This saying certainly applies to Bald Eagles. On Saturday, February 2, 2019 at about 7AM, we went in search of these majestic birds as part of the Bean Museum’s Nature Experienceship with Mr. Merrill Webb. At the first nesting areas we checked, the eagles had already set off in search of the day’s meal. Not giving up, we headed to Utah Lake and found a Bald Eagle perched on the ice not too far from the shore! We saw about five other Bald Eagles throughout the day. But we didn’t just see bald eagles. Try to identify more of the birds we saw in the pictures below!

These are the species of birds we saw that morning:

Bald Eagles
Canada Goose
Cinnamon Teal
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Belted Kingfisher
American Wigeon
Common Goldeneye
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Pipit
Red-winged Blackbird
Ring-billed Gull
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Northern Flicker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
American Robin
European Starling

Thanks to everyone who attended this birding trip! Check our website for future events and nature experienceships like this one.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Winter 2019 Events

A new semester means new events at the Bean Life Science Museum! In addition to our regular events, we will have a photography show, date night, family Easter night, and more. Here's everything you need to know about these upcoming events:

Nature Photography Competition and Exhibition: Feb 7-Mar 5, entries due Feb 2
This contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers. Read the requirements for entry here. Everyone is welcome to attend the show opening on February 7th at 7:00 PM. See the winning photos and honorable mentions from last year's show here.

Birding with Merrill Webb: Saturday, Feb 2
This nature experienceship is a favorite among visitors of the Bean Museum. Unfortunately this event is sold out, but keep an eye out for future nature experienceships on our website.

Night at the Museums: Friday, Feb 22
Did you know that Brigham Young University has five museums, including the Bean Museum? Visit all five museums at BYU's 6th annual Night at the Museums event. You can expect activities and refreshments as well as a free shuttle to take between museums.

Tomb Raiders Date Night: Saturday, Mar 9
Another favorite of museum visitors, this event tends to sell out quickly. This date night is an interactive live Tomb Raiders game with puzzles and tasks to complete. Reserve a spot for you and a date here.
Easter Family Night: Mon, Apr 15
Enjoy crafts, prizes, a photo booth, and more activities at our annual Easter Family Night! This event is great for kids of all ages.

Don't forget about these regular events at the Bean Museum:

Live Animal Shows: Daily
Join us for any of our free public live animal shows at the following times: Mon-Fri at 7:30 PM (additional show at 6:30 PM on Mondays) and Saturday at 1PM and 3PM. You can also schedule a private live animal show for free here.

Discovery Reading: Every Thursday
Discovery Reading is perfect for younger children! Read books with us and meet a live animal every Thursday at 11AM.

Conservation Kids: First Saturday of the Month
Conservation Ken and Katy make an appearance on the first Saturday of every month. Come meet these superheroes to learn some facts about conservation and maybe even meet a live animal!

As always, you can find information about our events on our website. We look forward to seeing you at the Bean Museum this semester!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Clue Date Night 2018

Last Saturday, 30 couples joined us for a Clue-themed date night at the Bean Museum. The couples arrived in costume for a delicious Brick Oven catered dinner. While eating, they were able to interact with our eccentric guests, Mr. Green, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, and Professor Plum.

Guests were greeted by the butler and head maid.

We loved seeing everyone's fancy and creative costumes!

This couple loved meeting Colonel Mustard.

After dinner, the head maid ran into the room, screaming. Luckily, the butler caught her when she fainted. The cause of her distress? Mr. Bean was murdered.

After this announcement, couples raced to solve riddles in order to narrow down who committed the murder, where, and with what weapon. At the Bean Museum, you won't find ordinary weapons, though. Potential murder weapons included a hippo tusk, poison sumac, porcupine quills, and a rattlesnake.

Can you solve Miss Scarlet's riddle? A son and engineer go fishing. The boy was the engineer's son but the engineer wasn't the boy's father. How was this possible? Answer in the comments!

In the end, one couple solved all the riddles, narrowed down all the possibilities, and solved the mystery. Mr Bean was murdered by Mrs. White with a rattlesnake in the dining room!

Thank you to all the couples who joined us for this fun event! You can find information about other events, including future date nights, on our website.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween Family Night 2018

Thanks to the 1500 who attended our annual Halloween Family Night this past Monday! We had a night full of fun Halloween crafts, shows, activities, and prizes.

Our photobooth is always a hit! This year, visitors got to meet Conservation Ken and Katy at the photobooth.

We had a full house in the auditorium for our three special Spooky Live Animal shows. Visitors got to meet a tarantula and a frog and even touch a ball python!

We made Frankenstein, cat, pumpkin, and sugar skull masks in the craft room!

A local wildlife rescue center brought some incredible live owls to the museum!

Visitors had fun looking for spooky animals and pumpkins around the museum and completing a bingo scavenger hunt. And of course getting their candy prizes for finding four-in-a-row!

Impromptu stroller parking lot

Halloween Family Night was a blast! We would love to see you next year. You can find more information about our events on our website.