Saturday, June 16, 2018

Critter Camp- Water Edition

Week two of Critter Camp was all about water critters! On the first day the kids were in the Bean Museum learning about water critters in many interactive ways. We began their ocean discoveries down in the darkest depths of the ocean. We learned how angler fish catch their food and then swam up a bit higher to learn about animals that lived near the surface of the ocean. We also made own swordfish noses and see what it takes to hunt like a swordfish. We also got to experience the trials baby sea turtles face getting to the ocean through a relay race. We had to hop over crabs, swerve around rocks, and duck under birds. One of their favorite parts was getting to meet some of the water critters that live at the Bean Museum. We finished the day off with a hunt around the museum for different wetland animals.

On the second day of camp, the kids piled into vans to go on an adventure. After a fun car ride of singing Disney tunes, we arrived at Cascade Springs. We journeyed across the boardwalks and through the trails in search of water critters and saw lots of cool plants along the way! One of our favorite plants was Lamb’s Ear because it was so soft to pet! We enjoyed seeing the habitat where water critters live and seeing a few animals too!

Junior Naturalist Camp

This last week with the Junior Naturalists was a blast! 10 budding scientists from the 

fourth and fifth grades joined several of our Museum Educators for an exploration of Utah’s
flora and fauna. On Tuesday, June 5, the Junior Naturalists and Educators embarked on an
exciting day of collecting bugs and plants from Aspen Grove and South Fork Park. It was very
hot, but the Junior Naturalists were so excited to catch and collect insects that they didn’t mind
the heat. Kids caught a wide variety of bugs and insects, from spiders to butterflies to
bumblebees! They also collected some incredible plant specimens.

On Wednesday, June 6, the Naturalists returned to the museum to carefully glue their pressed plant specimens and pin their insect collections. The lucky kids even got to tour the usually off-limits research collections in the museum! They marveled at mammals, birds, insects, and plants from all around the world, and were able to learn from Brittany about the importance of research collections and preserving specimens correctly!

Finally, on Friday, June 8, the Naturalists returned once again to showcase their completed collections. Museum guests stopped by the table to take a peek in the microscopes at insects up close, admire the plants, and learn from these brilliant kids about their exciting week. Thanks to all those who participated and we hope to see you again next year!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Critter Camp- Land Edition

The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum sent out a call to all kindergartners and first graders to come to the Bean Museum to participate in the first ever Critter Camp! Critter Camp is designed to teach kindergartners and first graders about the many different kinds of animals that live on our beautiful planet Earth. The camp is designed to focus on critters of the land, the water, and the air. On the first week of Critter Camp, we focused on animals of the land. Twenty children answered the museum's call and came to Critter Camp last week to learn about the variety we have in animals that live on the land regions of Earth through crafts, games, and activities.

The first activity the children were able to participate in involved understanding the different ways land animals eat. Land animals can eat their food in many different ways including pecking or scooping up food with a beak, sucking up food, scavenging and digging for food, and catching food with sticky, long tongues. The kids got to try out all of these different eating techniques with some fun games. Some activities included sucking up M&M"s with straws into a cup just like an elephant grabs food by sucking it up using its trunk, digging through paper bedding to find plastic insects like bears dig and scavenge for food, using sticky hands to catch paper insects like lizards snatch insects from the ground, and finally, the kids snatched chickpeas up with chopsticks like ostriches use their beaks to peck up food.

The second activity involved learning how land animals have special senses that help them navigate their environment, including sight, touch, smell, and sound. This activity included placing their hands inside of mystery boxes to feel different animal pelts, listening to different animal sounds, touching a live snake and seeing a live tarantula and learning how they smell, and looking at animal tracks to guess what land animals made them.

Lastly, the children learned how different land animals move. Some of the animals included hopping kangaroos, crawling lizards, stomping elephants, slithering snakes, waddling penguins, and running cheetahs. The kids were able to draw a fun land animal and practice the different ways that they moved. In the end, not only did the children go home with new and interesting information about land animals, they were also able to go home with prizes and their beautiful drawings and coloring pages.

On Thursday, the educators and children had the opportunity to put their learning to the test by heading up to Big Springs Trail in Provo Canyon, to scout out land animals. While there were no giraffes or lions stalking the forests of Utah, the children were able to see many insects and various invertebrates, as well as a few small land animals. They even got to see the rare yellow Labrador Retriever dog roaming around! Whenever a new animal was discovered, the kids were able to draw and label their findings. The campers explored the Big Springs trail, played some fun animal games, and even used their artistic skills to make some leaf rubbing art. What a day! After a short drive filled with fun songs, they finished off the day at BYU"s Museum of Paleontology to discover land animals that used to roam the Earth.

Success! The children and educators had such a fun time, and were able to learn from each other in the process. Everyone was able to go home with a new sense of wonder about all of the wonderful land animals we have. Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful week of camp! We are excited to see what is in store this week, as we prepare for round two of Critter Camp, which involves learning about water animals!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bean Museum Summer Camp Lineup

The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is bustling with incredible camps this summer! The museum is involved in four different camps that take place throughout the months of June and July.

Our Critter Camp runs through three separate weeks in June, and focuses on the many critters we have on Earth! Week 1 (June 5 and 7) of Critter Camp focuses on land critters, Week 2 (June 12 and 14) focuses on water critters, and Week 3 (June focuses on air critters! The camp is for kindergarten and first graders, and will involve activities, games, and field trips out in nature! Each week costs $35. This camp is not a day camp; for times and hours, please visit our website.

Our Biology Boot Camp is a day camp that runs through two separate weeks in July, and will focus on plants, mammals, birds, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and insects, as well as special behind the scenes experiences in the collections at our museum. Week 1 (July 9-13) and Week 2 (July 16-20) cover the same topics, which will be reinforced through activities, games, and even a day trip to the Hogle Zoo! This camp is for 2nd-5th graders and costs $100 each week. Since the same topics and activities are taught on both weeks, it is recommended to only sign up for one week.

In collaboration with Thanksgiving Point, the Bean Museum will also be hosting the Junior Naturalists day camp for two weeks this summer. This camp involves children learning how to explore the nature surrounding them through the processes of collecting, recording and sharing. The children will participate in activities at both Thanksgiving Point and the Bean Museum, and will involve researching and creating a plant and bug collection. Week 1 (June 4-8) is for 4th and 5th graders, while Week 2 (June 25-29) is for 6th and 7th graders. The content is the same for each week, so it is recommended to only sign up for one week.

The Bean Museum is also involved in BYU Museum Camp this summer! This is a day camp designed for youth ages 13-16, and involves content focused on museums. Topics that will be discussed include museums, museum careers, biology, anthropology, art, and paleontology, as the campers visit the various museums across BYU campus and see behind-the-scenes areas.

Wow! What a lineup of camps! We hope to see you join us on some fantastic adventures of learning and discovery this summer! Check out our events page at to learn more about these camps and see if any spots are still available. They are selling out fast!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter Family Night 2018

We hope everyone had a hoppy Easter!

Thank you to the 1100+ visitors that came to participate in our Easter celebrations with us at our annual Easter Family Night on March 26, 2018! The evening was filled with incredible activities and experiences for all ages. Patrons searched high and low to find the 40 colorful Easter eggs that were hidden throughout the museum. For every 10 eggs found, they were rewarded with a piece of candy! 
Some feathered friends came to visit the event, with live owls, falcons, and hawks roaming the museum for visitors to see up close. While the birds weren't too interested in searching for Easter eggs, they were happy to sit still and take pictures with anyone who wanted an awesome photo!

For those who wanted to get their craft going, two Easter art projects were available for everyone to do. The projects included paper weaving, and creating hand print chicks to nestle into eggs. 

Visitors also had the opportunity to come face to face with the museum's animals at our live animal shows, and were even able to touch one of our snake friends! Some even faced their fears and tried reaching into our tarantula environment to grab candy. To capture a memory of the event, an Easter themed photo booth was available for patrons to take picture with some of our animal specimens. 

All in all, it was an evening filled with fun, family, and friends. 
Make sure to join us next year for our annual Easter Family Night!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tomb Raiders Date Night

On Saturday March 3, 33 couples arrived at the Bean Museum after hours to embark on a
dangerous quest . . . the quest for the crystal skull of Count Monte L. Bean! Cleopold
Reginald III, Madame Duvalt and Captain Reynolds led the explorers on their journey, who
had to collect the pieces of a map that lead to the treasure. The tomb raiders braved the
jungles of the island with Captain Reynolds and his first mate, showcasing their expertise
in shooting firearms. The Mystic certainly challenged our explorers with a puzzling maze
they had to complete before receiving her piece of the map. The Old Hag kept the tomb
raiders on their toes with her riddles, as well as by hiding a map piece on the island.
Madame Duvalt had a safe to crack, which the explorers had to discover the code for.
Cleopold Reginald III then assisted the explorers through a laser maze set up to protect the
crystal skull from thieves. All the while, the shadowguards roamed the island, capturing
explorers and sending them to frightening locations. Thankfully, everyone made it out alive,
and one couple discovered all 6 pieces of the map! Cleopold then led these two heroes to
the tomb of Count Monte L. Bean, where they discovered the crystal skull. Thank you to all
who dared join our journey, and we wish you luck on your future adventures.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Snow Goose Festival with Merrill Webb

Each February, thousands of Snow Geese flock to Utah on their long trek home – roughly 3,000 miles! At the beginning of the month they leave their winter home in Mexico and make their way north, making a pit stop in Delta, UT where they will spend a few weeks resting up before the remainder of the journey towards their summer home in Canada. To celebrate this amazing migration, at 7 am Saturday morning the Bean Museum stuffed two twelve passenger vans full of people and equipment and took off towards Delta, excited to catch a glimpse of these migrant birds.  Led by Merrill Web, our group of birders began adding bird sightings to their list right out of the gate! Walkie-talkies connected the two vans, which allowed Dr. Webb to call out the species of birds being seen from the road the entire drive down to Delta.
Upon our entrance to Delta, we were met with an amazing sight.  Flocks on flocks on flocks of geese crowding the skies above us!  Looking forward to finding the landing sites of these flocks, we strategized our search.  Our first stop was along the beach of the Gunnison Bend Reservoir. While most of the reservoir was frozen, there was a small flock of geese hanging out right in the middle of the reservoir.  Upon further inspection, this flock comprised of Canada Geese and one solitary Snow Goose! Anxious to find even more Snow Geese, we soon left the Gunnison Bend Reservoir in search of them and soon found them in the fields surrounding the reservoir. Dr. Webb taught the group how to tell the difference between a Snow Goose and a Ross’s Goose (its all in the bill) and with this newfound knowledge our group was able to start making sense of all the white feathers being seen in our scopes.
Once satisfied with the amount of geese seen, our caravan pressed on along a long stretch of road in hopes of seeing some hawks and eagles. With our eyes focused on the tops of telephone poles and in large trees, our hawk sightings were off the charts. While our hawk sightings were racking up, we had yet to find any eagles, and the time to head home was soon approaching. Although disappointed to be leaving Delta without seeing a single eagle, our caravan started to make the trek back to Provo.  As we started through the mountain pass that marked our exit out of Delta, there they were! Two Golden Eagles soaring high above us. A probable mated pair, we watched as the male showed off for the female by tucking in his wings and diving past her. We watched these two eagles dance through the air until they finally passed out of view, before finally heading back to Provo.
We were able to see thousands of birds on this trip, divided up into 23 species. The complete list of species seen is as follows:
Snow Goose
Ross’s Goose
Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Pheasant
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
American Coot
Northern Flicker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark