Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Museum Date Night - Muder Mystery Dinner Theater

Another great date night at the museum!!! A murder has taken place and it was up to all the date night guests to track down the killer. We had a fairy, a woman dressed as a man, and even a man dressed as a woman... We enjoyed pizza and salad for dinner and pound cake with hot cocoa and apple cider.

In the end, it was the politician who killed Prince Charmless... who would have guessed? All in all, everyone who attended this fun event left satisfied and a little grossed out by Tapioca (see attached photo)

Make sure you're on the list for the next date night activity, You will not regret it!

Michael, Museum educator

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Halloween Family Night - October 26th

Monday, October 26th, was the Bean Museum’s Halloween Family Night. Patrons and employees alike dressed in their costumes and came to have fun. The night started out making “Creepy Crafts” where, under the direction of Becky, patrons could make fun Bat candy corn holders. The craft area was open all night, allowing everyone time to make one of the fun candy carriers. The special Halloween Live animal show was done downstairs several times, thanks to the hard work of Michael and Matt. With the lights in the auditorium dimmed, Matt showed the spooky specimens, while Michael provided the voice for the show’s Skull narrator. Due to high demand for repeat performances, the duo did several showings of the animals which included a Wolf, an Owl, and…. a PENGUIN. (It was terrifying.) They taught fun facts about the specimens including the idea that owls are believed to live where only ghosts live. The fun didn’t stop there though! Guests were able to take their picture with their choice of several specimens, such as a wolf, a raven, or a penguin. There was also a fun game to help search for Rosie! She left clues on several of the specimens, and patrons followed them (and the trail of spider webs…yuck!) in order to help find her. All-in-all, Halloween Night proved to be a great success. Everyone from families with young children, to families with grown kids came, and all smiled, laughed and learned together as we celebrated the spookiest season of the year!

Elise, Museum Educator

Saturday Safari Report - November 7, 2009

Did you know that Australia is the smallest continent? It is also the home to some unique animals like the Dingo, Koala Bear, Kangaroo, Monitor Lizards, Echidna, and Duck Billed Platypus. Did you know that Koalas aren’t actually bears? They are Marsupials! The name Koala actually means “doesn’t drink” and they get this name because they don’t drink. They get enough water and other fluids from the Eucalypts leaves they eat, which are actually toxic! We also learned about Australian Aborigine Dot Art. Every painting is made of individual dots! These paintings can be of Alligators, Turtles, or just intricate designs. These paintings depict daily life as an Aborigine.

Sterling, Museum Educator

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nature Experienceship - Conifers with Larry St. Clair

October 16, 2009

This Saturday we had an amazing Nature Experienceship with Dr. Larry St. Clair. He taught us about coniferous trees as we walked around BYU Campus and identified the plants. We had a group of 10 people and started by the Bean Museum and worked our way around campus, eventually ending up around the Joseph Smith Building. As we approached each tree we applied what we learned to identify it, and sometimes had to use our hand lenses to inspect the needles or branches.

One interesting story told by Dr. St. Clair was about an old BYU President and a Ginko tree. The fruit of the Ginko tree smells like rancid butter and the BYU President was walking one day and brought some into his office on his shoes. He was very displeased with the odor they emitted and ordered to have the Ginko trees removed from campus. Luckily, one BYU Professor convinced the President not to remove the trees, so the President ordered "Then keep those things off the sidewalk!

Becky, Museum Educator

Monday, October 19, 2009

Museum Date Night - Muder Mystery Dinner Theater

It was a night with murder! Our Halloween Date Night “Murder Mystery Dinner Theater” was a blast for all those involved. The couples in attendance had the opportunity to interrogate suspects and reveal who they thought was the murderer. Was it Professor Bunsen or was it Sir Hamish Hogwash. Perhaps it was Gigi Sparkle or Lading Fading. If you were in attendance you found out that it was the person you least suspected. We had pizza and pumpkin pie. Absolutely delicious! After the show we were delighted with yet another Scary show…this time it involved scary animals. We learned about wolves, owls, bats, and ravens along with the folkloric traditions behind each animal. For those couples who stuck around after both shows, we were delighted to be given a tour of the museum by Matt Meese. All in all, Date Night was a great success. If you missed out this time around, make sure you sign up earlier for the next date night during the winter semester!

Michael, museum educator

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday Safari Report - October 10, 2009

The Saturday Safari kids and I had a blast this past Saturday as we became pirates of the Caribbean! We set sail on our high seas adventure by starting the day talking about all the different varieties of fish you can in the Caribbean! We then let our imaginations run wild as we all designed our very own fish with water colors. No pirate is complete without eye patches and a pirate flag, so each of us made an eye patch and designed our very own flag. Now we looked like real pirates. As the day progressed, we did fun activities and games, all the time learning about the different types of animals that live in the Carribean. The highlight of our pirate day Saturday Safari was Black Beard’s treasure hunt. The kids worked together to solve animal clues that took them all over the museum. In order to be given some of their clues they had to give themselves pirate names and walk the plank. In the end, the kids found their treasure (lots of candy) and were ready to call it a day. There is always something happening at Saturday Safari, so what are you waiting for you scallywags come join us next time!!!

Katie, Museum Educator

Monday, September 21, 2009

Antelope Island and Farmington Bay with Merrill Webb

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We had a group of 13 people join us on this Nature Experienceship. We went to Antelope Island and then spent a few minutes at Farmington Bay on our way home. The detour was worth the stop as we saw some beautiful American White Pelicans and Snowy Egrets. We are always grateful for Mr. Webb's willingness and expertise.

We saw the following birds (29 total):

Canada Goose
Northern Shoveler
Eared Grebe
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Forster's Tern
Mourning Dove
American Crow
Common Raven
Barn Swallow
Western Meadowlark

Here are some pictures from the event:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saturday Safari Report -August 8, 2009

On Saturday August 8th, those of us at Saturday had a fine time as Michael taught us about a bug we don't usually think about-- ants! We toured the underground world of an ant hill, and thought about lifting ten times our weight like an ant does. We ended the party with a viewing of A Bugs Life and treats. Thanks, Michael, for such a fun time with ants!

Lauren, Museum Educator

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This week for Wildlife Adventures we climbed up to Timpanogos Cave. Not only was it a great workout for our calves but we learned a lot about the Cave too! Timpanogos Cave is actually made up of chambers and they are Hansen Cave, Middle Cave, and Timpanogos Cave. Our guide showed us all the different mineral flows that are found inside the cave. There were some that looked like Popcorn, Straws, Bacon and even a Camel! At the end of the tour we stopped at a spot and we were told the Legend of Timpanogos Cave. The Legend says that a long time ago a girl was sacrificed and she formed the Mountain and that you can see her heart in the Cave! Of course this is all a legend that was written for the Timpanogos Story Telling Festival and none of it is true.

Sterling, Museum Educator

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday Safari Report -August 1, 2009

Elephants, Blue Whales, Ostriches, and yes...even Dinosaurs! What do they all have in common? THEY ARE BIG! This week Lauren guided us through the world of big and tall animals. Did you know that an full grown elephant weighs as much as a blue whale's tongue? That was one of the many facts we learned at this week's Saturday Safari. We had the opportunity to learn a lot about our favorite big and tall animals. We took a tour around the museum to check out the real large animals found in today's world. We saw giraffes...we saw rhinos...we saw hippos...we even saw a HUGE ELEPHANT! We also had the opportunity to watch the Magic School Bus show titled 'Busasaurus'. It is always a treat to have Ms. Frizzle guiding us through the majestic prehistoric world. All in all, we all came away from Saturday Safari with a tremendous knowledge of our big and tall friends in the animal world and better yet...we all had a BLAST! Thank you Lauren and thank you Bean Museum!

Michael, museum educator

Saturday Safari Report - July 25, 2009

On Saturday, July 25th, learning swooped down and caught our Saturday Safari goers by surprise. Michael taught us all about birds of prey, beginning with the riddle: “What flies and eats meat?” While the kids contemplated the answer, they were allowed to pet owls, hawks, and even the wing of a golden eagle.

Even with technical difficulties, Michael was able to tell us all about these soaring predators including his own encounter with a bald eagle (the eagle was as tall as his chest! Standing!). We learned how owl’s fly so silently, and why they can turn their heads all the way around (did you know Owl’s eyes are so big they can’t move them around in their eye-sockets?).

Finishing off with a game of bird-related hangman, and our very own contest to determine which bird had the ugliest face, (The winner? The king vulture! Isn’t he horrid?) This Saturday Safari satisfied even the most curious adventurer.

Lauren, museum educator

Friday, July 31, 2009

Saturday Safari Report - July 18, 2009

Who needs legs? Apparently not snakes...This past week's Saturday Safari was tons of fun! We had the opportunity to learn a lot about snakes and the traits and qualities that make them great. Lauren taught us how closely related snakes and lizards are. She even fooled us with pictures of lizards that look just like snakes. We had the play with real live snakes. The consensus between the children involved was that Cuddles (the Ball Python) was the coolest. Being the biggest snake not only helps to ensure your survival, it also makes you cool in the eyes of least this was the case with Cuddles. All in all, we owe Lauren a debt of gratitude for helping us to appreciate snakes. Overall, she taught us that snakes are our friends and not our enemies!

Michael, Museum Educator

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nature Experienceship - Reptiles with Megan Fuller

In the month of July the Bean Museum had its first ever Reptile and Amphibian Nature Experienceship. A field trip was planned to catch reptiles in Diamond Fork Canyon. Each person got a packet of information about reptiles we wouldn’t be seeing that day, a short guide to the reptiles and amphibians found in that area, and the use of the Museum’s reptile catching equipment. Earlier in the week of our experienceship the sun had been shinning everyday, but that morning the sky was cloudy and cold. Even though the weather wasn’t ideal for reptile hunting we still ended up catching three fence lizards and saw two others. We also got to come back to the museum for a short tour of the Herpetology collection and to see some of the museum’s live reptiles. It was a lot of fun.

Megan Fuller, Education Assistant

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nature Experienceship - Wildflowers with Dr. Leigh Johnson

Everyone was enthusiastic despite the dismal weather as we met with Dr. Leigh Johnson to go looking for wildflowers. After a brief explanation of flower anatomy and plant presses we loaded the vans and departed for Rock Canyon. We found our first wildflowers before we even left the parking lot. They were identified as a “LPFs” or “little purple flowers” which upon closer inspection turned out to be Musk Mustard from the Brassicaceae family. As we started walking down the trail Dr. Johnson was able to tell us lots of interesting things about the plants we saw. Using our hand lenses we were able to count the number of sepals, petals, and stamens. Dr. Johnson brought along some field guides and plant keys to help us learn to identify the plants we found. He also taught us some good characteristics for identifying plant families, such as Brassicaceae (mustards) always have 4 petals in the shape of a cross, and Boraginaceae have a flowering stock that curls up in a scorpoid shape. By the time we circled back to the parking lot we were wet, but everyone agreed that it was worth it!

Melissa, Museum Educator