Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wildlife Adventures Week Four - Reptile Retreat

This week we had a great time at Wildlife Adventures. On Tuesday our focus was on reptiles, we talked about the main characteristics of reptiles. How they have scales, are ectothermic, and usually lay eggs. We also had the opportunity to look at several live animals, including two very large animals, Simon the Red Tegu Lizard and Oatis the African Spurred Tortoise. After we were through with the discussion about the Reptiles we went through the museum and looked at the various reptiles, we even had a chance to practice our ability in telling the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. We also had a fun time creating our own snakes out of tube socks and rice.

On Thursday our focus changed from modern day reptiles to their ancient relatives—the dinosaurs. To do this we visited the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. We had a great time and got to do a variety of activities at the museum, we say how much we weighed in relation to the dinosaurs. We also got a good look at the variety of the dinosaurs and tried to figure out which animals were truly related to modern day reptiles. One of our favorite animals was a prehistoric sea turtle that was about 15 feet long from head to tail. We also got a chance to see how the way that reptiles looked changed over time from there beginnings to the modern day. At the end of the trip we got the opportunity to practice our paleontology skills. Everyone got a real fish fossil and was able to trace it with an air powered drill and they even got to keep the fossil.

Overall we had a great time on our Wildlife Adventure this week and we hope that you can join us for more in the future.

Brendon, museum educator

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wildlife Adventures Week Three - The Bees Knees

Week 3 of our Wildlife Adventures program was buzzing with fun!  In our Tuesday class this week, we learned about how important bees are for the world around us and we learned about the social network of a beehive.  We even learned how bees communicate with each other and helped our classmates find different animals that we hid by dancing to show the direction.  We quickly learned the specific clues to look for to know where to look.  Our hive definitely learned to work together like the bees we learned about.

Our field trip on Thursday was definitely a treat!  We went to The Honey Company here in Provo and learned about bees from an expert!  He taught us how beekeepers find the beehive if they are looking for new bees and  then we got all dressed up in beekeeper's gear to get close to the hives!  In the hives we were able to see the different parts of the hive including where the baby bees are growing!  Our friend the beekeeper then took us to where he extracts the honey and showed us the whole process.  We were even able to taste fresh honey from the hive which was definitely a yummy treat!  At the end he even gave us each some honey to take home to share with our families.  After learning about the bees from the expert, we went bee hunting ourselves and caught many different ones.  After lots of fun catching bees, we decided to look at them under a microscope to see if we could find specific parts of the bees.  It was a great week in Wildlife Adventures and the trip to The Honey Company was definitely the sweetest part!

Check back this coming week to read about our "Reptile Retreat" adventure!  It's still not too late to register for some of our later programs this summer!

Feathered  Friends - July 29 & July 31
Cave Crawlers - Aug 5 & 7

As always, come visit the Bean Museum Monday through Friday from 10-9 and Saturday from 10-5 for free summer fun!

Heather, museum educator

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wildlife Adventures Week Two - Rock On!

We had a rockin' week here at the Bean Museum with week two of our WILDLIFE ADVENTURES program! For our Tuesday class this week, we discussed the importance of rocks in everyday life, the difference between rocks and minerals, various types of rocks, the meaning of igneous/metamorphic/sedimentary, and the wonder of the rock cycle. We even went on a treasure hunt and found all sorts of different rocks to classify! Ask us the difference between black tourmaline and obsidian, and we can tell you!

Our Thursday field trip was a blast! We went to the Museum of Paleontology here at BYU to discover how sedimentary rocks can contain fossils and clues to the past. We then visited Rock Canyon Park and Bridal Veil Falls to look at different sediment samples and observe erosion and the rock cycle in motion. Here you can see some pictures of us beginning our rock cycle scavenger hunt at the base of Bridal Veil Falls. It was my favorite part of the week by a landslide!

Watson: Holmes! What kind of rock is this!
Holmes: Sedimentary, my dear Watson. 

Check back this week to read about our "Bee's Knees" adventure! It's still not too late to register for some of our later programs this summer!

Reptile Retreat - July 15 & 17
Feathered Friends - July 29 & Aug 1
Cave Crawlers - Aug 5 & 7

As always, come and visit the Bean Museum Monday through Friday from 10 - 9 and Saturday from 10 - 5 for free summer fun!

Museum Educator