Saturday, June 23, 2018

Critter Camp- Air Edition

This past week we had a blast with our little 4-6 year old adventurers! On Tuesday, June 19, we spent the day at the museum, learning all about which animals fly, the anatomy of birds, and even pollination, plus so much more! The kids flew paper airplanes to learn about how things fly, and colored pages as we talked about the important things birds have that make them different and allow them to fly. We ended the day playing a flying animal matching game.

On Thursday, we left the museum to explore the outdoors. We traveled to Highland Glen Park and saw so many different flying animals, such as honey bees, butterflies, a Forester's tern, a scrub jay, mallard ducks, and barn swallows! The kids loved walking around and identifying the animals from their field guides. We then travelled to the BYU Botany Pond to get a closer look at ducks, turtles, and even some adorable ducklings.

At the end of the day, the tired kids came back to the museum for a special presentation by our educator Allie, who volunteers at a bird sanctuary. She brought some special friends for the kids to see, Candyce the Peregrine Falcon and _______ the Great Horned Owl. Such an incredible experience!

BYU Museums Camp 2018

For the past two weeks, the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum took part in BYU's Museum Camp. This camp invites young teenagers to experience BYU's four museums, in order to see and appreciate the various collections and the impact they have on the community. The youth participants had the opportunity to see behind the scenes of all of the museums, and spoke with museum employees to expand their knowledge in regards to critical thinking, exhibit design, educational programs, and writing skills.
In order to prep for creating their own exhibits, the participants came to the Bean Life Science Museum to learn about education and outreach. First, the participants toured the research collections where they learned why collecting of specimens is important to education and science. Second, they toured with an expert who explained the process of exhibit design and the hard work that goes into making an exhibit fun and educational to all ages of the public. Lastly, they were able to visit with a museum educator to discuss the various educational shows and programs the museum offers, why they are in place, and even got to participate in their very own private live animal show! These experiences provided a great opportunity for the campers to gain their own ideas to incorporate education and outreach into their exhibits.
If you would like to know more about the education programs we offer at the museum, visit our website at

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!