On February 12th, the Bean Museum was excited to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 213th birthday. 12 days leading up to the party, the museum posted on their various social media accounts 12 days of Darwin posts. BYU professors talked about the life of Charles Darwin, the campus’ honors program hosted a behind the scenes field trip of the museum, and a plush Darwin (nicknamed “Chucky-D”) was even hidden in various museum exhibits for museum patrons to find and win a prize!
On the day of Charles Darwin’s actual birthday, the museum had several activities and games to commemorate his big 2-1-3. In the front classroom of the museum, guests could listen to a story of Charles Darwin’s life and color a picture of him. The downstairs auditorium of the museum played a short video biography. The East classroom had activities focusing on concepts learned by Darwin. This included a game to determine which “bird beak” was more effective at eating “food” and mixed up phylogenetic trees for patrons to put together themselves.
Of course, what is a birthday party without birthday cake? Museum party-goers were given a passport with all of the activities listed, and after each activity they were given a stamp on their passport. After finishing at least 3 activities, they could take their stamped passports to a special exhibit about Darwin’s life and get a piece of cake!
Parties are fun, but at the end of the day the important thing celebrated was Charles Darwin and his contributions to science. Biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky once famously said, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution." Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has helped us to make sense of and appreciate the world around us, increasing our understanding of the importance of taking care of the planet and all the living things here.
Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!
Robyn Slater, museum educator