Upcoming Programs

Museum educational programs include workshops, lectures, movies, and field trips on natural and environmental topics throughout the year.

 

Click here to sign up for our email list. You will receive a monthly listing of upcoming programs and exhibits, plus occasional announcements about special events.

Date

Time Program Title & Description

Location

Friday, January 30 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Prairie Pioneers

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Join us to learn about the early pioneers and the ecology of an important part of Iowa’s natural heritage—the tallgrass prairie—and the diverse animals and plants that call these grasslands home.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Sunday, February 1 3:oo p.m.

Movies@MNH: A Sloth Named Velcro

 

[53 minutes, No Rating]
In 2000 in the jungles of Panama, a young journalist, named Ana, has a chance encounter with a tiny orphaned sloth, which she names Velcro. For nearly two years, the pair is inseparable until finally Ana travels up a remote river to reintroduce Velcro back to the wild. This is the story of Ana’s return to Central and South America to see how much has changed since Velcro came into her life. Sloths, once largely ignored, have become a hot topic for scientific researchers. New studies are showing that they’re not so sloth-like after all, that they have social structures, they move like primates, and that males keep small harems. Sloth sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers are also springing up throughout the Americas as development displaces these gentle creatures. Shot on location in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia this is a story of friendship and a growing network of people working to learn more about sloths in order to protect them.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Friday, February 6 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Ancient Oceans

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Dive into the seas of our past and check out the strange and mysterious creatures that once populated the watery depths of Earth’s primeval eras across the globe and even here in Iowa.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Saturday, February 7 10:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m.

Iowa City Darwin Day

 

10:00-10:45

"Curing Inherited Blindness"

Ed Stone

University of Iowa

10:45-11:30

"Paleofantasy: What Evolution tells us about Modern Life"

Marlene Zuk

University of Minnesota

11:30-12:15

Title TBA

Sean Carroll

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

12:30-1:30

Darwin Day Celebration,

Hageboeck Hall of Birds

 

Visit the ICDD Homepage to learn more!

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Friday, February 13 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Ancient Oceans

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Dive into the seas of our past and check out the strange and mysterious creatures that once populated the watery depths of Earth’s primeval eras across the globe and even here in Iowa.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Thursday, February 19 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

Bryant McAllister, UI Biology

"The Personal Genome: Discoveries of ancestry, genealogy and more through direct-to-consumer genetic analysis”

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts the monthly Explorers Seminars Series on Thursday evenings, featuring interdisciplinary public lectures by researchers from the University of Iowa and beyond who explore science, the environment, prehistory, culture and the interactions of such topics. A cross-section of UI departments are represented in the series each semester, including Anthropology, Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geography, Biological Sciences, and Engineering. The seminars take place monthly on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub. Each program involves an approximately 45 minute lecture, followed by discussion and refreshments from Molly’s Cupcakes in Iowa City.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Saturday, February 21 1:oo p.m.

Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company:

Sal Fink, Catfish Wrangler

 

Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, based in river-rich Iowa, celebrates river culture with stories starring folk heroine Sal
Fink, legendary daughter of Mike Fink, the mighty keel boatman. Sal navigates the Mississippi and its tributaries riding on the back of her pet catfish, Nishnabotna. She fights off a bear with her bare hands, teaches him how to dance, and takes him home to help around the house. She vanquishes a vindictive snake and plays fetch with her pet pig, Suey. While she’s still in diapers, Sal tames a tornado and saves her dad from drowning. This lively performance uses over twenty rod puppets, hand puppets, and novelty puppets, including Sal on the back of her catfish, a large bear, a tornado, and many others. The set includes a twelve yard long, hand painted silk river as well as cattails and coneflowers. Learn more at the Eulenspiegel or Midwest Artist Management websites.

 

Sponsored by The State Historical Society of Iowa and the University of Iowa Credit Union.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Saturday, February 21 2:oo p.m.

Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company:

Music Workshop

[Pre-registration required, free to attend]

 

Multi-instrumentalist Ron Hillis plays jaunty tunes on guitar, banjo, ukelele, fiddle, and harmonica, demonstrating different styles of music on each instrument. Tap your toes, sing along, and learn a thing or two about the history of American music. Workshop is good for all ages. Click here to register.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Saturday, February 21 3:oo p.m.

Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company:

"Twirlies" Puppet Workshop

[Pre-registration required, free to attend]

 

Based on a style of flat paper puppet popular in Asia, these lively characters can dance and twirl, either rod puppet style held below or marionette style worked from above.  Participants must be able to cut and color. Click here to register.

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Sunday, March 1 3:oo p.m.

Movies@MNH: Can I Eat That?

 

[60 minutes, No Rating]
What are the secrets behind your favorite foods? Why are some treats, like chocolate-chip cookies, delectable, while others, like cookies made with mealworms, disgusting? You might think you understand what makes something sweet, salty, or bitter, but David Pogue gets a taste of a much more complicated truth, as he ventures into labs and kitchens where everything from apple pie to Thanksgiving turkey to juicy grasshoppers is diced, sliced, dissected, and put under the microscope. If scientists can uncover exactly what's behind the mouth-watering flavors and textures we take for granted every day, could they help us enjoy our food more—without packing on the pounds?

 

Shown as part of the University of Iowa's Food for Thought Theme Semester

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Friday, March 6 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Physics Fun-damentals

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Get excited as we look at what matters most…matter!  Investigate the energy and forces that govern the natural world surrounding us.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Friday, March 13 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Physics Fun-damentals

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Get excited as we look at what matters most…matter!  Investigate the energy and forces that govern the natural world surrounding us.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Thursday, March 26 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

"Hawkeyes in Space," UI Physics and Astronomy

Title TBA

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts the monthly Explorers Seminars Series on Thursday evenings, featuring interdisciplinary public lectures by researchers from the University of Iowa and beyond who explore science, the environment, prehistory, culture and the interactions of such topics. A cross-section of UI departments are represented in the series each semester, including Anthropology, Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geography, Biological Sciences, and Engineering. The seminars take place monthly on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub. Each program involves an approximately 45 minute lecture, followed by discussion and refreshments from Molly’s Cupcakes in Iowa City.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Thursday, April 2 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

Eric Scott, San Bernadino County Museum

Title TBA

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts the monthly Explorers Seminars Series on Thursday evenings, featuring interdisciplinary public lectures by researchers from the University of Iowa and beyond who explore science, the environment, prehistory, culture and the interactions of such topics. A cross-section of UI departments are represented in the series each semester, including Anthropology, Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geography, Biological Sciences, and Engineering. The seminars take place monthly on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub. Each program involves an approximately 45 minute lecture, followed by discussion and refreshments from Molly’s Cupcakes in Iowa City.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Friday, April 3 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Digging Up the Past

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Get your hands dirty and learn how archaeologists explore past cultures!  Try out your excavation skills and discover everything from spear-throwers to potsherds.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance

Sunday,

April 5

3:oo p.m.

Movies@MNH: Dirt! The Movie

 

[86 minutes, No Rating]
A look at man's relationship with Dirt. Dirt and humans couldn't be closer. We started our journey together as stardust, swirled by cosmic forces into our galaxy, solar system, and planet. We are made of the same stuff. Four billion years of evolution created dirt as the living source of all life on Earth including humans. Dirt has given us food, shelter, fuel, medicine, ceramics, flowers, cosmetics and color --everything needed for our survival. For most of the last ten thousand years we humans understood our intimate bond with dirt and the rest of nature. We took care of the soils that took care of us. But, over time, we lost that connection. We still depend on dirt, but now we abuse and ignore it. We are destroying our last natural resource with our agriculture, our mining, and our paving over the planet for cities. We turned dirt into something "dirty”. A millennial shift in consciousness about the environment offers a beacon of hope - and practical solutions. Around the globe, pioneers are coming together to save earth's last natural resource. Scientists discover connections with soil that can balance global warming. Generation X brands organic farming as trendy and children begin to eat from edible school yards. Inmates find inner peace and job skills in a prison horticulture program. Medical researchers explore dirt's capacity to provide solutions to such devastating health crises as AIDS. Major religions are rediscovering the reverence for the natural world that unites them all.

 

Shown as part of the University of Iowa's Food for Thought Theme Semester

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Friday, April 10 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Digging Up the Past

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Get your hands dirty and learn how archaeologists explore past cultures!  Try out your excavation skills and discover everything from spear-throwers to potsherds.

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Saturday, April 11  

Iowa Climate Festival

 

Check back soon for more information!

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Saturday, April 18 7:oo p.m.

The Fossil Guy

Title TBA

 

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns this spring with hands-on children’s programs on paleontology at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History. All "Fossil Guy" programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. Each program consists of a 30-minute talk by Johnson, a local avocational paleontologist, followed by 30 minutes of hands-on interactive time with Don’s collection of fossils and replicas. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age children.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium

Saturday, April 25 & Sunday,

April 26

 

Pentacrest Museums Family Weekend

 

Check back soon for more details!

 

 

Macbride Hall
Friday, May 1 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Engineering & Innovation

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Ever wondered what it takes to design a bridge or create a hovercraft?  Put your brainpower to the test and see what amazing things you can invent and discover!

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance
Saturday, May 2 7:oo p.m.

The Fossil Guy

Title TBA

 

Don Johnson, "The Fossil Guy," returns this spring with hands-on children’s programs on paleontology at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History. All "Fossil Guy" programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. Each program consists of a 30-minute talk by Johnson, a local avocational paleontologist, followed by 30 minutes of hands-on interactive time with Don’s collection of fossils and replicas. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age children.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium

Sunday,

May 3

3:oo p.m.

Movies@MNH: Earth Flight: North America

 

[61 minutes, No Rating]
David Tennant narrates this awe-inspiring journey across six continents, filmed over four years with help from camera-carrying birds, drones, paragliders and remote-control microflight planes. What would it be like to see the world from a bird’s perspective? To experience riding on the backs of bald eagles and snow geese or flying alongside a flock of brown pelicans as they scan and dive for fish in the ocean below. State-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques have now made it possible to do just that and more as ‘Earthflight” takes viewers on a breathtaking aerial adventure over six continents. It took “Earthflight” series producer John Downer and his team four years to film more than 100 bird species in 40 different countries. Using strategically placed cameras, including tiny HD cameras placed on the backs of trained birds, this six-part series captures amazing viewpoints that have never been seen before.

 

 

Macbride Auditorium
Thursday, May 7 7:oo p.m.

UI Explorers Seminar:

Speaker/Title TBA

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts the monthly Explorers Seminars Series on Thursday evenings, featuring interdisciplinary public lectures by researchers from the University of Iowa and beyond who explore science, the environment, prehistory, culture and the interactions of such topics. A cross-section of UI departments are represented in the series each semester, including Anthropology, Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geography, Biological Sciences, and Engineering. The seminars take place monthly on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Biosphere Discovery Hub. Each program involves an approximately 45 minute lecture, followed by discussion and refreshments from Molly’s Cupcakes in Iowa City.

 

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub
Friday, May 8 6:oo-9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum: Engineering & Innovation

[For students in Grades 1-5, Pre-registration is required, $30 fee per child per program]

 

Ever wondered what it takes to design a bridge or create a hovercraft?  Put your brainpower to the test and see what amazing things you can invent and discover!

 

Explore the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and STEM activities! Each month, explore a different area of science, technology and culture with interactive demonstrations, fun activities, and hands-on materials. Each child will receive their own official MNH Miner Helmet with headlamp to keep, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries as part of the evening’s activities. Parents will drop the children off at the beginning of the program and pick them up when the program is over, with Museum staff and volunteers leading the program and activities. Night at the Museum is sponsored by Gilbert Street Papa John’s Pizza in Iowa City.

 

Iowa Hall entrance