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

Saturday,

April 19, 2014 - Sunday,

April 20, 2014

Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday:

1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Pentacrest Museums Family Weekend

 

Visitors to the Museum of Natural History will learn fun ways they can help save the planet with help from Captain Planet and his Planeteers, from decorating their own reusable canvas bags, to learning about water conservation and fire prevention, how to plant seeds, making fun crafts out of reusable materials, and more.

 

The Museum of Natural History is also collaborating with Sesame Street Live (coming to Cedar Rapids April 29th and 30th) for a ticket giveway to participants who stop by the Extinct and Endangered Animal table in Mammal Hall and put their name in the drawing after making their own animal puppet to take home.

 

 

Saturday,

April 19,

2014

11:00 a.m.

Professor KW Therm: "All Things Energy"

 

On Saturday, April 19th, Doug Litwiller (aka “Professor KW Therm”) will present “All Things Energy” in Macbride Auditorium at 11:00am.  Doug is the associate director of Energy Conservation in Facilities Management at the University of Iowa, and is one of many individuals at the university focused on reducing the University of Iowa’s energy consumption.  The “Professor” will give the audience members of all ages a light-hearted look at “all things energy” including information on how the university is reducing its carbon footprint and how you can reduce energy consumption at home.  The “Professor” will be answering questions such as "How much energy does the university consume?", "What is a Kilowatt-hour and why should I care?", "What does an LED light bulb look like?", "What is coal?", and more.

 

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Saturday,

April 19,

2014

2:00 p.m.

The Fossil Guy: "Chewing up the Ice Age"

 

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.

 

How do the teeth of the Ice Age mammoth and mastodon differ from one another?  How does the skull of the great saber-toothed cat Smilodon compare to that of the modern lion?  How were the shape and structure of their teeth specially adapted to their diets?  Learn about these and other Ice Age mammals during this program.  A special focus will be placed on the recovery of Ice Age remains of giant ground sloths and mammoths by crews from the UI Museum of Natural History.  See and touch mineralized bones of Ice Age creatures including horses, bison, deer, pole cats, cave bears and more!  View a replica skull of the famous Dire Wolf from the La Brea Tar Pits in California.  Artifacts of Paleoindians will be used to help recreate the Ice Age world of North America.  Are we able to answer the question "Why did many of the large Ice Age mammals go extinct?"

 

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Sunday,

April 20,

2014

3:00 p.m.

Movies@MNH:

Earth Month Series, Wall-E

 

In a distant, but not so unrealistic, future where mankind has abandoned earth because it has become covered with trash from products sold by the powerful multi-national Buy N Large corporation, WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot has been left to clean up the mess. Mesmerized with trinkets of Earth's history and show tunes, WALL-E is alone on Earth except for a sprightly pet cockroach. One day, EVE, a sleek (and dangerous) reconnaissance robot, is sent to Earth to find proof that life is once again sustainable. WALL-E falls in love with EVE. WALL-E rescues EVE from a dust storm and shows her a living plant he found amongst the rubble. Consistent with her "directive", EVE takes the plant and automatically enters a deactivated state except for a blinking green beacon. WALL-E, doesn't understand what has happened to his new friend, but, true to his love, he protects her from wind, rain, and lightning, even as she is unresponsive. One day a massive ship comes to reclaim EVE, but WALL-E, out of love or loneliness, hitches a ride on the outside of the ship to rescue EVE. The ship arrives back at a large space cruise ship, which is carrying all of the humans who evacuated Earth 700 years earlier. The people of Earth ride around this space resort on hovering chairs which give them a constant feed of TV and video chatting. They drink all of their meals through a straw out of laziness and/or bone loss, and are all so fat that they can barely move. When the auto-pilot computer, acting on hastily-given instructions sent many centuries before, tries to prevent the people of Earth from returning by stealing the plant, WALL-E, EVE, the portly captain, and a band of broken robots stage a mutiny.  [98 minutes, rated G]

 

 

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Thursday,

April 24,

2014

7:00 p.m.

Explorers Seminar Series:

Greg McDonald

National Park Service

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts UI Explorers Seminars Series monthly 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 7:00pm 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 (Hageboeck Hall of Birds, 3rd Floor)

Saturday,

April 26,

2014

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Iowa Climate Symposium

 

Session 1: The Basics of Climate Science

Join local experts as they discuss greenhouse gases, particles in the air, and their effects on climate.  Featured presenters include:

  • Vicki Grassian (UI Department of Chemistry)
  • Charles Stanier (UI Chemical & Biochemical Engineering)
  • Marnie Stein (Iowa Department of Natural Resources)

 

Session 2: What does the future hold for climate in Iowa?

Distinguished speakers will discuss what a changing climate will mean for Iowa as we look towards the future. Issues related to agriculture, water sustainability, public health, and Iowa's potential as an energy producer will be discussed.

  • Jerry Hatfield (USDA)
  • Wanda Reiter-Kintz (State Hygienic Laboratory)
  • Jerry Schnoor (UI Civil and Environmental Engineering)

 

Following each session, speakers will take questions from the audience.  Between the two sessions, we will break for further discussion, coffee, and juice.

 

Visit the symposium website for more details, and register here.

 

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Saturday,

April 26,

2014

1:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Climate Science Fair

 

Explore climate science through hands-on experiments at the Climate Science Fair.  Learn what makes a gas a greenhouse gas, how clouds form, how particles in the air cool the earth, what your carbon footprint means for the ocean, and more!  Bring your questions to local climate researchers and green chemists, learn how to reduce your environmental impact, and join us for an ice cream social!

 

Visit the symposium website for more details, and register here.

 

Biosphere Discovery Hub (Hageboeck Hall of Birds, 3rd Floor)

Saturday,

April 26,

2014

2:00 p.m.

The Fossil Guy: "Climate, Extinction, & The Fossil Record"

 

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.

 

What role did climate change have in some of the great extinction events in the fossil record?  How might some groups of plants & animals have survived dramatic climate change while others went extinct?  What other causes of extinction need to be considered?  See and touch many fossils of trilobites, blastoids, ammonites, Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, & Ice Age mammals as we examine three major extinction events: the Permian-Triassic (252 million years ago), the Cretaceous-Paleogene (66 million years ago), and the Late Pleistocene (ending 11,700 years ago).  What lessons can be learned from past major extinction events that we can apply today?

 

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Sunday,

April 27,

2014

3:00 p.m.

Movies@MNH:

Earth Month Series, Arctic Tale

 

Arctic Tale takes you to the top of the earth and the polar bears ice kingdom. This is a National Geographic film that is narrated by Queen Latifah. The movie follows the beginning lives of a polar bear cub, Nanu, and a walrus pup, Seela. The story takes us along their journey from birth to maturity, eight years later, with all the struggles in-between. We see that the mothers will do anything to protect their young from other predators in this life or death struggle. The biggest threat for Nanu and Seela is surviving the harsh, changing habitat climate of the north which delivers the possibility of not finding food. The ice kingdom which has given them life is literally melting away in front of them. Their future survival depends upon the ice.  [96 minutes, rated G]

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Friday,

May 2,

2014

6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Night at the Museum:

The Human Body

[Pre-registration required, Grades 1-5, $25/child]

(SOLD OUT! See encore date below!)

 

Trek through the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and science sponsored by Papa Johns on Gilbert Street. The group will explore the mysteries of human anatomy through games and scavenger hunts! All children will receive their own official MNH Miner Hat with headlamp, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries.

 

Iowa Hall Entrance

Sunday,

May 4,

2014

3:00 p.m.

Movies@MNH:

African Cats

 

An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, "African Cats" captures the real-life love, humor, and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother's strength, sprit, and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion and his sons.  Rated G, 89 min.

 

Macbride Auditorium (2nd Floor)

Tuesday,

May 6,

2014

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Blood Drive

 

The Pentacrest Museums are partnering with the DeGowin Blood Center to collect some pints of blood. To sign up to donate, contact Arthur at 335-2010 or arthur-kim@uiowa.edu.

 

Old Capitol Museum

Thursday,

May 8,

2014

7:00 p.m.

Explorers Seminar Series:

Maurine Neiman

The University of Iowa Department of Biology

"Sex in Nature (And Especially in New Zealand)"

 

Dr. Neiman focus on why sexual reproduction is paradoxical, some potential benefits directly or indirectly associated with sex that might explain its predominance, and how we use organisms that contain both sexual and asexual forms to study sex. She will then discuss the insights we've learned about sex from studying a New Zealand snail.

 

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History hosts UI Explorers Seminars Series monthly 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 7:00pm 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 (Hageboeck Hall of Birds, 3rd Floor)

Friday,

May 9,

2014

6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

*ENCORE* Night at the Museum:

The Human Body

[Pre-registration required, Grades 1-5, $25/child]

 

Trek through the Museum of Natural History after dark for a fun evening of pizza and science sponsored by Papa Johns on Gilbert Street. The group will explore the mysteries of human anatomy through games and scavenger hunts! All children will receive their own official MNH Miner Hat with headlamp, and the group will explore the darkened bird and mammal galleries.

 

Iowa Hall Entrance