Calendar of Events, July-September 2012
April 2, 2012
Bicentennial exhibit, new behind-the-scenes tours and Discovery Weekends await!
This summer visitors to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will get to explore the fun, new bicentennial exhibit, go behind the scenes into the collections for the first time, meet scientists, and enjoy other close encounters with science in action.
Founded in 1812, the Academy is the nation’s oldest natural history museum and is in the midst of a yearlong anniversary celebration. The new exhibit, The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery, has plenty of hands-on activities and fascinating learning for both children and adults. The new behind-the-scenes tours take place Thursdays through Mondays at 11 a.m. and offer exciting opportunities to see Academy treasures up close and find out why they are referred to as a “library of life.”
Nature-themed months and Discovery Weekends, plus the very popular annual Bug Fest in August offer plenty of reasons to engage the family this summer at the Academy. The following exhibits and programs are free with museum admission, except where noted. Check ansp.org for frequent updates.
The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery
March 24, 2012–March 2013
The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery celebrates the groundbreaking discoveries of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and provides a glimpse into the future of one of the world’s great natural history museums. Through this spectacular new exhibit, visitors will journey alongside Academy scientists to search for new species and explore how human activity is affecting the environment. See rare and amazing plants and animals from the Academy’s collections and learn how scientists use these specimens to understand environmental issues including pollution and climate change. Free with museum admission.
Art of Science Gallery Exhibit
Flirtatious Feathers: A Colorful Collection of Academy Bird Photographs
Saturday, May 26–Sunday, September 23
Whether in flight or in song, many birds display vibrant plumage that charms mates and photographers alike. This kaleidoscope of colored feathers is the subject of a beautiful exhibit featuring images from the Academy’s Visual Resources for Ornithology (VIREO), the most comprehensive bird image bank. Built by the Academy in collaboration with students from Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, this exhibit provides a bird’s-eye view of the intimate world of winged creatures. Free with museum admission.
Behind-the-Scenes Tours of Mammalogy and Herpetology Collections
Thursdays Through Mondays in July, 11 a.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating its Bicentennial and offering behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned collections—normally open only to researchers. In July, the public can take a 20-minute tour of the Mammalogy and Herpetology Collections, which contain more than 62,000 fascinating mammals, reptiles and amphibians. See taxidermy treasures and weird specimens in glittering jars. The Mammalogy Collection has exceptional geographic scope and is especially strong in carnivores, bovids, and primates. The Herpetology Collection is among the world’s most historically important and biologically diverse of its kind. Tickets may be purchased at the admissions desk on the day of the tour. Members $5; nonmembers $7.50. Ages 8 and up.
Academy Explorers Camp
Monday, July 9–Friday, August 24, Weekdays from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
This summer the Academy will host a fun and educational day camp for children ages 5 to 12. Each week of camp explores an exciting new theme and features an off-site field trip. Weeks may be reserved individually or as part of a longer experience. There is optional before- and after-care for an additional fee.
Topics and Dates
- July 9–13: Pet Project
- July 16–20: Dinosaur Detectives
- July 23–27: Diggin’ Dirt
- July 30–August 3: Animal Athletes
- August 6–10: Fossil Frenzy
- August 13–17: Bug Bonanza
- August 20–24: Kitchen Creations
Fee: Members: $295 per week; nonmembers $335 per week. $25 off each additional week. To register, call 215-299-1060.
Tiny Tot Explorers
Wednesdays, July 11, 18 and 25 and August 1, 8, 15 and 22, 10–11 a.m.
Young children ages 3 to 4 and their favorite adults can explore nature through games, crafts, songs, and museum explorations. Through Tiny Tot Explorers, children will learn about pets (July 11), dinosaurs (July 18), dirt (July 25), mammals (August 1), fossils (August 8), bugs (August 15), and kitchen creations (August 22). A snack is provided. A single session or the entire series may be reserved. Members: $20 per adult/child pair per session, $130 per adult/child pair for all seven sessions; nonmembers: $25 per adult/child pair per session, $170 per adult/child pair for all seven sessions. To register, call 215-299-1060.
Mammal, Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
The Academy’s bicentennial year features a specially themed Discovery Weekend highlighting important aspects of the institution’s mammals, reptiles and amphibians. See some weird and wonderful specimens from the Academy’s world-renowned Herpetology and Mammalogy Collections, help solve a mystery, and make an animal mask to take home. Throughout July visitors can learn about these fascinating animals, meet the scientists who study them, and receive a free giveaway to add to their collection box. Free with museum admission.
Buggin’ in the Dark Adult Field Study
Friday, July 20, 7–11 p.m.
Join the Academy’ Entomology Curatorial Assistant Greg Cowper and live invertebrate specialist Karen Verderame as they hunt for insects—under cover of darkness—in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Help set up various methods of collection, learn how to identify bugs that thrive at night, and see cool beetles and big moths! Members: $25; nonmembers $30. To register, call 215-299-1060.
Behind-the-Scenes Tours of the Entomology Collection
Thursdays Through Mondays in August, 11 a.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating its Bicentennial and offering behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned collections—normally open only to researchers. In August, visitors can take a 20-minute tour the Entomology Collection. With nearly 4 million specimens, the collection is among the world’s most scientifically significant collections of its kind. See dazzling pinned insects in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and learn about the collection’s extraordinary history. Tickets may be purchased at the admissions desk on the day of the tour. Members $5; nonmembers $7.50. Ages 8 and up.
Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Celebrate insects at the Academy’s fifth annual Bug Fest. Examine butterflies and other creepy crawlies up close, and talk with an Academy entomologist about why insects are important. Watch cooking demonstrations and taste an insect if you dare! Cheer on your favorite cockroach in the big Roach Race 500. See an amazing variety of insect specimens from the Academy’s world-renowned collection. Free with museum admission.
Philadelphia Geek Awards
Friday, August 17, doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and local blog Geekadelphia present the second annual Philadelphia Geek Awards, an Academy Awards-style ceremony celebrating the city’s “geek” scene. The Philadelphia Geek Awards is a black-tie, red carpet affair at which awards will be given to honor outstanding achievements in Philadelphia’s vibrant geek community. Local celebrity presenters will take to the Academy’s auditorium stage to talk about the nominees, announce the winners and present trophies and plaques.
For more information, visit www.phillygeekawards.com. Free, registration required.
Diatom Herbarium and Phycology Behind-the-Scenes Tours
Thursdays Through Mondays in September, 11 a.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating its bicentennial and offering behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned collections—normally open only to researchers. In August, the Academy will showcase its Diatom Herbarium. Diatoms are single-celled algae that are important indicators of water quality, and they are important sources of oxygen and food for fish and other aquatic organisms. The Academy’s Diatom Herbarium is one of the two largest in the world and includes diatom materials from every continent, every ocean, and several major island chains. The Phycology Department focuses on freshwater algae, including diatoms, applying its knowledge of algal ecology to a wide range of environmental issues. See impressive diatom library “treasures” dating back to the 1800s, view live moving diatoms or mounted diatom slides, and marvel at a range of other algae with colors ranging from red to blue-green to green and yellow-green. Tickets may be purchased at the admissions desk on the day of the tour. Members $5; nonmembers $7.50. Ages 8 and up.
Diatom Discovery Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Join the Academy for a special Discovery Weekend to meet phycologists and experts from the Diatom Herbarium and learn why the microscopic organisms they study are so important. Diatoms are single-celled algae that are important indicators of water quality, and they are important sources of oxygen and food for fish and other aquatic organisms. Learn more about them and uncover the beauty and artistry of diatoms and other algae. Free with museum admission.