For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Summer Calendar of Events

PHILADELPHIA, March 5, 2014

Birds and bugs—what would summer be without them?—will be featured in two exhibits, a favorite festival, and a class for adults this summer at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Birds of Paradise, opening May 3, is an engaging family-friendly exhibit showcasing one of the most elegant examples of extreme evolution: the elaborate mating rituals of New Guinea’s birds-of-paradise. Co-developed by the National Geographic Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the exhibit brings together stunning videos, images and soundscapes of all 39 known species of birds-of-paradise.

The seventh annual Bug Fest will take place Aug. 9 and 10. This year’s theme of “Beauty and the Bug” emphasizes the art and artistry of insects through a variety of fun and engaging activities, demonstrations and close encounters with hundreds of live insects.

A colorful exhibit of artfully arrayed and framed insects and a class about moths round out the summer’s offerings.  For more details and frequent updates about the following programs, visit

Unnatural History

April 19–August 3

Art of Science Gallery

Unnatural History is a playful poke at what goes on behind the dioramas at a natural history museum. In Lori Nix’ imaginative black-and-white photographs, science, facts and animals are a bit askew and sometimes hilarious. This plays on the expectations people have for museums like the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University as places of serious research and authority. Free with museum admission.


Birds of Paradise

May 3–September 1

Special Exhibits Gallery

An elegant example of extreme evolution, New Guinea’s birds-of-paradise show off their feathery flair during elaborate mating rituals. In this highly interactive exhibit based on the groundbreaking research of photographer Tim Laman and Cornell ornithologist Edwin Scholes, visitors will behold the birds’ cinematic courtship dances, puffed-out plumage, wild calls, and bizarre behaviors through engaging  video, photography, soundscapes, and specimens. Hands-on games and components and the opportunity to learn signature bird moves in a unique dance-off make for an engaging experience for children and adults. Free with museum admission. Birds of Paradise has been co-developed by the National Geographic Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


Academy Explorers Camp

Monday–Friday, July and August, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Academy Explorers Camp at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University offers children ages 5–12 a unique, fun and engaging experience. Each week of camp explores an exciting new theme and features an off-site field trip, plus all the museum has to offer—from dinosaurs to preserved specimens to live animals. Fee: Members $295 per camper per week; nonmembers $335 per camper per week. Before- and after-care available. For more details, visit the Academy’s website at To register, call 215-299-1060.

Camp Dates and Topics

July 7–11 Carnivore Carnival 

Hunt down some clues to figure out what makes meat-eating animals so special. Meet live animals and explore prehistoric predators like T-rex.

July 14–18 Unnatural Science

Bigfoot. The Jersey Devil. Nessie. Explore cryptozoology and discover the truth about the real animals that inspire mythical beasts from around the world.

July 21–25 Destination: Dinosaurs

Travel back in time to explore the world of dinosaurs and meet the live descendants of these ancient beasts.

July 28–August 1 Science Challenge          

Think you’ve got what it takes to beat our science challenges? Experience some extreme experiments and put your problem-solving skills to the test.

August 4–8 Feathered Tales and Dino Scales

Join the feathered frenzy and explore dinosaurs—both past and present—with live animal encounters and dinosaur diversions.

August 11–15 Insect Investigations

Fly, scurry, climb and slink your way through the lives of bugs from around the world. Meet some real live creepy crawlies.

August 18–22 Secrets of the Museum

Unlock the secrets of the museum as you explore some of the stranger and rarely seen pieces in our collections. Create your own extraordinary exhibit.

August 25–29 Talons, Paws and Claws

Hang out (or on) with some of the Academy’s live animals as you explore the Animal Kingdom


Prep for Moth Week

Adult Class

Tuesday, July 8, 69 p.m.


National Moth Week begins July 19, and what better way to prepare than to join Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University entomologist Stephen Mason to learn about one of the most diverse and successful organisms on earth: moths. Participants in this adult class will get a brief overview of insects in general and explore the amazing variety of moths that live in the Philadelphia region. They will see some of the Lepidoptera specimens in the Academy's research collection and learn about field collecting and bug pinning methods. National Moth Week offers a unique opportunity to become a citizen scientist and contribute data about moths. For more information on National Moth Week, visit Fee: Members $20 members; nonmembers $25. To register, call 215-299-1060.


Bug Fest: Beauty and the Bug

Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Celebrate the beauty of bugs of all kinds at Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Find out how insects have influenced artists and how bugs are works of art themselves. Watch as insects create their own art, and make insect artwork to take home. Cheer on a favorite cockroach in the Roach Race 500; sample insects in foods; talk with Academy entomologists; and see hundreds of live bugs as well as specimens from the Academy’s world-renowned collection. Free with museum admission. 


Pinned! Insect Art, Insect Science

August 9–November 9

Art of Science Gallery

Christopher Marley’s insect artwork celebrates what he calls the latent elegance and lustrous beauty of insects. Pinned! Insect Art, Insect Science features diverse groupings of framed beetles, butterflies and other bugs that form an irresistible palette of colors and textures reflecting the amazing diversity of the insect world. Dozens of specimens from the noted Entomology Collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University illustrate the story about why and how scientists pin insects for research. Free with regular museum admission.

Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043