Calendar of Events, January-March 2015
August 27, 2014
Giant snakes, beer and chocolate “shots,” dinosaur fossils, and the first sleepover for adults are among the unique adventures coming up this winter at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the nation’s oldest natural history museum.
The family will get wrapped up in discovering the world’s largest snake and traveling through time with scientists when Titanoboa: Monster Snake opens on Valentine’s Day. Snakes not romantic enough? How about the Academy’s first adult museum sleepover—no kids allowed!—where adults will clink their beer or wine glasses in the shadow of T. rex and enjoy meeting favorite Academy live animals up close? There’s also a family Safari Overnight scheduled a few weeks before the adult sleepover, so the kids won’t feel left out.
The trendy pairing of beer and chocolate will be discussed and sampled at a special reception in the days before the popular Chocolate: The Exhibition closes on Jan. 24. And there’s more. For details, registration, and frequent updates about the following programs, visit ansp.org.
Pinned! Insect Art, Insect Science
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 of why and how scientists pin insects for research. Free with regular museum admission.
Through Sunday, January 11, 2015
Art of Science Gallery
Chocolate: The Exhibition
Indulge in a sumptuous world of chocolate and discover the captivating scientific and cultural history of one of the world’s favorite treats in Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Chocolate traces the intriguing story of this “food of the gods” from its origin as a unique tropical rain forest tree, to the Aztecs who used cacao seeds as currency, to the Spanish who added sugar and transformed the bitter drink of kings, to the sensuous sweet millions of people crave today. Chocolate is a sweet, interactive experience that engages all the senses and reveals facets of chocolate most people never thought about before. Chocolate is in both English and Spanish. Fee: $5 in addition to regular museum admission.
October 11–January 24, 2015
Special Exhibits Gallery
One Last “Shot” of Chocolate
Beer and Chocolate Tasting
Thursday, January 15, 7–9 p.m.
Enjoy one last “shot” of chocolate before Chocolate: The Exhibition closes. Pairing beer with chocolate is the trend, and this reception offers a sweet to savory menu of foods with just the right kind of beer to go with them. A beer expert will discuss the intense connection between beer and chocolate, and chefs from 12th Street Catering, the Academy’s exclusive catering partner, will impart tips on cooking and baking with different varieties of chocolate and cocoa. Must be 21 or older. Fee: $35. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1. To register, visit ansp.org.
Caryn Babaian: Nature in Chalk
January 24–May 31, 2015
Art of Science Gallery
Caryn Babaian’s exhibition of large-scale “nature mandalas” in colorful chalk focuses on the complexity and beauty of living systems within the natural world. Babaian, a biology professor and accomplished artist, uses circular compositions to reference traditional Hindu and Buddhist mandalas, spiritual and ritual symbols representing the universe in those religions. In doing so, she hopes visitors will be encouraged to contemplate the natural world and establish a connection to their place within it. Art-making is a key component of her Bucks County Community College science classes. By actively observing and drawing, she believes her students will more deeply observe and relate to the details within nature. Free with regular museum admission.
Science Behind the Stories Weekend
Saturday–Monday, January 17–19
Find out how truth really is stranger than fiction at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Explore cryptozoology and discover the amazing facts about the real animals that inspire mythical beasts from around the world. Enjoy live animal shows and meet the animals up close. See rare fossils and sensational specimens from the Academy’s famous collection. Free with regular museum admission.
Mega-Bad Movie Night: On Tour
Join the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute for Mega-Bad Movie Night On Tour. That’s right—the Academy is on location with its quippy scientists, witty commentary, live animals, specimens, snacks, and, of course, a terrible science movie. Think Mystery Science Theater 3000. Enjoy drinks and complimentary snacks, then take a seat to watch the movie and take in the hilarious commentary on the movie’s many scientific absurdities. Fee: $15, $10 for Academy and Institute members. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1h76umN.
Thursday, January 29, Reception 7 p.m., Movie 8 p.m.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr
Titanoboa: Monster Snake
Deep underground in a Colombian coal mine, scientists have uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Stand eye-to-eye with a full-scale model of this massive predator, which at 48 feet long and 2,500 pounds could crush and devour a crocodile. Titanoboa haunted the rain forest during the Paleocene, the lost world that followed the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. This fearfully fun exhibition explores the adventure of Titanoboa’s discovery and reconstruction, as well as what scientists have learned from this enormous reptile. Free with regular museum admission.
February 14–April 19, 2015
Special Exhibits Gallery
Saturday and Sunday, February 14 and 15, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Paleopalooza, a two-day festival of gigantic proportions, features rarely seen specimens from the world-famous fossil collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. See real dinosaur fossils, meet Academy paleontologists, take guided tours of Dinosaur Hall, enjoy hands-on activities, crafts, interactive presentations, and more. Free with museum admission.
Saturday, February 21, 6:30 p.m.–Sunday, February 22, 9 a.m.
Experience the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University after dark. Bring your 7- to 14-year-old children to enjoy a night of interactive activities and encounters with live animals. Socialize and enjoy refreshments, then sleep next to the lions, tigers or Tyrannosaurus rex. Awaken to a light breakfast and more exploration. Each child receives a participation patch. For information and to register, call 215-299-1060. Fee: Members $40, nonmembers $45.
Mega-Bad Movie Night: Anaconda
Thursday, February 26, Reception 5:30 p.m., Movie 7 p.m.
Witty experts will be onstage to offer quips and sidesplitting comments on the many scientific absurdities of the “awesomely awful” 1997 classic Anaconda. Think Mystery Science Theater 3000! Before the movie, guests can tour the Academy’s famous exhibits, meet fellow science nerds, and enjoy refreshments. Fee: $25 includes open bar; $15 Designated Driver includes food but no alcohol. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://bit.ly/1h76umN.
Overnight for Adults
Saturday, March 7, 6:30 p.m. – Sunday, March 8, 9 a.m.
Pack a sleeping bag and pajamas and leave the kids at home—this overnight is for adults only! The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is known for its popular Safari Overnights for families and scout groups, but this is the first sleepover where no kids are allowed. The evening will start with the choice of beverages—including beer and wine—and instead of ghost stories, guests will hear the amazing and true stories of the Academy’s “creepy” collections. Participants will navigate the lesser known parts of the Academy and see the real skeletons in the closet. They’ll also meet some of the Academy’s live animals up close and try for a chance at an owl selfie. Dinner and breakfast are included. Must be 21 or older. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/1pdUd8S.