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

Members' Week

Friday, October 2–Thursday, October 8

members night

The Academy of Natural Sciences is thrilled to be bringing the magic of Members’ Night into your home for an entire week. Explore behind-the-scenes, chat with our scientists and participate in activities all from the comfort of your own home. Our scientists and staff will share their research, collections and more in a new and engaging virtual format.

What's staying the same?

Activities for All Ages Members’ Week is something the entire family can enjoy. Age recommendations can be found with each of the event listings.

Behind-the-Scenes Access The collections and research will be made accessible via video tours, live events and more.

Participatory Activities Join in experiments, crafts, a scavenger hunt and more.

Access to our Scientists The Academy is a vibrant community of scientists, researchers, students and staff, and we are all excited to talk with you, our members!

What’s changed?

Registration Members’ Week content will be available online to enjoy at your convenience. Live virtual events may require registration. Explore the live event schedule below and click the title of each event to register.

No Time Limitations We’ll be celebrating all week long! If you’re unable to attend a live event, we’ll have a recording available for you to watch later.

No Crowds Enjoy our online programs from the comfort of your own home.

Live Event Schedule

To help you find what interests you most, we've sorted all Members' Week activities and events into three categories: Fun and Games, Lunch and Learn or Virtual Collection Tours. Select events from one category, or pick and choose your favorites from each! Use the schedule below to explore the opportunities within each category and click on the titles to navigate to the corresponding registration page. 

Fun and Games: Activities for the Whole Family

These fun virtual activities were developed for the young and young at heart. All ages are welcome.

Academy Feud (see the recording)
Friday, October 2, 7 p.m.

Join us for a live game show as two staff teams go head-to-head in Academy Feud. The teams will compete to guess the most popular answers to Academy-themed survey questions provided by our members!

Slime-ence from Home (see the recording)
Saturday, October 3, 10 a.m. on Facebook Live

Join Academy educators to make your own slime and learn about slimy animals! Download the instructions sheet to learn what supplies you'll need for the workshop.

Animal Antics (see the recording)
Saturday, October 3, 1 p.m.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to care for the Academy's live animals each day? Hang out with our animal keepers, hear their favorite stories of animal antics and ask them questions.

Grocery Store Botany (see the recording)
Sunday, October 4, 10 a.m.

Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Why aren't strawberries true berries? What do Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli have in common? Learn about the botany of your local produce section and the plants that provide some of your favorite (or least favorite) foods.

Virtual Fishing Tournament (see the recording)
Sunday, October 4, 7 p.m.

Join ichthyologist (fish scientist) Mark Sabaj for a fishing trip around the world. You pick the destinations and Mark will cast his line to hook a fish from your desired location. You'll see and learn about important specimens from the Academy's Ichthyology Collection.

Treasures from the Library and Archives 
Wednesday, October 7, 7 p.m.

The Academy Library and Archives is internationally recognized for its rare and historic books, journals, art, artifacts, manuscripts, photographs and the unique papers and research of Academy members and staff. Our Librarians and Archivists will share special items handpicked from our collections.

Ten Stunning Insect Books 
Thursday, October 8, 7 p.m.

See ten insect books from field guides to classics, each with beautiful illustrations or spectacular photos. Discuss the featured insects and their stories with an Academy entomologist.

Lunch and Learn: Bite-sized Science

Join us every day at 12:30 p.m. for live lunch-hour learning with our scientists and staff. Presentations will be about 30 minutes followed by a Q&A. Lunch and Learn virtual events were developed for adults but appropriate for all ages.

Amazon River Field Trip
Friday, October 2, 12:30 p.m.

Travel to the Amazon from your own home! Join ichthyologist (fish scientist) Mariangeles Arce H. as she shows you some of the exciting places she has collected.

Fisheries Science at the Academy
Saturday, October 3, 12:30 p.m.

Join our fisheries team in the field! Watch as they conduct fish surveys in local waterways and learn about the techniques they use to survey fish populations.

Macroinvertebrate Monitoring & Lab Tour 
Sunday, October 4, 12:30 p.m.

Join our scientists in the field to find aquatic insects and other invertebrates. Then, take a tour of their lab to see the macroinvertebrates up close.

In the Field with Biogeochemistry
Monday, October 5, 12:30 p.m.

Here is your chance to hit the road with the chemistry crew and get your feet wet in our local streams.

Learn about the BEES Program
Tuesday, October 6, 12:30 p.m.

Learn about Drexel University's Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science (BEES) program and meet the staff.

Where in the World is Cornus sanguinea 
Wednesday, October 7, 12:30 p.m.

Join Botany Curatorial Assistant Elana Benamy to explore the Mid-Atlantic with digital mapping tools and search for the geographic origin of the herbarium’s historic collections.

Paleontology Field Trip with Academy Co-Ops 
Thursday, October 8, 12:30 p.m.

Join the Invertebrate Paleontology Drexel student co-ops for a field trip! They'll share their experiences and explain their georeferencing process.

Virtual Collection Tours: Explore Behind the Scenes

Join us every day at 4 p.m. for a live virtual tour of a different Academy collection followed by a discussion with the scientists who care for them. Each tour and discussion will be about 45 minutes. The Virtual Collection Tours were developed for all ages.

Botany: Lewis and Clark Plant Collection
Friday, October 2, 4 p.m.

Lewis and Clark are famous for their trip out west, but did you know they collected more than 200 plants during their expedition? All of them were pressed and preserved for science, and they’re right here at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Explore the collection then chat with the curator.

Botany – the branch of biology dealing with plants. Derived from the ancient Greek word botane meaning "pasture" or "grass."

Vertebrate Paleontology: Fossils of Pennsylvania
Saturday, October 3, 4 p.m.

Peek into the Vertebrate Paleontology Collection to find some of our favorite fossils found in Pennsylvania. After checking out the collection, chat with our paleontologists to learn how the fossils were discovered and prepared, and why collections are important.

Vertebrate Paleontology – the branch of paleontology (the study of fossils) dealing with vertebrate (animal with a backbone) fossils.

Invertebrate Paleontology: Insect and Arachnid Fossils
Sunday, October 4, 4 p.m.

Yet another first for the Academy, the Invertebrate Paleontology Collection is the oldest in the United States. Check out a few of the coolest fossils, including a dragonfly that’s more than 34 million years old! Stick around to chat with the scientists.

Invertebrate Paleontology – the branch of paleontology (the study of fossils) dealing with invertebrate (animal with no backbone) fossils.

Ornithology: The Life of a Dead Bird
Monday, October 5
4 p.m.

The Academy’s Ornithology Collection contains more than 215,000 specimens, some of which predate the museum’s founding in 1812. All of the specimens — whether two or 200 years old — are important for modern science. Join Academy ornithologists to learn how specimens from the collection are informing their research.

Ornithology – the branch of zoology dealing with birds. Derived from the Greek word ornis, meaning “bird.”

Malacology: Show and Tell Shells 
Tuesday, October 6, 4 p.m.

The Academy’s Malacology Collection is the oldest in the United States and the second largest in the world with 10 million specimens. You won’t see them all during this event, but you’ll explore the most impressive. You can even request your favorites!

Malacology – the branch of zoology dealing with mollusks. Derived from the greek malakos meaning "soft."

Ichthyology: Extending a Specimen 
Wednesday, October 7, 4 p.m.

The Academy’s Ichthyology Collection contains about 1.5 million diverse specimens from all around the world. Discover the important ways these specimens provide scientists with data and see their work in action. You’ll see the full process from start (collecting in the field) to finish (cataloguing, sequencing and more).

Ichthyology – the branch of zoology dealing with fishes. Derived from the greek word ikhthys meaning "fish."

Entomology: Collection Recollections 
Thursday, October 8, 4 p.m.

The Academy's Entomology Collection contains 4 million specimens and has played an important role in our science since 1812. Celebrate our mighty insect collection by exploring some of the largest, rarest and most beautiful specimens. The scientists who collect and study them will share their favorite stories and answer your questions.

Entomology – the branch of zoology that deals with insects. Derived from the Greek word entomon, meaning “insect.”


What is Members’ Night?

In its 13th year, Members’ Night is a family-friendly, open house event where Academy members can explore both our public museum galleries and the collections and research labs that are located behind the scenes. Although 2020 will bring a new format, Members’ Week is your exclusive opportunity to spend an entire week meeting our staff, exploring our collections and experiencing the breadth and depth of work that takes place at the Academy.

Not a member? Join now to support our efforts to ensure a healthy, sustainable and equitable planet. Your gift will go directly to support our work, and you will enjoy twelve months of member benefits, including virtual members-only events, science-from-home activities and free admission to the museum.