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Earth and Water Month

March 22–April 30, 2022

A pair of hands holding up the Earth.

Join the Academy of Natural Sciences and some of our amazing community partners for a month-long celebration of water and the earth! From story times for preschoolers to workshops for adults and a major exhibit opening, there’s something for everyone, from the wet-behind-the-ears naturalist newbie to the most experienced water warrior. The celebration culminates in a Friday night pay-what-you-wish event featuring activities, craft beer, snacks and more at the most unique watering hole in town — the Academy’s Dinosaur Hall. Dive in!

This month-long celebration is part of the Academy’s Water Year.

Upcoming Eath and Water Month Events: 

Access to Science Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m.–11 a.m.

A child looking at a prehistoric reptile.

Free with registration
All ages

Visitors on the autism spectrum and their families are invited to experience the museum before the crowds. You can visit with the dinosaurs, explore our signature and special exhibits and wander through the dioramas at your own pace. On April 30, enjoy some quiet time with our educators to learn more about water conservation and how you can make the world a cleaner, greener place.

Preregistration is required to ensure a calm, positive experience for all guests. While same-day registration is available onsite, we strongly recommend reserving your ticket in advance due to the popularity of this program.

If you would like to attend, please contact our Visitor Services Department at 215-299-1060 or AccessToScience@ansp.org. Please provide the following information: contact name, email, phone, total number of attendees and the number and ages of any children.

For more information, visit our Access to Science page.


Kids Club: Take Action
Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.–noon
Coco’s Fire Book Reading: 10:45 a.m.

Free for Kids Club members
The Water Challenge Badge activities were developed for ages 6–10, but kids of all ages are welcome to join.

Join us for fun activities designed to help Kids Club members take action to protect our planet and water. Together, we’ll explore the issues that put our planet at risk and learn more about what each of us can do to help. Authors Lena Champlin and Jeremy Wortzel will read their new book, "Coco's Fire: Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action." The reading will be followed by a discussion with the authors.

This activity is part of the U.N. Water Challenge Badge with the Academy Kids Club. Don’t forget to register for the Academy Kids Club if you’d like to earn the Water Challenge Badge, and you’ll also receive monthly activity packs and invitations to special events.

Kids Club membership is free for kids 12 and under, but registration is required. Visit ansp.org/kidsclub to register.


Past Earth and Water Month Activities: 

World Water Day Storytime
Wednesday, March 23, 10:15–11 a.m.

A child with a blue mask on in water with the text 'antoinette portis Hey, Water!'

$12 nonmembers, $8 members
Recommended for ages 3–5

Calling curious kiddos! Grab your favorite little dinosaur, stuffed animal or toy bug and join us for a wonderful World Water Day story time. Have some fun with Academy experts and other young natural history fans for a very special science story time and craft activity. Learn why water is an important resource and how to keep it clean. Join us for our reading of “Hey Water” and then craft a special watercolor flower to learn how water is in everything around us.

This story time was developed for preschoolers and their families. We kindly ask that adults assist our young guests with participating in this playdate. Museum admission is included for one adult per registered child. For more information, contact Amy Hoyt at alp333@drexel.edu.


Academy Kids Club: Water Scopes
Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m.–noon

Free for Kids Club members
The Water Challenge Badge activities were developed for ages 6–10, but kids of all ages are welcome to join.

Explore water samples under microscopes with our awesome scientists. If you’ve collected a water sample of your own, bring it with you! We would love to help prepare your sample and take a microscopic look at what you found.

This activity is part of the U.N. Water Challenge Badge with the Academy Kids Club. You'll find more information and other fun activities on ansp.org/kidsclub. Don’t forget to register for the Academy Kids Club if you’d like to earn the Water Challenge Badge, and you’ll also receive monthly activity packs and invitations to special events.

Kids Club membership is free for kids 12 and under, but registration is required.


Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss Member Preview
Friday, April 1, 4–8 p.m.

extreme deep - black submarine diving into blue ocean with turquoise light

Free and open exclusively to Academy members
All ages

Join us on Friday, April 1, from 4–8 p.m. for the members-only preview of Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss. You and your family will explore the mysteries of the deep sea, encounter recently discovered creatures and experience the technology that allows scientists to travel to the bottom of the ocean. Bubbling thermal vents, close-up views of compact research submersibles and shipwrecks including Titanic are among the attractions in this adventure developed in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Extreme Deep reveals the secrets of the ocean and enriches our understanding of our connection to it.

The preview is free and open exclusively to Academy members. Not a member? Join today!


Temple Ambler EarthFest: Celebrating Water and Earth
Saturday, April 2, 1–4 p.m.

Free with registration
Temple Ambler Campus
Bright Hall Circle and Bright Hall Lounge
580 Meetinghouse Rd, Ambler, PA 19002
All ages

We live in a world of constant change. Join Temple Ambler EarthFest and the Academy of Natural Sciences for an outdoor, interactive event exploring those changes firsthand! How essential is water to our lives and how are we impacting water quality? How do we face and mitigate the impacts of climate change? In the wake of the tornado that struck Temple University Ambler, what can we learn about natural disasters and how nature responds to them?

In addition to EarthFest and the Academy, participating organizations will include the Temple Ambler Field Station, the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University, Temple University Summer Education Camps, Temple University Summer Academy, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Global Water Alliance, Wissahickon Trails, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Temple University College of Science and Technology, Temple University Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, the Temple Ambler Greenhouse Education and Research Complex and more! The event will include interactive exhibits, tours and hands-on exploration!

For additional information, contact duffyj@temple.edu or 267-468-8108.


Creek Exploration Field Trip
Sunday, April 3, 9–11 a.m.

two scientists in gaiters standing in stream under old cement bridge

$12 adults/$10 member adults, $10 children under 13/$8 member children under 13; advance registration required
Kirkwood Preserve, 855 Grubbs Mill Road, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Recommended for adults and families with children age 8 and up

Now is your chance to get your feet wet, literally, to help scientists gather critical data about our waterways, including the invertebrates that rely on them. Join Academy and Willistown Conservation Trust staff for an exclusive outdoor opportunity to try some guided community science at Kirkwood Preserve.

Test the waters and identify the species that live there as you learn about the ecology, equipment and methodology that scientists use to explore and understand creek systems. No experience or equipment necessary, but we do recommend wearing shoes that can get wet and muddy.

Transportation from the Academy at 7:30 a.m. is included; please contact Mary Bailey, youth and family programs developer, at mvb45@drexel.edu for more information and to reserve your seat. You can also meet us directly at the Kirkwood Preserve parking area for check-in beginning at 8:45 a.m. Field trip waivers will be sent upon registration.

We ask that adults remain with their children during the event. All social distancing and mask measures must be adhered to during the program. This event is rain or shine, as safety allows. Be prepared to jump in and have some fun!


How Does a River Flex its Mussels? Junior Scientist Workshop
Saturday, April 9
10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Child looking through a microscope 'Junior Scientist Workshop'

$25 child/$15 member child; additional children per family can be registered for $10 each
Space is limited; register by Thursday, April 7, at 5 p.m.
Grades 3–5

Mussels might be a familiar sight at the seaside, but how do they keep a freshwater river flowing? These bivalves are a filtering force of nature. Discover how mussels up and down our waterways are critical to the health of river systems. Examine specimens from our Patrick Center for Environmental Research and learn how the Academy is partnering around the region to restore mussel populations. Meet some baby mussels and try out a few filter feeding activities to see how hard these amazing animals work.

Please bring a small snack and a filled reusable water bottle. Feel free to bring some shells or other natural history specimens from your own collection to show off, and we will provide everything else. Drop-off and check-in begin at 9:45 a.m. at the Academy’s 19th Street entrance. Please contact Mary Bailey, youth and family programs developer, if you have any questions at mvb45@drexel.edu.


Microcosmos at Bryn Mawr Film Institute
Sunday, April 10, 1–3 p.m.

Open to the public, proof of vaccination required
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
All ages

Armored stag beetles meet in epic duels. Raindrops pelt a city of anthills. Marching caterpillars form a glorious parade. Employing special magnifying cameras, this sparely narrated nature doc — one of the most successful, and still one of the best — reveals the insect world within a single meadow to be brimming with amazement, adventure and beauty. “There isn’t a dull moment here,” wrote Variety. “This all-natural ensemble piece delivers more dramatic punch than many a human pic.”

Hang around after the film for a presentation and Q&A with the Academy of Natural Sciences featuring live invertebrate specimens!

Admission for Academy members is just $10 online with promo code or at the box office when you show your Academy member ID. Check your Member Monday email newsletter or contact the Membership Office at membership@ansp.org for the code.

  • $12.50 – General admission
  • $10 – Seniors/Students with ID/ANS Members
  • $8 – BMFI Members/Children Under 18 (when accompanied by adult)


Darby Creek Volunteer Cleanup
Hosted by John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
Saturday, April 16, 2022, 9 a.m.–noon 

Call for volunteers! Meet up at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum for the best time you'll ever have getting dirty! Volunteers of all ages are invited to join for some spring cleaning of Darby Creek, an integral part of the Delaware River Watershed. Bags, gloves and other equipment will be provided to all volunteers. Please come prepared to get off trail and get dirty! The Darby Creek Cleanup is a great opportunity for individuals, families, groups, organizations and companies to volunteer their time in stewardship of public lands. Visit the Darby Creek Cleanup Facebook event page for more information.  

This event will have limited registration to allow for social distancing and other COVID precautions. All volunteers must wear masks and other PPE to participate. Register by emailing Erika Scarborough at erika_scarborough@fws.gov.  


Drexel Earth Fest
Tuesday, April 19, 11:30 a.m–1:30 p.m. (raindate April 20)

Free, open to the public
Drexel University Campus
Gateway Garden and Lancaster Walk
Between 32nd & 34th Streets and Market & Arch Streets
All ages

EarthFest is Drexel’s annual block party celebrating the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Held during the week of Earth Day each year, the event is free and open to the University community, including students, faculty, professional staff and the public. Schools, colleges, departments, student organizations, community groups and vendors will provide participate by providing information, games, raffles and other activities promoting sustainability. Be sure to stop by the Academy’s table featuring Watershed Wonders and Ready Rowhomes!


Earth Day Storytime
Wednesday, April 20, 10:15–11 a.m.

Two people in a canoe with the text 'Over and Under the Pond'

$12 nonmembers, $8 members
Recommend for ages 3–5

Calling curious kiddos! Grab your favorite little dinosaur, stuffed animal or toy bug and join us for an exciting Earth Day story time. Have some fun with Academy experts and other young natural history fans for a very special science story time and craft activity. Learn why water is an important resource and how to keep it clean. Join us for our reading of “Over and Under the Pond” and then craft a special finger-painted pond to learn how animals and plants need water to survive.

This story time was developed for preschoolers and their families. We kindly ask that adults assist our young guests with participating in this playdate. Museum admission is included for one adult per registered child. For more information, contact Amy Hoyt at alp333@drexel.edu.


Earth Day Festival: Friday, April 22, 4–8 p.m.

Pay-What-You-Wish; advance registration available, walk-ups welcome
All ages
Presented by Aqua, an Essential Utilities Company

Aqua An Essential Utilities Company

There’s only one Earth, and we are on it together! Celebrate life on Earth and the systems that support it with a wild night of science programming and conservation conversations. Sip a craft beer or snack on a locally sourced treat while you ponder the clean water that went into making them. Meet Academy scientists as well as local sustainability experts from around the city to talk about how to get involved at home and afar. Focus on the future with solutions-based tips and talking points presented by Academy educators. Explore the stories of rare Academy specimens and take part in hands-on activities. Get inspired to take action to make the world a better place, one drop of water at a time.

Masks will be optional at the Academy Earth Day Festival on Friday, April 22, 2022. 

Sponsored by Renewal By Andersen of Greater Philadelphia and The Rounds

Click below to register. Walk-ups are welcome! 

Earth Day Festival Activities

12th Street Watering Hole

Join us at the most unique spot in town for delicious snacks, wine, beer and more presented by our exclusive caterer, 12th St. Catering.

Conservation Heroes

We are proud to be part of a community that values a healthy environment and a clean water system for us all. Meet some of our wonderful partners from organizations around the city and find out what they do, how they do it, why it’s important and how you can get involved. Our Earth Day partners include:

Academy Science Showcase

Meet Academy scientists and find out why the work they do is critical to understanding the world and how we can best protect it. Try out some of their equipment and discover how you can get involved in Academy science. Check out cool demos and even cooler specimens to learn what it’s like on the “Riverside” and find out how a lamprey lives.

WINS on the Water

Participants from our award-winning youth program “Women In Natural Sciences” are excited to share their experiences with you and teach you everything they’ve learned with hands-on activities and experiments. Meet these inspiring young women, find out why they love science and nature and hear about all the great ways they get outside and make a difference.

Watershed Wonders

Everything’s connected! Our water cycle is an intricate and delicate system that needs to be considered and protected every step of the way. See why and how at this demonstration, and then consider how we can have a cleaner environment. Come up with some of your own solutions for watershed health and test your creativity with a hands-on investigation.

Ready Rowhomes

How can you make a difference in your home and neighborhood’s water usage and management? Experiment with different building materials and make a hypothesis about the cleanest and greenest method. Try your hand at making a greener rowhome and discover what slight changes can make a substantial difference.

Healthy Habitats

Humans aren’t the only animals that benefit from a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians and a myriad of invertebrates also benefit from clean water. Come learn about some of these amazing creatures and how water is an integral part of their lives. Check out our rare specimens and get inspired to make a better world for all of us.

Anthems for the Anthropocene (7–9 p.m.)

Addressing climate change requires solutions from every sector of our society, and art has a unique power to inspire action. "Anthems for the Anthropocene" challenges Drexel student musicians to create and record unique songs to focus our attention on the climate crisis. In this final celebration event for this songwriting contest, student participants will share their recordings and the judging panel will announce awards. “Anthems for the Anthropocene” is part of Drexel's Climate Case Competition program and is a collaboration of Drexel's Office of Climate & Sustainability, Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry, the Music Industry Program of the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, The Environmental Collaboratory and the Academy of Natural Sciences.


Naturepalooza
Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m–2 p.m.
Rain date: Sunday, April 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Free, open to the public, registration required
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
8480 Hagy's Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128
All ages

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s signature Earth Day event returns with live music, activity tables, nature hikes, food trucks and more, all centered around their Year of Restoration. As the Billy Jonas Band performs their energetic percussive music on recycled and found objects, engage in a participatory art project and help us unveil the new Restoration Station Loop, a self-guided educational hike along our trails. Registration is required. Be sure to stop by the Academy’s table featuring Watershed Wonders and Ready Rowhomes!