The program, "Critters of the Plains," was led byDennis Ferraro, Professor of Herpetology and Extension Educator in the UNL School of Natural Resources. A variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic critters native to Nebraska were on display for children to investigate, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and turtles. Some non-native creatures were also be represented. Museum visitors of all ages learned about turtles and amphibians that live in the state, their habitats, and ways to help protect them. Other hands-on activities were also be provided.
'Sunday with a Scientist' is a series of presentations that highlight the work of museum scientists and those from other institutions, while educating kids and families on a variety of topics related to science and natural history. Presenters share scientific information in a fun and informal way through demonstrations and activities or by conducting their science on site. 'Sundays with a Scientist' takes place from 1:30-4:30 pm at Morrill Hall on the third Sunday of each month.
Alan J. Osborn, Research Associate Professor and Curator of Anthropology at the Museum, presented a program for families about ancient Puebloan people of the American Southwest and their "killer beans." Visitors learned about cooking methods, saw prehistoric ceramics, and guessed the number of beans for a prize.
Navajo Weaving Educational Event
with Mary Zicafoose
The Museum presented a program for children and families about traditional Native American life on the Great Plains as part of its Sunday with a Scientist series. The program, "Native Americans: Tipi Life on the Prairie's Edge," was led by Mark Awakuni-Swetland. Visitors viewed and learned about a modern 14-foot tipi, along with late 19th-early 20th century furnishings, clothing, tools, and games.
LaserFest at Mueller Planeterium
October 8-10, 2010
Show times listed below
From 1977 to 2004, Mueller Planetarium at the University of Nebraska State Museum entertained audiences with laser shows. Laser shows were back for one weekend only. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser that was first demonstrated in 1960, Mueller Planetarium offered music-themed laser shows with music ranging from pop to country to classic rock.
LaserFest was held in association with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Laserpalooza 2010 and the 2010 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics Oct. 7-10, hosted by the UNL Department of Physics and Astronomy, home of the Diocles Laser. For more information, visit www.physics.unl.edu/~wophy.
In support of the exhibit A Turning Point: Navajo Weaving in the Late 20th Century, Native American weavers demonstrated their craft outside the Cooper Gallery. Artists Martha Schultz, Melissa Cody and Lola Cody, representing three generations of one Navajo family based in Arizona, interacted with visitors and showed them the process of creating a hand-woven tapestry first hand.
Sat, October 2, 2010
9:30 am-4:30 pm
The Museum and the UNL School of Natural Resources hosted the first-ever 'NaturePalooza Nebraska' at Morrill Hall. It was a day of discovery and hands-on activities throughout the museum with stations staffed by the school's faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students. Activities and games helped visitors better understand Nebraska's rich natural resources and ways to help protect them.
Photos with "Pebbles," a larger than life piping plover
Identify fish, algae, and insects
See live reptiles and amphibians
Learn about "alien invaders"
Plant a soybean and observe its lifecycle
Investigate ground and surface water movements
Play games using a real-time weather station
Explore how geographers use mapping technology
Fulldome planetarium shows
Scavenger hunts, giveaways, and more!
Sat, September 25, 2010
9:30 am-4:30 pm
Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Media in which participating museums across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket.
"Digging into Anthropology," was led by presenters from the UNL Department of Anthropology, helped visitors of all ages better understand human origins, cultures, and the various methods anthropologists use to unlock the mysteries of our past. There was an archaeological test dig outside the museum.
The museum hosted an appearance by NASA astronaut and Nebraska native Clayton Anderson at Morrill Hall. Anderson gave a presentation featuring images from his flights aboard the space shuttle, including the most recent STS-131 mission on Discovery to resupply the International Space Station. During this mission, he conducted three spacewalks. Anderson's presentation was followed by a question and answer period. After that, visitors had the opportunity for photographs and autograph signings. Mueller Planetarium presented the fulldome show Dawn of the Space Age.
Did you know that one of every four living things on the planet is a beetle? "Beetle Mania," led by faculty and staff of the State Museum's Division of Entomology and UNL's Dept. of Entomology, took over Morrill Hall when the University of Nebraska State Museum presented a program for children and families that celebrated the beauty and diversity of beetles and other insects. Visitors had the opportunity to interact with scientists and ask questions about the insects they collect and study. The scientists showcased a small selection of the most colorful and striking insects from the entomology research collections, which contain over two million specimens. Children were encouraged to bring a "backyard bug" of their own to the museum for a scientist to identify. All insects had to be stored in closed containers and could be alive or dead.
Did you know that poop is like a fingerprint? It is unique to an individual and holds a lot of clues. We found out what researchers from the UNL School of Natural Resources learn from river otter poop in their quest to uncover facts about one of the state's most reclusive species.
Tadd Barrow, a lake water quality educator from the UNL School of Natural Resources, presented a program for children and families about the different types of algae found in Nebraska's lakes, ponds and streams, as well as the science behind aquatic ecology. Presenters brought photos and samples of algae for visitors to touch and examine with microscopes, and to clarify which are toxic and nontoxic.
This was a fun-filled afternoon of music, art and animals to celebrate the museum's new Colorful Creature Art Exhibit. Families enjoyed performances by musician Mike Mennard, artists provided hands-on art activities and several naturalists and volunteer groups gave children the opportunity see live animals up close and personal. Mueller Planetarium played the fulldome show The Enchanted Reef.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
9:30 am-4:30 pm
The Museum was full of exciting hands-on activities about space, science and astronomy at this fun-filled event for all ages.
Activities and demonstrations were on robotics, rocketry, planets, space travel, microgravity, physics, telescopes, meteorites, optics, the Moon and more. Other attractions included launching of rockets and presentations of the fulldome show "Earth, Moon and Sun."
On April 15, museum admission was FREE to the public from 4:30-8:00 pm as part of the Lincoln community's "Week of the Young Child" celebration. The "Week of the Young Child" is celebrated annually by a number of Lincoln organizations committed to early childhood education.
Open House at
Ft. Robinson State Park
Near Crawford, NE
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The public was invited to a free open house at the Trailside Museum of Natural History at Fort Robinson State Park to celebrate a new permanent paleontology exhibit featuring art by Nebraska artist Mark Marcuson.
Eighteen full-color panels illustrate how creatures that once roamed Nebraska might have looked based on fossil material in the research collections of the University of Nebraska State Museum.
Marcuson is known for his exceptional murals that depict prehistoric creatures and landscapes. His extensive scientific knowledge of animal anatomy and locomotion give him the foundation to create reconstructions of animals based on fossil skeletons.
Educators from the UNL Water Center and the Groundwater Foundation, as well as the Mayor's Water Conservation Task Force, helped visitors learn about the science behind our state's abundant water resources, including groundwater, surface water, drought, and water conservation. Families visualized the groundwater cycle through demonstrations with 3-D flow models, including a 6-foot water machine, and other fun hands-on activities.
Museum highway salvage paleontologist Shane Tucker gave visitors the rare opportunity to watch as he removed sediment from a 6-8 million year old giant land tortoise shell. He prepared the fossil all afternoon, taking time out to give a presentation in Elephant Hall where he discussed his work in the field and showed images of other fossils, including three-toed horse, camel, rhinoceros, wolf-sized bone-crushing dog, horned rodent, and extinct four-tusked elephant remains. Hands-on dig opportunities were also provided for kids.