Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wildlife Adventures - "Cave Crawlers" (Week 5)

To trogloxenes who this may concern:

Tuesday: This day we dedicated to preparing us for the awesome journey to middle earth. We learned about what lives in a cave, how the creatures are adapted to live (for example a Blindfish has to little to no eyes - literally - and has a head extra sensitive to vibrations so that the fish can navigate the black cave waters), we played Marco-Polo bat style with bats blindfolded and listening to the "eek" of their insect prey, and we found out that humans are trogloxenes (or "cave guests" we may use it as a home or to visit but not permanently). After our detailed preparation, we all readied ourselves for the field test.

Thursday: With nothing less than ecstatic excitement we made our first move at 11am. We piled in our vans, buckled up, and arrived safely to the foot of our climb. All 23 of us made the arduous, but worthwhile, journey up to Timpanogos Cave. It was amazing! Some of our favorites were the "cave bacon" (long, thin strips of calcite that forms from water running repeatedly over the same spot and it looks deliciously like bacon), stalactites and stalagmites, and thousands of tiny formations that look like curly fries covering an entire cavern. The uphill battle was well worth the amazing look into the mountain's brains (there were some crazy formations that could be compared to the inner workings of the human brain...or maybe the digestive system, it's debatable). We made our journey down happily and grateful to have seen such an amazing site. 

Mary, museum educator


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wildlife Adventures - "Feathered Friends" (Week 4)

This week for Wildlife Adventures we had a great time learning about our Feathered and (mostly) Flying Friends! Birds! We had a great time as we explored the world of all things Feathered and Winged both in the Bean Museum and at Tracy Aviary. On Tuesday we were able to make the first of our new feathered friends as we met Festus, a pearl cockatiel from Australia. We had a great time interacting with Festus and even giving him a snack as we learned the basics of bird biology. Another definite highlight was exploring the museum's bird collection using "Identify Me" an application developed for just such a task. "Identify Me" allows school groups, families, scout troops, and anyone else interested in all squawking, cooing, screeching and/or whooing things to identify bird species throughout the museum using a QR code system, simple questions, an Ipad borrowed from the museum's front desk at no charge and/or your own mobile device. We were able to learn about bird anatomy, coloring, beak shape/functions and a whole lot more. 

Whats more, we met a few more feathered friends on Thursday as we visited Tracy Aviary and put our recently acquired bird identification skills to the test! We saw birds from all across the planet, including Andy, an Andean Condor with a wingspan of 10 feet whom we followed as he hopped, waddled, and dare I say it, swaggered through the aviary on his daily walk. He may not live on Sesame Street but he was definitely a BIG bird!  Now, if you as a simple ground dwelling mammal just like all of us, are still wondering what you can do to make up for lack of avian experience and knowledge, there is hope yet! Use "Identify Me" the next time you visit the museum and feel free to bring the whole flock! For the best feather covered adventure around! See you then! 

Nathan, museum educator

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wildlife Adventures - "The Bees Knees" (Week 3)

Last week’s ‘Wildlife Adventure’ we learned all about bees and the important roles that they play in the world around us! Tuesday’s adventure was centered mostly on learning all that we could about bees while here at the museum. We learned the different types of bees, the importance of bees and how they communicate with one another. We were also able to discuss how insects (like bees) differ from other animals and all of the kids were even able to meet the museum’s very own tarantula, Tara! Though there was a lot to be learned, we were sure to leave plenty of time for fun and games as well. Between the “bee scavenger hunt” (in which the kids searched to find tiny paper bees hidden all throughout the museum) and the “waggle dance game” (in which the kids formed “colonies” and attempted to communicate with each other by preforming their very own “waggle dances”) Tuesday’s adventure was definitely a blast!

On Thursday we took a field trip to learn about bees from an expert! It was a beautiful, sunny day-perfect for beekeeping! Stan Moulton comes from a long line of beekeepers and he was able to show us the entire process of making honey. The kids were able to harvest the honeycomb (while wearing their very own protective beekeeping suits), divide the honey from the wax, spin the honeycomb in a centrifuge (to extract the honey) and even sample the honey when it was ready! Yum!
Upset that you missed out on this buzz-worthy adventure? Don’t fret, we still have space left in next week’s ‘Feathered Friends’ adventure in which will be learning all about birds! Don’t miss out!

Cori, Museum Educator


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wildlife Adventures - Rock On (Week 2)

On July 7th & 9th, the Bean Life Science Museum's Wildlife Adventures had a great time as we learned about rocks and minerals in this weeks adventure entitled "ROCK ON". We had a great time in the museum on Tuesday as we learned about the rock cycle and took a mini-field trip to the Eyering Science Center, where we saw a whole lot of different rock types and a load of fossils as well. On Thursday we put what we learned to the test and went off to see rocks in the wild as well as see the Rock cycle in action as we visited Cascade springs, a picturesque mountain retreat where erosion and weathering are shown up close and personal. Even though the weather turned a little sour, does that mean that wildlife adventures comes to an end? Of course not! They just find somewhere else to go adventuring! Adventures are to be had both indoors and outdoors, so we stopped by BYU's paleontology museum and saw more great examples of the rock cycle in both modern and ancient life. Now you may be asking yourself, "gosh darnet, why didn't i get to go on this fantastic rock-themed adventure? is there anything i can do to remedy my lack of adventurous experiences?" Well of course there is! Wildlife adventures continues! For more information on Wildlife Adventures and other museum activities please visit our website! Keep on rockin'!

Nathan, Museum Educator