Plan Your Visit 
What are Sneak Peek activities?
The Nature Research Center is full of exciting, interactive activities meant to bring science and exploration to life. For today’s visit, we have designated many of these interactive experiences as Sneak Peek activities. Each visitor will be able to participate in one Sneak Peek activity during their visit. Once you participate in an activity, you will receive a stamp on your hand and you will be unable to participate in another Sneak Peek activity. We hope you will come back soon to explore the Nature Research Center more fully and participate in all these activities!
You may select from the following Sneak Peek activities. Remember, you can only choose one!
Exploring the Deep Sea
Climb in the submersible and dive deep into the ocean to study deep-sea coral!
Come in and find out how YOU can be a scientist! Learn about a variety of ways to get involved in scientific research and try your hand at being a citizen scientist. Monitor the birds at Prairie Ridge Ecostation as part of a national research project using web cameras!
Natural World Investigate Lab
Visit the Natural World Investigate Lab for a “Calibration and Observation” activity. Scientific studies are only as accurate as the equipment used. Calibrate a dissecting scope and then use it to observe a wriggling aquatic invertebrate.
Window on Animal Health and One Health Exhibit
Interact with veterinarians, students and staff. Get a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse of veterinary procedures. Join a discussion of how the health of humans and other animals is intertwined. Activities scheduled Friday from 5pm to 2am and Saturday from 6am-4pm.
Visual World Investigate Lab
The Visual World Investigate Lab is an ever-evolving educational environment employing the latest in touchscreen and augmented reality based technology where you can learn about some of the most important discoveries and processes in science through the use of maps, models, animations and simulations.
Micro World Investigate Lab
How are DNA “fingerprints” made and analyzed? Visit the Micro World Investigate Lab to watch the creation of a “fingerprint” and to solve a who-done-it mystery.
Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory
Ever wanted to name a dinosaur? Drop by the Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory for the chance of a lifetime (or at least the last 76 million years!). Learn how researchers construct scientific names and submit your name creation for a new species of duckbill dinosaur. We will choose the best entry from the bunch for publication.
Telescopes and Green Roof
Step out onto a green roof, take in the sights of Downtown Raleigh and check out the cosmos! Learn about the “green” features of the Nature Research Center, a LEED certified building, and why having plants on the roof helps make a difference. The Raleigh Astronomy Club will have telescopes set up for viewing far beyond downtown!
The Biodiversity Lab will be humming with the activity of scientists working to learn new things about the natural world through experiments, observation, and museum specimens. Botanists will be digitizing leaves to understand forest regeneration while entomologists work to discover the most diverse branches on the tree of life. Museum research staff will show how bird, mammal, mollusk and other specimens are prepared and archived in the Museum collections. Volunteers in the 'Great Chicken Coop Stakeout ' will be returning the motion-sensitive camera traps that have been monitoring the predators activities around their back-yard chicken coops; lab staff will tabulate the results of the experiment during the opening and share the surveillance videos of would-be poultry predators with NRC visitors. NCSU's Your Wild Life  citizen science program will be on hand to show you how together we can study the biodiversity that lives in us, on us, and around us — from the microbes in our belly buttons to the ants in our backyards.
Join Kevin Hussey of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a spectacular virtual tour of our Solar System with “You are Now Free to Travel About the Solar System.” NASA Langley Research Center Staff will demonstrate through exhibits, games and hands-on activities ways that visitors can become citizen scientists by helping NASA researchers collect data. Activities and exhibits will include: the NASA CERES S’COOL Project, NASA Discovery Kiosks, NASA Clouds and Climate Games; and NASA Clouds Observations on the Terrace.