Can’t visit us? Use the resources below to learn from home! From citizen science projects to educational videos, find what you need to stay connected with NCMNS and the natural world.
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Take a Child Outside Activity
You may know what some plants look like. And maybe you know what they feel like. But do you know what they smell like? We’re used to smelling fragrant flowers, but for many plants, their leaves have a distinct smell, too! This time of year you can still find pine, cedar, wild onion and other plants when you Take a Child Outside to…
Peek & Feel, Listen & Smell
Special Materials: Ziploc bag; fragrant leaves or plants.
What To Do: Place a non-toxic plant such as a wild onion into the Ziploc bag and then pinch the plant (with your fingers outside the bag). Open the bag and sniff. You can then try this out with rosemary and pine needles. How do they smell? Which do you like best?
Additional simple activities are available at takeachildoutside.org.
Live, online experiences with the Museum.
Thursday, January 21
While on its surface the idea of parasite conservation might seem counterintuitive, a deeper dive reveals just how important it is to global biodiversity. This might be surprising, because we don’t often hear about positive impacts of parasites like worms, lice and mites, but parasites can actually benefit communities of wildlife to which they belong. There is even evidence that controlled exposure to parasites is beneficial to human health! Join Dr. Kelly Speer to discuss the importance of parasites to healthy ecosystems and find out for yourself why parasite conservation matters so much.
Science Tonight (formerly the Science Cafe) is a livestream show for people who want to know more. Host Chris Smith talks with interesting people making exciting, everyday discoveries in science, nature, tech and more. Watch every Thursday night to grow your brain and get the latest stories in the science world.
Virtual Trivia Tuesday
Tuesdays at 6pm
Register for interactive Virtual Trivia Tuesdays! This is a great opportunity to virtually mingle with friends, compete for bragging rights and perhaps even learn something cool. Questions feature a mix of science facts, current news, pop culture and scientific discoveries.
Each live program is taught by a Museum educator and includes a thematic kit of natural specimens or scientific tools for the child to use during the class and beyond. All activities encourage the development of skills in scientific observation and thinking. Small classes give each student the best possible experience.
May 13, 2021:
Butterflies in your Backyard, ages 6–7, 9:30–10:30am
Sand Dollars and Sea Stars: Exploring Echinoderms, ages 8–10, 11:30am–12:30pm
From Colonists to Computers: Coded Messages, ages 11–13, 2:00–3:00pm
Science Detectives – Online! Series — Spring 2021: Now you have the option to register for the Spring 2021 program series, which includes four Science Detectives programs for the same age group. Series registration is available as an option when registering for any program listed above. Spring 2021 Series Registration Deadline: February 4 at 8:00am.
DIY Activities, Virtual Tours and more, to do at your own pace.
Do you have a favorite constellation or just like finding shapes in the stars? Here is a way to capture the star patterns in your own home.
Dr. Adrian Smith, Head of the Museum’s Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab, has posted a new video showing insect flight close up and in slow motion in 11 species, from the Acorn Weevil to the Spined Assassin Bug. Dr. Smith says, “Takeoff and flight sequences of insects spanning 5 different taxonomic orders captured at 3,200 fps!” See the video on YouTube for more details.
Earn credit through free, online workshops that get you exploring nature in your own backyard. Each workshop contains videos, activities, and materials that you can step through at your own pace. Get ideas and resources to encourage your students to explore their nature neighborhoods!
Got a Question? We Have Answers!
Ask a Naturalist Blog — From Black Widow Spiders to identifying a Buckeye, you’ll find answers to some of our most fascinating questions here!
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