Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 9/7-9/13

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week! 


BTS – Wiess Energy Hall
Tuesday, September 8
6:00 p.m.
The Wiess Energy Hall is the world’s most comprehensive and sophisticated energy exhibition. Tour this popular permanent exhibit with a Museum master docent and explore energy resources in this overview of the energy industry.

Class – Basic Organic Vegetable Gardening
Wednesday, September 9 at 10:00 a.m. & Saturday, September 12 at 9:00 a.m. 
Learn the rewards and challenges of growing vegetables in Houston’s climate. Discover the best site for the garden, how to build it, what and how to plant, and the best methods to maintain and sustain a vegetable garden using organic methods. This is an excellent class for beginners, those who wish to brush-up on their gardening skills, or gardeners new to the Houston area. This class is cosponsored by Urban Harvest conjunction with the International Year of Soils 2015. Angela Chandler of the popular blog holds specialist certifications in plant propagation, entomology, rainwater harvesting and greenhouse management. Her one-acre garden outside of Houston includes vegetables, fruits, herbs, ornamentals and a small home nursery, along with chickens, goats and organically managed beehives.

Fan Faves for 30 Day Film Festival
September 1-30, 2015
Experience the 7 greatest adventures on Earth in a single day!
From the depths of the ocean to the top of the clouds, from ancient ages to modern marvels, now you can embark on seven astounding expeditions, and never leave your seat! The most popular movies return to the Houston Museum of Natural Science during the Fan Faves for 30 Days Film Festival. Relive these amazing 3-D adventures or catch them for the first time! But hurry, the fun ends Sept. 30.

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 8/24-8/30

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week! 

lost civ 5

Behind-the-Scenes Tours
Tuesday, August 25
6:00 p.m.
Enjoy the beauty of one of our special exhibitions on an after hours tour with our master docents. Tour the stunning display of ancient jades, bone, pottery, elephant tusks and monumental bronzes that were discovered in Sanxingdui in China’s Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui or witness the exquisite objects related to the legendary Samurai warriors of Japan in the special exhibition Samurai: The Way of the Warrior

Last Week of Cockrell Butterfly Center Summer Events
Small Talk (Tuesday)
Wing it! (Wednesday) 
Friday Feeding Frenzy


Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 8/17-8/23

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week!  


BTS – Hamman Hall Of Texas Coastal Ecology
Tuesday, August 18
6:00 p.m.
Discover the flora and fauna of the Texas coastline in the new Hamman Hall of Texas Coastal Ecology with HMNS master docents. Environmental characteristics distinct to the Texas coast, as well as critical habitats and opportunities for conservation and restoration will be covered. This after-hour tour will also include a walk through the adjacent Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife.

BTS – Jedi – Samurai Tour
Thursday, August 20
6:00 p.m.
Armored warriors of the past inspired the creative genius of a filmmaker-in a galaxy not so far away. In this multimedia tour of the Samurai, The Way of the Warrior exhibit–led by HMNS staff and a few guest Jedi, Sith and samurai guides–the origins of many of George Lucas’ Star Wars heroes and villains will be unveiled. You will also enjoy demonstrations of light saber and kendo katana. The compelling links between Samurai and Jedi will build your appreciation for both.

Take Two: Back To The Future
Friday, August 21
7:00 p.m.
A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.

George Member Night
George Observatory
Friday, August 21
8:00 p.m.
Enjoy an evening under the stars at the George Observatory inside Brazos Bend State Park. Expert astronomers are available to let Members look at a variety of celestial objects through the Observatory telescopes, as well as privately owned telescopes. Viewing is always weather dependent.

Back to School Sale 
Get 15% off your entire order + FREE shipping. Use promo code 15FREESHIP. Sale ends Sunday, August 23. 


Wanda Hall: Being Natural

The first things all visitors to the Houston Museum of Natural Science see are an 8,000-pound amethyst geode from Uruguay in the lobby and the smiling face of Wanda Hall. And she wouldn’t want it any other way.

Wanda 2

Security guard Wanda Hall can be found in the lobby between the parking garage and the gift shop, greeting guests with her wide smile. Hall became the front line security guard in July 2014.

Hall has been with HMNS for three years, joining the security staff in 2012 right after the opening of the Dan L. Duncan Family Wing. She began by patrolling the brand new Morian Hall of Paleontology, the special exhibition Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition during its time with us, and the Hall of Ancient Egypt, before moving to her current post at the parking garage lobby July 15, 2014.

Hall relishes her job and the opportunity to speak with every guest that visits the museum. Even during our interview, she occasionally paused to greet parents and children entering for Xplorations summer camp.

“[If] you smile at people, they’re going to smile back,” Hall said. “You can’t help but smile at people.”

Hall grew up in Smithville, TX, about 45 miles southeast of Austin on State Highway 71. At the age of 22, she followed in her brother’s footsteps and traded in the town of 3,927 people for Houston, a city of 2.2 million.

Before finding her way to the museum, Hall spent 29 years working as a social worker for the State of Texas, helping seniors and disabled citizens with Medicaid eligibility. She spent eight years retired, enjoying working out and tending her garden, which includes a lemon tree and a pineapple plant.

This love of nature and plants has made the Cockrell Butterfly Center Hall’s favorite place in the museum. She used to spend her breaks in there, roaming around among the flora and floating butterflies—that is, until she learned of the two green tree pythons living in the conservatory next to the handicap entrance.

“I like the butterflies, the plants, everything. But I’m still afraid,” Hall said. “I haven’t been in there in a while. They said, ‘didn’t you see the snakes behind the glass?’ Ever since they told me that, I haven’t been back in there!”

Wanda 1

Hall sits at her typical post, located right next to the gift shop steps. Even while posing for photos, she continued to greet and assist visitors to the Museum!

Ophidiophobia aside, Hall really enjoys working at the Museum. A true people person, her infectious smile and laughter are great for welcoming visitors to HMNS. She loves interacting with the patrons, and they frequently reciprocate.

“Last year around camp time, this little girl came up to me and said, ‘When I come around the corner, there’s something about you. You’ll smile at me. You make my day.’ That was so sweet,” Hall said.

“I meet a lot of people,” Hall continued. “A lot of people want to sit and talk as they come through. They’ll be gone a few minutes and then they’ll come back and talk. People can be glad to see me, and I’ll be glad to see them. I like working in the front. I don’t think I want to come back inside!”

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is open seven days a week, and Hall will be there to greet visitors Monday through Friday. For those planning to visit on August 14, be sure to wish her a happy birthday!