Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 4/4-4/10

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation is by Cameron (age: 6):

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Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour – HMNS Offsite Collections Storage
Monday, Apr. 4
1:30 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Millions of artifacts and specimens are housed at the Museum’s offsite collections storage. For the first time ever, HMNS is allowing the public to tour this facility. Participants will see old favorites no longer on display, like the shrunken heads from the Amazon, and new acquisitions that have not been seen by the public yet, including a giant African elephant. This truly behind-the-scenes tour of the museum collections will be led by Lisa Rebori, HMNS VP of collections.

Lecture – Film Screening – Stonehenge Bringing Back The Dead
Wednesday, Apr. 6
6:30 p.m.
The discovery and analysis of 63 bodies buried beneath Stonehenge has overturned the accepted view on construction and use of perhaps the greatest prehistoric monuments. This film reveals vital clues to this ancient puzzle of the Neolithic period.
Join Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout for the Texas premiere of Secrets of Stonehenge Skeletons. This is a one-night only screening.
This event is cosponsored by AIA, Houston Society with support from Apache.

Lecture – Solving Stonehenge: New Discoveries by Michael Parker-Pearson
Thursday, Apr. 7
6:30 p.m.
Stonehenge still has secrets to reveal. Since 2003, a new era of archaeological investigation of this enigmatic Neolithic monument has produced a wealth of new information about Stonehenge and the people who built it. The research of the Stonehenge Riverside Project lead by Dr. Michael Parker-Pearson and other investigations are providing major insights into the purpose of Stonehenge, the lives of its creators, and reason that some stones came from nearly 200 miles away.
This lecture is cosponsored by AIA, Houston Society with support from Apache.

Class – Advanced Nature Photography Workshop
Friday, Apr. 8
2:30 p.m.
Take your photography to the next level! Professional nature photographer and instructor Amy Shutt will teach you best practices and advanced techniques for mastering composition and focus in nature, landscapes, wildlife and still-life photography, including panoramas and HDR. This class will prepare you to capture each shot exactly how you envision, instead of missing it and feeling frustrated and discouraged.

Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, Apr. 9
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (or until sold out)
Interested in Butterfly Gardening? The perfect opportunity to get started awaits you twice each year, at the Cockrell Butterfly Center’s semi-annual plant sales! Once in spring and once in fall, we offer a wide variety of nectar plants for butterflies and host plants for their caterpillars. Plenty of experts are on hand to answer your butterfly gardening questions and help you to create the perfect butterfly habitat – right in your own backyard.

Class – Contain Yourself: Organic Gardening for City Lifestyles
Saturday, Apr. 9
9:30 a.m.
You want to grow your own food, but your outdoor space is limited. What to do if you live in a townhouse with a small yard or an apartment with a balcony? Container gardening is your answer. Learn what kind of containers, soils and varieties of plants to use when growing fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and flowers.
Sponsored by Urban Harvest.

Class – Nature Photography Workshop
Saturday, Apr. 9
2:30 p.m.
In this exotic photography adventure, you will learn how to get the best nature shots possible when photographing animals, insects and flora. Professional animal and nature photographer and instructor Amy Shutt will teach you the basics of your DSLR camera leaving you an understanding of how to use aperture, shutter speed, and ISO together to get out of auto mode. You will then venture out to photograph the insects, animals, flowers and plants in the Cockrell Butterfly Center. You will also work on photographing the waterfall to get soft velvety water shots. All participants will receive one-on-one instruction with their equipment.

 

 

Use Science to “Hack” Your Big Idea this Weekend at HMNS!

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Calling all particle physicists, designers, open source ninjas, molecular biologists, students, programmers, and rocket scientists to join forces at Science Hack Day Houston 2016, hosted by the Houston Museum of Natural Science!

Science Hack Day Houston is an overnight marathon event from April 2 to 3, open to anyone excited about making things through science. Join us to make, “hack” or invent cool things in an inspiring environment. All it takes is dedication and an insatiable curiosity. No experience necessary, but there is a catch — you and your team must race the clock to complete an experimental prototype within 30 consecutive hours.

Check out the full event schedule for more details, then use the map on the HMNS web site to find us. We suggest the HMNS Garage for all-weekend, overnight parking. We will give participants a coupon with a discount for this garage. For free three-hour parking, you can park at the Garden Center Lot or the Houston Zoo lots. Don’t forget public transit! A ticket on the MetroRail costs $1.25, and the museum is an eight-minute walk from the Hermann Park/Rice University station.

Science Hack Day is a hack-a-thon with a twist — anyone interested in science can share their thoughts, find a team, and form multidisciplinary teams of between two and five individuals to learn something new, have fun, and create a mind-blowing prototype within 30 hours. The idea is to mash up ideas, mediums, industries and people to spark inspiration for future collaborations. When participants arrive, there will be a few speakers and an hour of brainstorming and proposing hack ideas. You can pitch ideas, or join up with projects you’re interested in. After that, teams are free to get to work on their hacks. On Sunday afternoon, everyone will reconvene to check out the hacks and award prizes to the favorites. Registration is free for individuals and teams.

The Hacks: Have a great project in mind? Science Hack Day is a great place to work with eager Houstonians with all sorts of skills and hobbies to bring your ideas to life. It’s okay if you don’t arrive with hack ideas; we need all the creative minds we can find to help contribute in whatever way they can.

What to Bring: 

  1. Bring your laptop and charger and/or anything you would like to hack. We will have some gadgets you can borrow to hack.
  2. Do not bring food or beverages. We will provide all meals. Please take a look at the schedule. If you have dietary restrictions, please contact the SHDH committee.
  3. Bring a sweater – the museum can get very cold.
  4. You must bring a guardian if you are underage.

For the (Optional) Sleepover:

  1. Bring a sleeping bag, a cover and a sleeping pad. The floor at the museum is hard and cold, so prepare for those conditions.
  2. Bring a sleeping mask. Most lights will be on through the night.
  3. Bring some toiletries. It feels nice to change out your contacts and brush your teeth.
  4. Bring a change of clothes to feel fresh for the next day. You’ll feel better.

For more information please go to ScienceHackDayHouston.com.

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 2/8-2/14

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!

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation is by Jim (age 12 7/8).

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Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty.

Endless Love Campaign 
Ends Friday, Feb. 19
Want to show your Valentine that your love will last forever?
Say it with a cockroach.
Before you go all “Eeuuuwwww,”… think about it.
These tough little beasts have been living, loving and roaming the earth for 350 million years. It’s even been said they’d survive a nuclear blast. Who knows? They might even outlive Keith Richards!
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to capture and gift wrap a cockroach yourself. For just $5, you can actually name one at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. You’ll receive a digital commemorative certificate, like this one, for your Valentine. How’s that for a lasting declaration of love?
You have to admit, it’s the most unforgettable gift ever—and it’s a great way to support conservation and education at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Class – Growing Fruit Trees in a Small Space
Tuesday, Feb. 9
6:00 p.m.
Homeowners with the smallest urban lots can grow fruitful gardens of increased variety and beauty. Instructor Angela Chandler will teach the techniques known as high density orchard, which enables the urban gardener to quadruple the variety of fruit they can grow without buying a single square foot of land. Maintenance is made easier by employing simple changes in the way home orchard management is approached. Practical and decorative techniques are will also be included. Fruits covered include stone and pome fruits, as well as tropical fruits, small bush fruits and berries.

Film Screening – Dispatches from the Gulf: Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Tuesday, Feb. 9
6:30 p.m.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred 1,500 meters deep in the Gulf of Mexico, releasing approximately 3.19 million barrels of oil. The event initiated an unprecedented response effort and mobilized the largest, coordinated scientific research endeavor around an ocean-related event in history-orchestrated through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).
The GoMRI scientists and their research to improve society³ ability to understand, respond to, and mitigate the impacts of petroleum pollution and related stressors of the marine and coastal ecosystems is documented in Dispatches from the Gulf by Screenscope Films. It premiered as an episode of the award-winning Journey to Planet Earth series.
Join GoMRI scientists Dr. Edward Buskey of University of Texas Marine Science Institute and Dr. Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University’s Department of Civil Engineering for the giant-screen premiere of Dispatches from the Gulf. This is a one-night only screening.
This event is sponsored by Screenscope Films.

Goldfish and Hops: the upcoming Special Events trends of 2016

by Ashley Zalta

The Special Events department of the Houston Museum of Natural Science annually attends the Special Events Conference, the industry’s premier trade show and conference for event professionals. The conference is attended by over 5,000 event colleagues, exhibitors, and mentors who can select from over 100 education sessions, attend seven showcasing events, network with fellow event pros, and browse through thousands of products on the exhibit hall floor. We would like to share with you some of the fun facts we learned:

9. The average attention span of a person is now down to only nine seconds… The same as a goldfish!

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8. Since 1963, Pantone has chosen the color of the year, and for the first time ever, the 2016 color of the year is actually two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

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7. The color of the year affects industries from events to fashion, to home décor. Last year, however, although the color of the year was Marsala, the number one paint color sold was sage green.

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6. This year, the floral trends of the year will be variations of the garden rose and hops. Yes, the ingredient found in beer!

A couple of our favorite garden rose colors are the Pashmina, which is a lovely combination of green and pink petals.

Conf63The Salamansar rose is a member of the coral color family also known for having big, fluffy blooms.Conf62

With craft beer becoming such a popular thing, using hops in bouquets and boutonnieres will be a trend you will be seeing more of.

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5. The average wedding age is currently 29 for males and 27 for females.

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4. No longer is DIY only for the bride on a budget. It’s also a great way to show off your creativity and personalize your event — things like paper flower arches for ceremonies and hanging picture frames featuring your family tree or special movements in your relationship.

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3. A current booming trend in food presentation is DIY food stations. In this option, foods are completely cooked, but assembly options allow the guests to customize exactly what they want. Examples to get you started are the make-your-own taco bar, make-your-own bloody Mary, and make-your-own caramel apples.

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2. You may not be interested in planning a social event, but you can use our suggestions in a big 2016 trend of unconventional meetings. Studies now show people want more interactive and engaging meetings with people getting up and moving, and this can be achieved by holding your meeting at an unconventional location such as a museum like HMNS!

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1. With the neverending need for us to be connected to our technology, our last trend provides fashionable comfort with the ability to recharge in charging furniture.

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We hope you enjoyed these fascinating details. We sure did! For more information on how to plan your special event at HMNS, check out our web site. Happy planning!

Editor’s Note: Ashley is the Special Events Manager for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.