Archie the Wandering T-Rex Celebrates his Birthday

Guess what guys, it’s my birthday and I got to celebrate it at Disney World! A year ago I was officially adopted by my HMNS family and since then have had the greatest year of my life! This past year has been full of adventure, fun, and new experiences as I have had the opportunity to travel to amazing new places and try new things. When I was first adopted, I thought I was one lucky dinosaur, but I had no idea how lucky I really got. I belong to the greatest, most amazing family! From trips abroad to Europe and the Middle East, to exploring the beauty of our National Parks here at home, immersing myself into life at the museum, and celebrating my birthday in the most magical place on earth, my new family has literally shown me the world.

On my very first adventure I crossed the pond and rambled around London a while before taking the Chunnel to Paris. The sites were amazing! I also spent an amazing week in Germany visiting excavation sites with our Adult Education program (sorry, too busy exploring for photos!).

archie big ben

archie eiffel tower

I then jotted off to attend with the 2016 Special Events Conference in Orlando, Florida where I learned all about the newest and most popular trends for the year. I was super excited to hear that one of the colors of the year was Serenity Blue! What do you think, do you think I resemble a certain color of the year? Immediately after the conference I rushed off to Saudi Arabia where I had the chance to train an awesome group of people on what we do in the museum and how we do it! King of the lab! (shhh, let’s keep that between us)

archie show

archie theater

This year we also celebrated the 100 year birthday of our national parks with our new Giant Screen Theater movie, National Parks Adventure 3D. After watching this incredible film, I got inspired to check out a few of our parks myself! I started with visiting Big Bend National Park and checking out the cool local fossils. I then flew up to Maine to explore Acadia National Park and saw my first lighthouse! A little later in the year I decided to really go for it and strapped in for a road trip spanning 3 states and 8 more national parks!

archie park 1archie park 2archie park 3
 While traveling has been amazing, there is so much to see and do right here at home at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I have spent time with our awesome group of volunteers learning all sort of fascinating information spanning from mummies to gemstones! I even checked out our Cockrell Butterfly Center and got up close and personal with a moon moth.

archie gemstone carvingarchie butterfly
This has been an absolutely amazing year, and I can’t wait to get started on the next! Who knows where I will go and what I will learn next. There’s still so many exhibits here at home I haven’t explored yet, and I can’t wait to get started.

If you would like adopt your own dinosaur friend to join you on your amazing adventures, you can visit our store where Archie’s friends live.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Pick up a conversation piece. Give a smart gift. Or just scare the cat. Give it, receive it, OWN IT.

Click here to peruse our exciting 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. And feel good about yourself knowing that 100% of the proceeds benefit the museum’s educational programming. Something to warm your heart this holiday season: the HMNS Holiday Gift Guide.

Diary of a Summer Camp Shopaholic

Summer camp is here and the lower level of the Museum is full of summer campers of all ages. Those of us who work in the Education Collections area, where we house all of the supplies for Summer Camp, really know how to shop.

Xplorations Summer camp is made of 20 onsite classrooms at HMNS, each with about 20 children each week participating in 20 hours of hands on activities with materials ranging from flowerpots and fingerpaint to raw eggs and racecars – we need a LOT of materials.

My weekends are filled with trips to the more obscure places for the more specific items like 10lbs of bulk flat sided plastic, gemstones for Star Warrior’s sashes and as many mini aluminum pie tins as we can find (believe me, I’ve been to about 10 stores looking for them – they are hard to find) as well as the usual trips to grocery stores and Target for several shopping baskets worth of goodies.

We also order from lots of scientific supply companies, restaurant suppliers and educational suppliers each week. My fabulous ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program intern, Julia, heads out to Fiesta or Randalls at least twice a week for more eggs, milk or baking soda. I thought I’d take a few photos of our supply stash so that you all could see what it takes to fill our camp classrooms with fun for everyone.


Cups and Deli Containers and Plates – oh my.


We try to keep some method to the madness in our supply
room – labeled blue bins help us stay as organized as possible
among the craziness of camp.


Our very own candyland. Candy is used in camp for DNA
models, construction materials and certain candies can even
trigger soda explosions.


The camp crew is very proud of our new “Kitchen Land” where
all things kitchen and food related have gone to live this
summer — allowing them a separate home from construction
paper and fingerprint powder.

We have two refrigerators for camp in our supply area. One contains various “staining items” for Test for the Best’s stain remover test, Wizard Science Academy’s squid and swamp eel for dissecting and many containers of “flobberworms” (earthworms for non-wizard shoppers); the other seems to contain lots and lots of eggs and milk.

Camp trips to the grocery store usually involve at least two or three full baskets and it is always fun to see how long it takes the checker to ask what you’re doing with 20 chicken legs with thighs attached, 40 tubs of vanilla icing, a bag of dog food, 25 boxes of sugar cubes, eight boxes of dinosaur fruit snacks, eight varieties of milk chocolate bars, six, 18-packs of eggs, 44 small oranges and all of the marshmallows that came in on yesterday’s marshmallow delivery. Sometimes people are too embarassed to ask, but when they do and we tell them that it’s for HMNS Summer camp – it explains a lot.


What’s the wierdest thing in your fridge today? We have a vacuum sealed swamp eel (from Nicole’s favorite stop – the Asian market).