Prairie Park Elementary School Science Day

Saturday, March 10
1-4 pm
Prairie Park Elementary School - 2711 Kensington St.
We'll be at Prairie Park Elementary School for their Fourth Annual Science Discovery Day.  This community-wide event will feature demonstrations and hands-on activities centered around all things science.  Come see the KU NHM booth to explore “Who Pooped in the Past?” where children will examine real fossil coprolites, learn about different types of trace fossils, and make their own fossil coprolite to take home.

Collections Up Close
Tuesday, March 13
11:30 am - 1 pm
Kansas Union

We have more than 5 milllion specimens in our entomology collection. Stop by the Kansas Union during your lunch hour and see a few of the amazing insects from the museum's collections. 

Film Screening Double Feature
Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry and Dolores 
Wednesday, March 14
5:30 pm A Portrait of Wendell Berry and Dolores 7:15 pm
Liberty Hall
Co-sponsored by: the KU Environmental Studies Program, the Department of American Studies, the Department of Sociology, and The Commons
Tickets for the evening available here 

Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry revolves around the divergent stories of several residents of Henry County, Kentucky, who each face difficult choices that will dramatically reshape their relationship with the land and their community. Filmed across four seasons in the farming cycle, Look & See blends observational scenes of farming life, interviews with farmers and community members with evocative, carefully framed shots of the surrounding landscape. 

Dolores profiles Dolores Huerta, one of the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one's life to social change. 

The Bits Behind Bitcoin
A Science on Tap Event with Terry Soo
KU Department of Mathematics
Wednesday, March 14
7:30 pm
For this Science on Tap, we're featuring a mathematician in honor of Pi Day (3.14, of course). The first bitcoin was mined a little over nine years ago; at that time one bitcoin would have had little or no value. After two years, it achieved parity with the dollar, and by the beginning of this year, one bitcoin was worth over ten thousand dollars. Although bitcoin is not physically mined by prospectors, the mining of bitcoin has many parallels with mineral mining. We will discuss some of the mathematical ideas behind secure communication systems and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. We will dine on spam and hash while miners find golden nonces, but we will try not to speculate on the whether bitcoin will displace centralized  government backed currencies or go the way of the Dutch tulip.

Make it a full evening and catch Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry at Liberty Hall at 5:30 pm, then Science on Tap at Free State at 7:30 pm, and round out the evening with Nerd Nite at 8:30 pm featuring Pi Day activities at Maceli's Banquet Hall. 

Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade
Saturday, March 17
1 pm
Downtown Lawrence

We'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day downtown with our Stand Up for Science float, so watch for the dancing T. rex!

Discovery Day: Reptiles
Sunday, March 18
1-3 pm
KU Natural History Museum

Join us for the March Discovery Day featuring reptiles from across the world. Discover hands-on educational activities for parents and children and explore the museum in a new way. 

Discovery Day: Amphibians
Wednesday, March 21
10 am - 12 pm
KU Natural History Museum

When Lawrence Lawrence Public Schools are closed for Spring Break, come to the museum for a one-day school-is-out Discovery Day. We'll have hands-on educational activities for parents and children to explore science together, with an emphasis on amphibians. 

The Last Jungles: Biodiversity Exploration in the Amazon
A Kansas City 
Science on Tap event
Tuesday, March 27
7:30 pm
Bier Station, 120 E. Gregory, Kansas City, MO
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Short
The Amazon Rainforest of South America is one of the world’s most biological diverse regions and also one of the most poorly explored. Many new species— from small insects to birds and mammals— are still being discovered every year. At this Science of Tap, Dr. Andrew Short will discuss why the Amazon is so diverse, and share his experiences traveling by canoe, helicopter, and bushplane to document and describe its fauna.


Extraordinary Animals: Appreciating Nature
Sunday, April 8
1-3 pm
KU Natural History Museum

Come to the KU Natural History Museum to enjoy a program that focuses on appreciating the natural world around us. Join us for presentations at 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 pm, and we will have a fun craft activity as well.

Collections Up Close
Tuesday, April 10
11:30 am - 1 pm
Kansas Union

Graduate student Rene Martin will be in the Kansas Union to share fish specimens from the museum's ichthyology collections.

Stand Up For Science
A Benefit for the KU Natural History Museum
Friday, April 13
6:30 pm at Abe & Jake's Landing (8 E 6th St, Lawrence, KS 66044)

Science is key to addressing our complex challenges fo advancing human well-being: sustaining the planet; achieving breakthrough discoveries in energy, medicine and food production; and championing what is fact over what is fake. On Friday, April 13 we invite you to Stand Up for Science, a benefit for the KU Natural History Museum. At this event, we will transform Abe and Jake's Landing in downtown Lawrence into a virtual natural history museum with food and drink, entertainment, games and activities for adults, and live and silent auctions. Tickets go on sale March 1, 2018. To become a sponsor for this event, please contact us

Kansas Archaeology Day

Sunday, April 15
1-3 pm
Learn about archaeological study of cultures and people of the past in Kansas. Try hands-on activities and view demonstrations at this celebration of Kansas Archaeology Day.

Artificial Photosynthesis
A Science on Tap event with James Blakemore,
KU Department of Chemistry
Wednesday, April 18
7:30 pm
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St.

James Blakemore will lead this talk about “Artificial Photosynthesis," technologies that allow conversion of sunlight directly into useful chemicals and fuels.

Art Cart: Gel Printing with Plants
A Big Botany Event
Saturday, April 21
1-4 pm
Spencer Museum of Art

The Spencer Museum of Art exhibition "Big Botany" invites exploration of humankind's deep connection and fascination with the plant kingdom. Stop by the Spencer to create prints inspired by microscopic cross-sections of plants and experiment with this gel printing technique.  The KU NHM will have an activity table at this event, so join us!

Discovery Day: Earth Day
Saturday, April 21
11:30 am - 4 pm
South Park in downtown Lawrence

We'll take our mobile museum to South Park for this special Discovery Day in honor of Earth Day. The City of Lawrence will kick off festivities with a parade at 11 am and a celebration in South Park throughout the afternoon. See the mobile museum and enjoy one of our hands-on activities. 

Bonner Springs Library Youth Child Fair: Bones!
Saturday, April 28
9 am -12 pm
Bonner Springs Public Library, 201 N Nettleton Ave, Bonner Springs, Kansas

Learn all about fossilized dinosaur bones at this event held at the Bonner Springs City Library.

Day of Creativity: People. Plants. Play!
Sunday, April 29
12 - 3 pm
KU Natural History Museum and Spencer Museum of Art

Express your creativity at this joint event held at both the KU Natural History Museum and the  Spencer Museum of Art. Inspired in part by the themes of the Spencer Museum's exhibition Big Botany, this event includes a wide range of hands on activities, music, food, art and science.  A full list of activities will be posted on both museums' websites in later in spring 2018.


Collections Up Close
Tuesday, May 1
11:30 am - 1 pm
Kansas Union

For this Collections Up Close, we'll feature specimens from the paleobotany collection - some of which were gathered from Antarctica.

Dark Ecology
A talk by Timothy Morton
Wednesday, May 2
Spencer Museum of Art

As part of Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World, the Spencer Museum of Art will host Timothy Morton for a talk at the Spencer Museum. Morton is author of several works including Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence.  Patrons of KU NHM may enjoy this event held at our sister museum on campus.


Sunday, May 6

12 - 4 pm

Baker Wetlands

The KU Natural History Museum, in partnership with Baker Wetlands and Monarch Watch, will host a BugBlitz citizen science event that will bring together KU scientists, professional photographers, families, and other community members to find and identify as many insect species as possible in one day. Data will be added to the iNaturalist database, and an insect species list will be generated for the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center. The event will also include a youth photography competition. For more details, contact

Extraordinary Animals: Pollinator Pals

Sunday, May 13

1-3 pm

Come to the KU Natural History Museum to enjoy a program that features specimens from museum collections with a focus on pollinators - from bees to bats to birds.  Presentations will occur at 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 pm, and we will have a fun craft activity as well.

International Museum Day
Friday, May 18
9 am - 5 pm
KU Natural History Museum and Spencer Museum of Art

Museums worldwide celebrate this day by encouraging the public to visit a museum, whether it's one in a far-off location or in your hometown. This event is organized by the International Council of Museums.

Art Cart: Nature vs Machine Drawings
Saturday, May 19
1-3 pm
Spencer Museum of Art

The exhibition Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World invites you to contemplate humankind’s deep connection and fascination with the plant kingdom. Using the Spencer Museum's Art Cart, you can create drawings and illustrations that depict the contrasts between the organic and non-organic world.  The KU NHM will have an activity table at this event, so come on out and join us!


Quest for T. rex
A Kansas City 
Science on Tap event
Tuesday, May 22
7:30 pm
Bier Station, 120 E. Gregory, Kansas City, MO
Speaker: Paleontologist David Burnham
During the past four years, KU paleontologist David Burnham has been spending part of each summer guiding an ever-changing roster of students, staff and volunteers in the eastern Montana badlands that are home to T. rex fossils. Join us to talk about what we've found so far, and talk about what makes this dinosaur so interesting to research.

Discovery Day: Pollinators
Thursday, May 24
10 am - 12 pm
KU Natural History Museum

This Discovery Day, held when Lawrence Public Schools are closed, will feature pollinators that are both familar and unfamiliar. Through hands-on activities, learn about pollinators and the role they play in the food we eat.  


The Coelacanth: Old Four Legs and the Fish Collections at the Biodiversity Institute
A Science on Tap event
Tuesday, June 26
7:30 pm
Bier Station, 120 E. Gregory, Kansas City, MO
Speaker: Andy Bentley, collections manager, ichthyology
The coelacanth is one of the most enigmatic fish on earth.  Thought to be extinct until 1938, it is a pivotal species in the evolution of movement on to land.  Come learn more about this fascinating species and the almost 700,000 specimens of diverse fish at the Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum.