It’s been a hot summer! There’s no denying that fact so why not take the time this weekend to cool off at the Polar Weekend exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural history Friday and Saturday.
“Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a great place to explore the science behind, and the effects of, global climate change,” said Christine Mills, Interim Program Officer at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “Those familiar with the museum will look at exhibitions and collections in new and exciting ways and understand how a natural history museum relates to current world issues. There will be activities, presentations, tours, expeditions, and chances to interact with scientists, energy specialists, educators, and other visitors.”
This special event will allow visitors to get educate themselves on the ice caps at the North and South poles through a variety of exhibits, speakers and tours. There will be several exhibits featuring hands on activities with scientific specimens, as well as a few visitors from other Pittsburgh area museums all centered around the climate changes and how they are affecting the environment, wildlife and our homes.
“Climate science is complex,” said Mills. “During the event visitors can explore many variables that interact including; how one change impacts another within the earth’s systems; our role as contributors to and managers of climate change; and how life on earth has responded to climate change over time.”
Museum scientists and educations will be available throughout the day for to educate and answer questions. They will be providing valuable information about our current world and what everyone can do to protect the environment. Many will give guided tours throughout the day as well.
“The most exciting aspect of the event is that we will be experimenting with a new type of visitor experience,” said Mills. “Visitors will set off on expeditions facilitated by museum educators, where they will be challenged to make discoveries and then come back to share their findings.”
Additionally, there will be exhibits depicting what kind of harsh environments people have lived in over the years and the different effects the climate change has had on our society and how fossils from life forms existing millions of years ago can clue researchers to what might lie in the future. Finally, energy production experts will be on hand to demonstrate how the use of energy affects the climate.
“Most of the activities are suitable for a broad range of visitors, with the primary target audience family groups,” said Mills. “The Mary Dawson presentation, Saturday at 1 p.m., on her work on Devon Island in the Arctic, will appeal more to teens and adults, while the Captain Green’s Time Machine presentation by Carnegie Science Center, 2:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, will appeal to family groups. Behind the Scenes in the Big Bone Room is an adventure no visitor will want to miss. Visitors from 3 to 100 will find exciting activities and expeditions to participate in.”
The majority of the events will occur both days, though some are specific. The schedule of events is as follows:
Friday and Saturday
10:30 AM – 3:00 PM
- Expedition with a museum educator in search of experiments, evidence and information. Participate in discussions about climate change and choose from one of three themes: Plants and Animal adaptations to Climate Change, Climate Change in the Polar Regions, and Energy Science. Expeditions begin on the hour and last approximately 30 – 45 minutes. All ages
- Go behind the scenes with an educator in the Big Bone Room to examine bones and try to identify what ice age mammals they belonged to. Begins on the half hour and lasts for 30 minutes. All ages welcome.
- Hear inuit folktales and play inuit games led by the Teen Docents.
- Participate in hands-on activities to learn about clean energy. Also learn about solar panels and the material science uses to make them efficient.
- Measure the energy uses of various devices using a Belkin meter.
- Develop your ideal energy portfolio and speak with experts about the impact of your decisions.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Visit with an African Penguin visiting from the National Aviary.
2:30 – 3:30 PM
Enjoy the interactive stage presentation about the science of climate change and the innovative ways humans can limit their impact on the environment called Captain Green’s Time Machine, visiting from the Carnegie Science Center.
On Friday, also explore renewable and non-renewable energy sources from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
On Saturday only, celebrate the polar bear and learn how the climate change is drastically affecting the species which are in danger. Learn how you can help by lowering your Carbon Footprint as presented by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Also, on Saturday from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. join Carnegie paleontologist Mary Dawson for a presentation about her research on Devon Island in the Arctic Circle, with a special focus on the evolution of seals in response to the climate change. Appropriate for adults.
Additionally, any Duquesne Light customers who bring in their bills will receive an energy saving light bulb kit for free.
All activities are included with regular museum admission and will surely be an exciting event. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $11 for children 3-18 and students with Valid ID. Members and children are admitted free. If you have multiple people attending the event, check out becoming a member of the museum, giving you free admission year round to not only the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, but over 300 other museums around the country as well. Plus member discounts and events.
“Carnegie Museum of Natural History is working with many partner organizations so this event will not only be a great “beat the heat” activity, but also a way to “sample” other venues, such as the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, the National Aviary, and Carnegie Science Center,” said Mills. “This is also an opportunity for visitors to learn ways to change their own energy footprint.”
For more information, please visit http://www.carnegiemnh.org/.