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news september / october 2013 V O L U ME 1 8 , N u m b e r 5

Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux Exhibition opens october 18

H M N S i n t h i s i s s u e • w e l c h h a ll o f c h e m i s t r y



welch hall of chemistry

2 Welch Hall of Chemistry 3 Breakfast with Dr. Bakker General Information 4 -5 Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux 6-7 Hall of Ancient Egypt 8 Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision 9 Cockrell Butterfly Center 10 Burke Baker Planetarium 11 George Observatory Museum Store 12 - 13 Wortham Giant Screen Theatre Toe-Tapping Matinées 14 - 15 HMNS at Sugar Land 16 - 17 For Teachers 18 - 19 Just For Kids 20 - 21 Adult Education Wiess Energy Programs 22 - 23 Events Calendar Spirits & Skeletons Get connected to hmns facebook







Don’t overreact! Our Chemistry Hall is moving—and doubling in size—this November. The new hall, located on the lower level, will present the history of the universe through the lens of chemistry, with an abundance of new interactive touch screens that inform visitors how the very elements that make up our bodies were born of the stars. Beginning with the Big Bang and continuing through the age in which we live now, the new Chemistry Hall will offer insight into the formation of Earth, the

powers of 10, the periodic table, and many more elemental topics. With 6,750 square feet of exhibit space to explore, visitors can use a “Molecule Builder” to assemble compounds from elements, explore the special properties of H2O, travel to the frontiers of nanotechnology and biomedicine, and learn how chemistry manifests itself in nature with an interactive exhibit on the bioluminescence of fireflies. Keep up-to-date on current and upcoming exhibitions and renovations at

Treat your little fossil hunter to breakfast and a lecture with worldfamous paleontologist Dr. Robert T. Bakker. New this year, breakfast will be on the Morian Overlook with a stunning view of the dinosaurs below, and the lecture will take place in the Moran Lecture Hall. This FUNdraiser, benefitting HMNS, will offer an opportunity for kids to meet Dr. Bakker and enjoy his entertaining presentation. Reserve your spot now! Children under 1 year admitted free. Adults must accompany children. For tickets, please call (713) 639-4629.

general information Main Campus

HOURS OF OPERATION Monday through Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Labor Day Weekend: August 31 - September 2: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check our website for film schedules and special closures. Permanent Exhibit Halls FREE after 2 p.m. on Thursdays.

SPECIAL TICKET VENUES Wortham Giant Screen Theatre Cockrell Butterfly Center Burke Baker Planetarium GyroXtreme BroncoSaurus Special Exhibitions: - Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision (members free)

PARKING Member $5, nonmember $10, all others $20

(713) 639-4629 Monday - Sunday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Online at Handling fee for phone orders only.

MEMBER TICKETS Number of discounted tickets by membership level: Individual, Student & Senior, 1; Dual, 2; Family level & above, 2 adults & 4 children.

MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS (713) 639-4616, TTY (713) 639-4687

FIELD TRIPS For all venues: (713) 639-4659,

BIRTHDAY PARTIES (713) 639-4646, Party Smarty at Main Campus and Sugar Land; (281) 242-3055 Challenger Birthday Mission at the George Observatory.


SUGAR LAND (281) 313-2277 13016 University Boulevard Sugar Land, Texas 77479

Hours of operation Thursday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: noon to 5 p.m. Monday - Wednesday: only field trips with advance booking. Labor Day September 2: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Columbus Day October 14: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special Ticket Venues Dig Pit Special Exhibition: - Amusement Park Science

GEORGE OBSERVATORY (281) 242-3055, Located in Brazos Bend State Park. Park entrance fee: $7 per person; free for ages 12 & under.

(713) 639-4629 5555 Hermann Park Drive Houston, Texas 77030


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Breakfast with Dr. Bakker Saturday, November 9 9 - 11:30 a.m. Tickets $40, Members $30

H M N S s c e n e s f r o m t h e s t o n e a g e : t h e c a v e p a i n t i ng s o f l a s c a u x


Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux on Exhibition october 18, 2013 - march 23, 2014

On September 12, 1940 in Dordogne, France, in the commune of Montignac, four boys—Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Simon Coencas and Georges Agniel—and their dog stumbled upon a long forgotten cave; a jewel of prehistoric art and a major archaeological revelation. The cave was named Lascaux. The Lascaux cave, now a World Heritage site, has been dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of Prehistory.” Also known as the Lascaux bestiary, its frescos represent many animals, including horses, bulls, deer, ibex, cats, a rhinoceros, and even the legendary unicorn. These pictures are accompanied by enigmatic signs and a human representation of a man facing a charging bison, raising new questions about the perception of our prehistoric ancestors.

After its discovery, the artwork of the cave amazed the world, and brought more than a million visitors to Lascaux between 1948 and 1963. Closed to the public since the 1960s to protect and preserve the cave, Lascaux remains the world icon of art from the dawn of man. For 10 years, from 1972 to 1983, French artist Monique Peytral documented and reproduced the paintings of the Hall of the Bulls and Axial Gallery. The result, Lascaux II, is a life-size replica that can be visited at Montignac. To make Lascaux accessible to an international public, the cave has been recreated in a new and unique set of 5 exact replicas of the paintings in the Nave and the Well Scene. Contemplate the paintings, their splendor and power, in an atmosphere of silence and lamplight, in which one can ponder the origins of humanity. Watch the animals

move in the flickering light of the oil lamps and the torches of the Lascaux artists. This international exhibition brings together state-of-the-art digital technologies in order to make the visit interactive and unforgettable—simulators of human presence, virtual trips using the most advanced 3D projections, interactive terminals as well as multimedia and a model of the cave. You will be able to travel throughout the whole cave in a virtual tour before admiring the life-size recreations of the Nave and the Well. You will then come face to face in a unique and unforgettable meeting with a CroMagnon family and observe the artists of Lascaux preparing their tools and then painting and engraving the walls of the cave.

“Dark Cave, Bright Visions: Life & Art in Ice Age Europe” Randall White, Ph.D. New York University Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m. Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America – Houston Society and The Leakey Foundation Tickets $18, Members $12

Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux was created by The General Council of Dordogne, with support provided by the Regional Council of Aquitaine, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the European Union. The worldwide tour is organized by the SPL Lascaux, international exhibition. Official sponsors are Delpeyrat and Maïsadour.


Friday, November 8, 6 - 10 p.m. FREE for members!

FAMILY TALK “Our Own Backyard: Ancient Texas Art” Carolyn Boyd, Ph.D. Director, Shumla School Sunday, November 17, 2 p.m. Cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America – Houston Society Free with Museum Admission Art rocks! Did you know that intricate and beautiful rock art exists in Texas? Discover ancient Texas art treasures at a presentation geared for families by a center that works to connect people of all ages with land and cultural heritage. Afterwards, create your own rock art.

FILM SCREENING Cave of Forgotten Dreams Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12 In 1994, scientists discovered a cave in the south of France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Take a glimpse inside the Chauvet Cave in this spectacular 3D documentary by Werner Herzog. Since this cave is not open to the public, the film offers the only way to view this marvelous site.


See both in one night: the newly redesigned Hall of Chemistry and Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux. Children’s crafts, cash bar and refreshments. Reserve early- this event will sell

out! Please call (713) 639-4629 for reservations. Admission to this exclusive event requires a reservation.

Learn about the art and interests of the people who lived in caves such as Lascaux. Explore the social systems and the possible meanings of the symbols in which the art was created. In what way does this magnificent art reveal the worldview and life of the people of the Paleolithic era?

H M N S s c e n e s f r o m t h e s t o n e a g e : t h e c a v e p a i n t i ng s o f l a s c a u x


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CRACKING THE CODE As you walk through the new Hall of Ancient Egypt, you might wonder how we know so much today about a civilization that thrived thousands of years ago. We did not always have such knowledge. In the 1600s, the concept of ancient Egypt was a vague one at best, most often associated with Biblical history. All of that changed in 1798. In July 1798, a French officer serving in Napoleon’s army invading Egypt discovered a slab of rock now known as the Rosetta Stone. The stone was inscribed with three different scripts. The top portion contained ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writing. The middle portion of the inscription was written in Demotic, a script that evolved from hieroglyphs. And the bottom portion is ancient Greek. The latter was still widely read and understood in the late 18th century. Reading this portion of the inscription, French scholars realized that the texts in the other two scripts covered the same subject. Copies of the Rosetta Stone appeared in Paris as early as the fall of 1800. After the defeat of the French by Anglo-Turkish forces in 1801, the stela was taken to London by the victorious British. In 1802, it became part of the collection of the British Museum,

where it still resides. A museum-quality replica of this famous artifact is now part of our Egyptian exhibit. The deciphering of the Rosetta Stone involved the contributions of many scholars. Among these were the Swedish scholar Johan David Åkerblad and the French orientalist Silvestre de Sacy. These two researchers, working with the Greek and demotic texts, were able to identify the name of a ruler, “Ptolemaios” (Ptolemy in its anglicized version). A British scholar Thomas Young identified the same royal name inside a cartouche on the hieroglyphic section of the stone. However, it was a French academic, Jean-François Champollion, who in 1822 truly broke the code. The genius of all these specialists, unscrambling a code without any computer assistance, has enabled scholars ever since to translate a vast corpus of ancient Egyptian writing. Texts carved in stone, like the Rosetta Stone, as well as those painted on pottery sherds and shells, or carved in wood, are on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Each in its own way lifts the veil of a distant past. Their messages vary from prayers on papyrus to a medal issued to a soldier. All help us to understand what it must have been like to walk and talk like an ancient Egyptian.

The writing on the Rosetta Stone inside the oval, known as a “cartouche” refers to Ptolemy V.

The Greek text on the Rosetta Stone displays the name “PTOLEMAIOS,” various forms of which can be seen in the third and fourth lines in this image.

CULTURAL FEAST DINNER “Banqueting in Ancient Egypt” Thursday, November 21, 7 p.m. Hosted at Américas Tickets $102, Members $92 Tomb scenes and hieroglyphic inscriptions provide glimpses of what banquets were like in ancient Egypt. In addition to food and drink, high-ranking Egyptian hosts offered luxurious décor and entertainment to guests dressed in their finest clothing and exhibiting their best manners.

HANDS-ON CLASS “Beginning Hieroglyphs” Wednesday, November 13, 6 p.m. Tickets $35, Members $20

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS Tuesday, September 10, 6 p.m Wednesday, October 23, 6 p.m. Tickets $35, Members $20

BURKE BAKER PLANETARIUM Stars of the Pharaohs Five thousand years ago ancient Egyptian astronomers created the first solar calendar, aligned their temples and pyramids, and told time by the stars.

EXXONMOBIL TEACHER TUESDAY WORKSHOP “Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt” Tuesday, September 17, 5 p.m. (page 17)

Registration and more information at or (713) 348-4803. HMNS members receive a discount for this course.

ANCIENT EGYPT DISTINGUISHED LECTURES Tickets $18, Members $12 Sponsored by The Favrot Fund These lectures are co-sponsored by Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. “Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt” Bob Brier, Ph.D. Long Island University Tuesday, September 17, 6:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Archaeology Institute of America – Houston Society Ancient Egyptian physicians were the most skilled in the ancient world. They were the first to divide medicine into specialties and also the first to practice brain surgery. Egyptologist Bob Brier will trace the beginning of what ancient Egyptians called “the necessary art”— from mummification and magic to clinical practice. Dr. Bob Brier will discuss the various medical papyri, and describe how Imhotep, the architect of the first pyramid in Egypt, later became Aesculapius, the god of healing. “Egypt and the Bible” Matthias Henze, Ph.D. Rice University Tuesday, October 1, 6:30 p.m. The Jews of ancient Israel had a long and complicated history with Egypt,

“Excavating Egypt: Adventurers to Archaeologists” Peter Lacovara, Ph.D. Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum Tuesday, October 15, 6:30 p.m. Dr. Peter Lacovara will trace the history of archaeology in Egypt, from the first discoveries of Napoleon and the daring adventures of the early explorers, to the development of Egyptology as a science and the great museum expeditions of the 20th century. He will also detail the most recent excavations in Egypt and how they have built upon the past and are using new scientific techniques to add to our knowledge of the land of the pharaohs. Dr. Lacovara’s fieldwork includes the Valley of the Kings at Thebes and the Sphinx/Isis Temple. “Ancient Egypt’s Golden Sunset: the Hellenistic and Roman Periods” Dirk Van Tuerenhout, Ph.D., HMNS Tuesday, October 29, 6:30 p.m. Ancient Egypt’s days as a world power were long over by the time of Alexander the Great. Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout will review Egypt’s history from ca. 300 BC to 646 AD, the end of the Byzantine era, a period during which foreign rulers decided the fate of this ancient land.


People have long been fascinated by ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Egyptologist Merrianne Timko will explain some of the basic elements of hieroglyphic inscriptions while providing an overview of the fascination with hieroglyphs over the centuries.

“Egyptology: Unraveling the Truth” Tuesdays, September 17 – November 5

their neighbor to the south. The account begins with Abraham and Sarah, who moved into Egypt because of a drought, and continues with Joseph and the Exodus story. The prophet Jeremiah wrote of Jews living in Egypt in the sixth century BC, and in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquest of Egypt in 332 BC when Jews immigrated to Egypt on a large scale. Dr. Matthias Henze will present a historical survey and discusses the significance of Egypt for ancient Israel.

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Chef David Cordúa has crafted a menu inspired by Egyptian foods, flavorings, and drinks consumed at such banquets, while culinary historian Merrianne Timko traces the history of banqueting in ancient Egypt.


a brilliant vision H M N S f a b e r g é : a b r i ll i a n t v i s i o n

c u r r e n t ly o n e x h i b i t i o n


High Society Bling in Imperial Russia The McFerrin Fabergé Collection currently on display in Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision may be considered one of the most diverse collections of Fabergé objects ever assembled. The spectacular eggs include the ornate Imperial Trellis Egg, as well as the impressive Nobel and Kelch eggs. Visitors can also view intricately carved whimsical stone animals at play. Other objects that further diversify the collection include essential items for a lady of Imperial Russia to have in enjoying a night out among the society’s elite. The crème de la crème of society spent the social season attending balls and opera performances so that they could see and be seen by everyone in the upper crust. It was important to appear at every social event wearing the latest fashions, carrying the most stylish fans and evening bags, and flaunting the most enviable jewelry. In Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision patrons have the opportunity to peek into this high-toned world of glamour. On display are beautiful gold mesh evening bags, along with intricately designed opera glasses. No lady of high society would be without a small Fabergé perfume bottle, several of which are also on show throughout the exhibit. Focusing on this voguish aspect of the House of Fabergé reminds us that its creations were about more than the beautiful eggs for which it is best

known. Fabergé embraced society and created items that distinctive patrons would need to make a statement. When you next visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science, take in the assorted objects from the McFerrin Collection on display in Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision, and see beyond the eggs and into the chic world of high society. Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision is organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science with the McFerrin Collection. This special exhibition is free for HMNS members.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR Wednesday, October 23, 6 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $20


Fall Plant Sale

Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m. - noon 7th Floor of Museum Parking Garage

Bulb and Plant Mart

Friday, October 4, 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, October 5, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Holly Hall Retirement Community The Garden Club of Houston’s Annual Bulb and Plant Mart is one of the state’s largest horticultural events, offering a wide selection of perennials, trees, shrubs, vines, and bulbs. Butterfly Center staff will be on hand with their “traveling butterfly show” to advise you on the best plants to attract butterflies, but there is a huge selection of other plants including many natives and best bets for our area. Fall is a great time to garden in Houston and the Bulb and Plant Mart is a great place to get inspiration and material. Free entry, free parking. Located at 2000 Holly Hall at Fannin, across from Reliant Stadium.

We recently conducted a visitor opinion survey in the butterfly center. One of the questions we asked people was to name their favorite and least favorite insects. We were not surprised—only very disappointed—by the answers. Overwhelmingly, respondents said their favorite insect was “butterfly” and their least favorite was “cockroach.” It is deeply saddening to have to admit that even our enthusiastic presentation of cockroaches in the Brown Hall of Entomology as clean, mostly harmless insects, essential in our world as “nature’s sanitary engineers,” cannot overturn their unfortunate (and largely undeserved) reputation. Did you know there are over 4,000 cockroach species worldwide? And that only 12 of these are considered pests (because they occasionally get into our homes or garages or barns, where they sometimes eat our food or live in composting material)? And that only one species (the “German cockroach”) is by necessity dependent on humans? Many wild species are quite beautiful; in fact, most people would not recognize them as cockroaches.

Cuban Cockroaches

Unlike butterflies in their caterpillar stage, cockroaches do not eat living plants. Cockroaches don’t sting or bite. They are quiet, unassuming creatures and—despite malicious gossip to the contrary—they are very clean insects. Anyone who has spent time watching a cockroach will notice its frequent grooming of legs and antennae, cleaning them of debris or filth. In my next life I am going to run the “Cockrell Cockroach Center” and feature some of the world’s amazing cockroach species. I hope that you, in this life, will open your mind and heart and come visit us! Nancy Greig Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center

Hands-On adult Class Bugs of the Butterfly Center Wednesday, October 23, 6 p.m. Tickets $40, Members $30 Meet amazing arthropods with HMNS entomologist Erin Mills. Learn about these creatures’ unique traits and important roles they play in the ecosystem.


October is a great time to rejuvenate your garden, and butterflies are typically most abundant in Houston in early fall. Come early to get the best selection of plants for both butterflies and their caterpillars! Parking is free if you spend $30 or more.


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All cockroaches are scavengers, performing the vital task of breaking down already decomposing bits of organic material into smaller bits. Like termites and dung beetles, cockroaches help to clean the world of the substances most of us would rather not touch.

Burke Baker Planetarium

H M N S b u r k e b a k e r p l a n e ta r i u m

Current Events Coming to You in Full Dome Unlike movie studios and movie theaters, the Burke Baker Planetarium can produce and screen feature films quickly and offer live shows to capture a special event as it happens. Two unique opportunities are coming our way this fall: the Exploration Vessel Nautilus diving at the Puerto Rico trench and the arrival of the bright Comet Ison.

Comet Ison Meanwhile, Comet Ison passes Mars in early October on its way toward the sun. This is a rare large sun-grazer comet that will come within a solar diameter of the sun on Thanksgiving Day. If the sun does not destroy it, this comet should become a spectacular apparition in the predawn sky, reaching the brightness of the planet Venus. The Planetarium show IMPACT! features comets and asteroids that roam the inner solar system, describing where comets originate, what they are made of, and when they become spectacular. Astronomers monitor the sky for intruders like Comet Ison, that appear with little warning from the distant Oort Cloud.

NASA Hubble Space Telescope: Comet ISON, April 1, 2013

In November, Comet Ison may be visible in the predawn southeastern sky. If the comet survives its close encounter with the sun, it will light up the December sky, first in the morning and then throughout the night. Comet Ison passes over the North Pole on December 26, less than 40 million miles away from Earth. Comet Ison could be the most spectacular comet seen in Northern skies in 16 years.


a l s o s h ow i ng

ŠOcean Exploration Trust

Nautilus Live In the October Nautilus Live show you can talk with the Nautilus research team as the ship’s rovers explore the deepest trench in the Atlantic Ocean, looking for sea floor features and deep sea animals. Nautilus Live is presented every day at noon and 3 p.m. Nautilus LiveSM is a partnership of Sea Research Foundation, JASON Learning, and Ocean Exploration Trust. The Nautilus LiveSM program at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is generously supported by the Virginia and Ernest Cockrell Jr. Opportunity Fund, Chevron, the Tim and Debra Cejka Family Foundation, and Matt Assiff and Lisa Young.

GeorgeObservatory ASTRONOMY DAY 2013


Astronomy Day at the George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park is packed with fun-filled stellar activities for all ages. Festivities begin in the afternoon, but the event really comes to life after dark when the stars begin to shine.

Bring your junior rocket enthusiasts out for a day of rocket launches and a mission to the Moon! Kids learn about rockets and how they work, build a water rocket and then launch it. After the launches, we blast into space aboard the S.S. Observer for a simulated spaceflight. Information and tickets at

Saturday, October 12 3 - 10 p.m. Free with Park Admission

Friday, October 4 7:30 - 10 p.m.

Reserve early—this event will sell out! Please call (713) 639-4629 for reservations. Free with park entrance fee ($7 adults, free for ages 12 and under).


Saturday, September 7, 1 - 3 p.m. $15 per Scout Cub Scouts can earn the Astronomy Belt Loop and Pins. Hands-on activities taught by the staff astronomer help the scouts enjoy completing all their requirements.

Telescope Tickets $5, Members $4.50 Discovery Dome Tickets $3, Members $2.50 View the night sky through the large Observatory telescopes every Saturday evening until 10 p.m. Gift Shop, exhibits and Discovery Dome open at 3 p.m. Telescope tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. Viewing begins at dusk. The George Observatory is located in Brazos Bend State Park (park entrance fee: $7 per person, free for kids 12 and under). Directions are posted at Current observatory weather conditions can be accessed at, zip code 77461.

hmns museum store Wearable Treasures – New to the Museum Store Designer Ashley Dodgen-McCorrick of Asha New York combines source material from historical artifacts and architecture to create one-of-akind pieces. The line is inspired by the designer’s travels across Europe. This Saskia pendant features a perfectly clear, free-spinning crystal

orb encased in gold vermeil with moonstone cabochons. The Museum Store carries only one of each item, so act fast to secure your Asha treasure. As always, 100 percent of Museum Store proceeds benefit the HMNS educational mission.


This family event is sponsored by local astronomy clubs, NASA organizations, and the HMNS George Observatory. This event is free with Brazos Bend State Park entrance fee ($7 per person, kids 12 and under are free). Entrance into the park is not permitted after 9:30 p.m. For more information, please visit



H M N S g e o r g e o b s e r vat o r y • m u s e u m s t o r e

Take a simulated space mission in the Challenger Center, view sunspots in the daytime through filtered telescopes, explore the numerous indoor displays, meet local astronomy clubs, learn how to purchase and use telescopes, hear astronomy presentations, participate in children’s crafts, receive a guided tour of the constellations from the Observatory deck, and peer through dozens of telescopes—even our large professional research telescopes.

Saturday, September 14 10 a.m. - noon $20 per child

Films and showtimes may change. Please visit

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wortham giant s


premieres in 3d october 4 Jerusalem: “The Promised Land” for Jews, the “Holy Land” to Christians, and the “Land of the Prophets” to the Muslim world. Explore for the first time in 3D this crossroads of civilization, and a city unique in its cultural, spiritual and historical importance. Jerusalem 3D takes audiences on a visceral tour of the city from four different perspectives: Jewish, Christian, Muslim and secular. “We want this film to be as inclusive as possible,” says writer/director Daniel Ferguson. “If you’re someone with no interest in religion, but are curious about why this part of the world is so pivotal in human history and current events, you’ll come away enlightened. If

you are an observant Jew, Christian or Muslim, you will also find what you’re looking for, but hopefully you’ll also learn things you never knew. Jerusalem is always surprising. Even after 14 trips and 6 months living there, I am still surprised and amazed by it. I think audiences will be too.” Jerusalem 3D interweaves the stories of archaeologists, historians and the city’s youth as they explore ancient sites in and around what many believe to be the holiest place on Earth. Audiences will gain an understanding of Jerusalem’s extraordinary history and its place in the hearts of billions of people today.

Descriptions available at Proceeds from the sale of all Wortham Giant Screen film tic

g for current schedule and more information about each film.

screen theatre S P ECIA L SCREENING In celebration of our new Hall of Ancient Egypt, we are hosting a special screening of the classic 1963 epic Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. 20 Days of Toe-Tapping Musicals September 3 - 30, 9:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. Celebrate September with 20 days of toe-tapping musicals in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. We are screening

two matinée films a day, five days a week—strictly scripts you can sing along to, such as Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story and Grease. Schedules at

Resident film expert Charlotte Brohi will introduce the film with little-known trivia from production, while curators Dirk Van Tuerenhout and David Temple will address issues of historical accuracy and engage in an audience Q&A session during intermission.

also showing


ckets help further the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s nonprofit mission. Your support counts!

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Cleopatra Friday, September 20 6:30 p.m.

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Exhibition Last Day: September 15 Last chance! Say goodbye to summer in style with one more visit to Amusement Park Science. It’s the next best thing to building a real roller coaster in Sugar Land and a fun way for families to explore the physics behind the fun of amusement park rides. Make plans to come see this very popular special exhibit one more time. Amusement Park Science is organized by The Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, Illinois. Local sponsorship is generously provided by Dr. Dent and the family at Sugar Land Dental Group and Sugar Land Modern Dentistry/My Kid's Dentist & Orthodontics.

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Saturday, September 21 9 a.m. - noon Free with museum admission Wash, rinse, repeat! Join us for this hands-on experience as we wash and sort approximately 1,000 pounds of Permian dirt. You can help with the

You will learn what a fossil is and all the things that can become fossilized, wash and screen sediments while hunting for fossils, bring fossils from your own collection for identification by scientists, see how paleontologists clean and prepare fossils, and discover creatures that roamed Texas even before your parents!

TRICKS, TREATS & T-REX Saturday, October 26 Please check website for updated pricing details and event time.

Celebrate Halloween with your family at HMNS Sugar Land and discover the scary side of science! Party in Telfair—

SAVE THE DATE 4th Birthday Event! “Two Camp Dinner” Friday, November 8


cleaning, sorting and labeling of the fossils—depending on how wet and dirty you want to get.

Get thrills and chills in our haunted house, or let crazy characters guide you through a magical maze where tricks and treats await around each corner. Finally, gross yourself out with a tasty treat from our Bug Chef and sample our Witches’ Brew. Costumes encouraged.

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the coolest neighborhood in town—at the greatest museum in Fort Bend. Our annual Halloween spooktacular has crafts, treats and fun for the whole family. Check out our spooky scarecrows, wrap a mummy, try your hand at pumpkin ring toss, and search for a needle in a haystack!

f o r t ea c h e r s WEEKDAY


HMNS for teachers

25 students per lab. Cost per lab is $165 - $200

Biology Lab for Grades 5-10 Enzymes in Action Go crazy for catalyzing! Examine how enzymes aid in digestion and control the release of energy essential to life.

Coming to HMNS for a field trip? Try one of our Weekday Science Labs. These self-contained investigations feature Museum specimens, artifacts and laboratory equipment. Students examine ancient objects, investigate technology, meet live animals and conduct scientific experiments in five different, themed labs. Each lab lasts one hour and includes admission to the Museum’s permanent exhibit halls for lab participants. Available at HMNS and HMNS at Sugar Land.

ConocoPhillips TechoScience Lab for Grades 1-8 Electricity Get a charge out of exploring current, voltage and resistance as you build your own circuits.


Time Lab for Grades 1-8 Egypt 101 What is Egyptology? What does an Egyptologist do? Come explore this exciting field of study in our “mini” Egyptology Lab.



Wildlife Lab for Grades 1-8

Storm Science Explore weather and the tools we use to measure and predict it.

Magnificent Mollusca What has a beak (but isn’t a bird), a mantle (but isn’t a fireplace), a foot (but no legs), and jet propulsion (but isn’t a rocket)? Explore the common traits of the many invertebrates known as mollusks.

Dissection Lab for Grades 5-10

Dissection Labs for Grades 5-10

The Eyes Have It Are blind spots, color blindness or myopia a problem? Find out more about the science behind those conditions as you take an inside look at the eye and see how it functions. Includes eyeball dissection.

Movers and Shakers Discover the mechanics of how your body gets you from point A to point B as you examine muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments.

Wildlife Lab for Grades 1-8

Time Lab for Grades 1-8

African Safari Learn more about Africa’s widely divergent range of native species and their struggles to survive.

Castle Explore the basics of medieval castle structure and life inside these amazing fortresses.

ConocoPhillips TechnoScience Lab for Grades 1-8



Cost: $200, plus $75 travel fee for onsite presentations Capacity: Up to 25 students Need help with a TEKS objective? Want a lab experience for your field trip? Try our Labs on Demand! Each lab is tailored to your grade level needs. For example, a third grade Earth Science Lab might investigate volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides, while an eighth grade Earth Science Lab would look at tectonic plates and topographic maps. Topics Available: Chemistry, Force and Motion, Electricity, Light and Optics, Magnets, Storm Science, Ancient Egypt, Cells, Earth Science, and Dissection. For more information on booking a Lab on Demand for your group, please email

For more information and for all educators programs, visit or contact

curators and staff in these exciting interactive workshops. With new topics each month we can provide you with ideas and activities to bring your classroom to life! “Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt” Tuesday, September 17, 5 - 8 p.m. (All Grades)

Bring the Museum to Your Classroom! For more information and scheduling, visit, email or call (713) 639-4758.

Build a boat, make a density column, and explore sinking, floating, and buoyancy through hands-on activities for your students.

This is the third in a series of Gifted and Talented professional development sessions in the strand of differentiation. Participants will enjoy an evening in the Museum exploring how to differentiate for learning styles by creating products through menus and graphic organizers, and through collaboration with Museum presenters and local area teachers. All educators will leave with handson activities available for immediate implementation. Complimentary catered dinner and parking in the HMNS Garage is included. 6 hours of CPE credit will be awarded to participants at the end of the event. Registration is restricted to educators only. (All Grades)

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Chevron Earth Science on Wheels ConocoPhillips Science on Stage Docents to Go TOTAL Wildlife on Wheels Discovery Dome Bugs on Wheels

“Will it Float? Density Activities for Grades K-2” Tuesday, October 8, 5 - 8 p.m. (Grades K-2)

“Differentiation for All Learning Styles (GT Update)” Friday, November 1, 5 - 11 p.m. $60 per educator

“Mitosis, Meiosis and Mendel, Oh My!” Tuesday, October 22, 5 - 8 p.m. (Grades 4-12) What ties it all together? DNA! Investigate chromosomes and cellular division as you study mitosis and meiosis. Then get a grip on phenotypes, genotypes and Mendelian genetics.


“Simple Machines” Tuesday, November 12, 5 - 8 p.m. (Grades 2-6)

Discover a new world of science as you go behind the scenes with HMNS

Introduce your students to simple machines and all their handy uses. Robots, astronauts, architects, and engineers all use simple machines everyday—just as you do.

Each workshop is $25 per educator and participants receive 3 hours of CPE credit. Dinner is provided.

HMNS for teachers


Explore ancient Egypt with handson classroom activities, then listen to lecturer and famed Egyptologist Bob Brier as he examines the roots of medicine from mummification and magic to clinical practice. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Archaeology Institute of America – Houston Society.


SHELL EDUCATORS’ PREVIEW Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux Tuesday, October 22, 4 - 7 p.m. Free for educators Register at educatorpreview starting September 23. More information on this exhibition is on page 4.

HMNS just for kids


Birthdays with a little Brain Power! Be a guest at your own child’s party this year! Let HMNS handle everything for you— the decorations, entertainment, craft, party favors, party coordinator and more. Visit for complete party-planning info, including optional add-ons. Party Smarty Packages Birthday Party Packages include a private party room, tables and chairs for 20 children and 20 adults, a creative craft project, and tour of your chosen venue— Hall of Ancient Egypt, Hall of Paleontology, Cockrell Butterfly Center, or a Planetarium film. Themes: Dinosaur, Butterfly/Bugs, or Astronomy Weekend Parties begin at $350, Members $300 Weekday Parties begin at $250, Members $200 Deluxe Party Packages Not enough you say? You want more? Upgrade to a Deluxe Birthday Party that includes a live show, more guests, a private room inside the designated venue—Bee Hive in the Cockrell Butterfly Center, Morian Overlook in the Hall of Paleontology, or Arnold Space Hall—and much more. Deluxe Themes: Partysaurus, Winged Wonderland, Galactic Gathering Deluxe packages begin at $800.


The application period for the 2014 Moran Ecoteen Program opens December 1, 2013. Those interested in learning more can contact Karen Fritz, Moran Ecoteen Director, at


Visit for more details on Saturday Scouts and our new Scout Sleep Over. Saturday Scouts The Museum offered more Boy Scout merit badge classes this summer than ever before, with three classes earning badges required to become an Eagle Scout. This fall, Saturday Scouts has new classes for Boy and Girl Scouts of all ages including Brownies, Cubs and Webelos.

Whether mentoring a camper who is building a robot, giving physics and chemistry demonstrations in classrooms, or explaining touch cart objects in each hall of the expanding Museum, every day for an Ecoteen is an adventure.

Moran Ecoteens At the beginning of each summer, as schools bid their students goodbye, HMNS welcomes a special group of high schoolers who share their summers with the Museum as volunteers. The Moran Ecoteens look forward to spending time learning about the many areas of natural science prominently displayed in the HMNS exhibit halls.

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Our most popular Summer Camp is now available in a 10-session course during the school year. Explore NXT Robotics Engineering as you build models with our LEGO MINDSTORMS NXTTM system and use a computer to program them to obey your every command! Limited to 16 students in grades 4 - 7 with a minimum of 10 students per session. To register, visit the Weekday Classes page at

Explore dinosaurs, Texas wildlife, and gems and minerals, plus take part in a campout in the Museum’s entry hall. This is your opportunity to pitch a tent or spread your sleeping bag in a campsite of your choice, from the entrance of the Butterfly Center to the Planetarium.

If you ask the Ecoteens what they enjoy most, you will find that they say the opportunity to explore favorite and new subjects is only half of their experience. The best part is being able to share what they have learned with the campers in the Xplorations classes, and with HMNS patrons of all ages in the exhibit galleries.

HMNS just for kids

Registration $240, Members $190 Hermann Park: Tuesdays, September 10 - November 12 4:30 - 6 p.m. Sugar Land: Thursdays, September 12 - November 21 (no class on October 31) 4:30 - 6 p.m.

Scout Adventure Sleep Over Friday, November 1

Adult education “Beginning Stargazing at George Observatory” Sunday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $45, Members $30

H M N S a d ul t e d u c a t i o n



“Oktoberfest: The History & Science of Beer” Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m. $45 members, $55 nonmembers Hosted at St. Arnold Brewing Company In 1810, King Ludwig I of Bavaria proclaimed that the last sixteen days of September, ending with the first full weekend in October, should be set aside for feasting and beer drinking to celebrate his upcoming wedding. To commemorate this tradition, join HMNS at St. Arnold Brewing Co. for the history and science of beer making. Tour St. Arnold’s production facility with founder Brock Wagner and special guest Scott Birdwell of DeFalco’s Home Wine and Beer. Drink your fill of brew and snack on Bavarian pretzels and sausage. 21 and up only. “Banqueting in Ancient Egypt” Hosted at Américas Thursday, November 21, 7 p.m. (page 7)

HANDS-ON CLASSES “Fossil Prep Class” Wednesday, September 18, 6 p.m. Tickets $49, Members $39 A fossilized sub-tropical lake system in Wyoming has yielded thousands of Eocene-era fossilized fish. Excavate your own Green River fossil fish from its matrix guided by paleontologist David Temple. Your fossil is yours to keep for your collection.

Tour the Milky Way with Observatory astronomers and learn how to navigate the night sky and find constellations. Your instructor’s high power laser will point out the constellations while you learn the legends and lore of the heavens. The George Observatory will be closed to the public for our small group, and the new moon will produce little light interference. This class will take place rain or shine. Viewing through telescopes and constellation tours are weather permitting.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS Hall of Ancient Egypt Tuesday, September 10 and Wednesday, October 23, 6 p.m. (page 7) Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals Tuesday, September 10, 6 p.m. Tickets $35, Members $20 The Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals is the crown jewel of HMNS. Tour the world’s largest collection of minerals in their natural state with Museum geologists. The spectacular natural mineral crystals of the Cullen Hall are complemented by the cut stones in the Smith Gem Vault. Hall of the Americas Tuesday, September 10, 6 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $20 From the native Arctic peoples of Alaska to the indigenous peoples of South America—with the American Indian tribes, Aztec, Maya and Inca in between—the John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas showcases the remarkable diversity and extraordinary accomplishments of the peoples of the Americas. Tour this permanent exhibition hall with HMNS master docents.

DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “Secrets of the Golden Dinosaur Horde” Robert T. Bakker, Ph.D. Tuesday, September 24, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12 Galloping Triceratopses! Tickling Tyrannosaurus! Join our own Curator of Paleontology Dr. Bob Bakker for the release of his new book The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs. Was T. rex a slow-footed stumble-bum? No! Were tyrannosaurs devoid of any gentle, nurturing gestures? No way! Were gigantic meat-eating dinos ticklish? You bet! Could you out-run an angry charging triceratopsine? Don’t even try. Who was the highest life form in the Jurassic? A. our human ancestors. B. raptor-type dinos. Correct answer: B. Learn how the “Dinosaurian Dynasty” shaped all evolution on land—including ours—and even invented flowers! This animated lecture with be followed by a book signing, and exciting dinosaur activities, starting at 5 p.m.

NIGHT EXCURSION “Bat Bridge Boat Trip” Thursday, October 3, 6 p.m. Tickets $56, Members $46 Visit Houston’s Mexican free-tailed bat colony at the Waugh Bridge by pontoon boat on on Buffalo Bayou. We

education DAY EXCURSIONS “Fossil Hunting” Friday, October 18, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tickets $45, Members $35 Hunt for ancient marine creatures that lived 56 million years ago—when Texas was underwater. Join David Temple,

HMNS associate curator of paleontology, on a fossil dig on the banks of the Brazos River. Fossils at the site include numerous types of mollusks as well as shark teeth and fish bones.

group and help identify your shells. Participants will meet in Galveston and caravan to the various sites.

What you find is yours to keep. Everyone is guaranteed to find fossils! Participants will meet in Bryan, Texas, and caravan a couple of miles to the site. “Gulf Coast Shelling” Saturday, October 19, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tickets $45, Members $35 Hit our area’s top seashell sites when the tides are at their best for finding a variety of species. Assistant curator of malacology Tina Petway will lead the

wiess energy hall “An Overview of the Energy Industry” Thursday, September 12 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. $200 per person This course is led by experts in the fields of upstream, downstream and energy economics in the 21st century, including energy alternatives. Breakfast, lunch and a tour of the Wiess Energy Hall are included. To register, visit or call (713) 639-4629.


Saturday October 19 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Hosted at Hermann Square / City Hall in downtown Houston The annual Energy Day festival celebrates the latest in energy technology and innovation with live music, hands-on activities, games and prizes. “We really want to showcase how important energy is to every aspect

of our lives and educate students about the exciting ways energy can enhance their future,” says David Holt of Consumer Energy Alliance. This free event is presented by Consumer Energy Alliance. To find out more, visit www.

FAMILY ENERGY FESTIVAL Saturday, October 12 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free with Museum admission

A passport program will take you through the Paleontology Hall and Wiess Energy Hall for an adventure featuring hands-on demonstrations, special presentations, Boy Scout badge activities, and other programs that broaden awareness of Earth science. Sponsored by the Houston Geological Society.

EXHIBITION TOUR Tour the Wiess Energy Hall to explore the application of scientific concepts and advanced technology in the oil and

gas industry. Learn the processes of energy development, from how oil and natural gas are formed, to the ways in which various types of energy are used. To schedule a tour contact Daniel Burch at or (713) 639-4737.


This online course offers an extended look into the world of oil and gas, including hydrocarbon formation, geology, drilling, refining, products, transportation, distribution, and energy alternatives. The program is great for people new to the industry and those seeking a comprehensive overview about how the industry works. A discount to attend “An Overview of the Energy Industry” at HMNS is included with the purchase of the online course. Available at www.



H M N S a d ul t e d u c a t i o n • w i e s s e n e r g y h a ll

will enjoy the amazing spectacle of the bats’ emergence at dusk on this evening bayou cruise. We may also observe other Houston nocturnal creatures. Bat biologist and researcher Cullen Geiselman, PhD., who has studied bats around the globe, will be our guide. Directions and confirmation of time will be sent to participants prior to trip.

HMNS events calendar • spirits & skeletons

For tickets to all events, visit www


s e p t e mb e r Giant Screen Film Festival Begins 20 Days of Toe-Tapping Musicals Tuesday, September 3 (page 13) Behind-the-Scenes Tours Hall of Gems and Minerals Hall of Ancient Egypt Hall of the Americas Tuesday, September 10, 6 p.m. (page 20) Continuing Education Class “An Overview of the Energy Industry” Thursday, September 12, 8:30 a.m. (page 21) Family Event at the George Observatory Rocket Day Saturday, September 14, 10 a.m. - noon (page 11)

ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday “Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt” Tuesday, September 17, 5 p.m. (page 17) Distinguished Lecture “Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt” Tuesday, September 17, 6:30 p.m. (page 7) Hands-On Class “Fossil Prep Class” Wednesday, September 18, 6 p.m. (page 20) Giant Screen Special Screening Cleopatra Friday, September 20, 6:30 p.m. (page 13)

Fossil Wash Day HMNS at Sugar Land Saturday, September 21, 9 a.m. - noon (page 15) Hands-On Class “Beginning Stargazing at George Observatory” Sunday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. (page 20) Distinguished Lecture “Secrets of the Golden Dinosaur Horde” Tuesday, September 24, 6:30 p.m. (page 20) Cultural Feast Dinner “Oktoberfest: The History & Science of Beer” Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m. (page 20)

spirits & skeletons Spirits & Skeletons Friday, October 25 8 p.m. - midnight Tickets $25, Members $15 The HMNS annual Halloween mixer is back in 2013 and spookier than ever! Rattle your bones with thousands of other costumed guests to the terrifyingly ‘80s tunes of Molly and the Ringwalds. Last year saw more than 4,000 attendees, so get your tickets in advance and know that the costume competition will be stiff. Cash bar and food truck fare. or call (713) 639-4629.

october Shell Educators’ Preview Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux Tuesday, October 22, 4 - 7 p.m. (page 17)

Distinguished Lecture “Egypt and the Bible” Tuesday, October 1, 6:30 p.m. (page 7)

Distinguished Lecture “Excavating Egypt: Adventurers to Archaeologists” Tuesday, October 15, 6:30 p.m. (page 7)

ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday Workshop “Mitosis, Meiosis and Mendel, Oh My!” Tuesday, October 22, 5 - 8 p.m. (page 17)

Night Excursion “Bat Bridge Boat Trip” Thursday, October 3, 7 p.m. (page 20)

Members Night at the George Observatory Friday, October 4, 7:30 - 10 p.m. (page 11) ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday “Will it Float? Density Activities” Tuesday, October 8, 5 - 8 p.m. (page 17) Fall Plant Sale Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m. – noon (page 9) Family Energy Festival Saturday, October 12, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (page 21)


Exhibition Premiere Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux Friday, October 18 (page 4) Day Excursion “Fossil Hunting” Friday, October 18, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. (page 21) Day Excursion “Gulf Coast Shelling” Saturday, October 19, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (page 21) Energy Day Festival Saturday October 19, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Hosted Downtown at City Hall (page 21)

Behind-the-Scenes Tours Hall of Ancient Egypt (page 7) Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision (page 8) Wednesday, October 23, 6 p.m. Adult Hands-On Class “Bugs of the Butterfly Center” Wednesday, October 23, 6 p.m. (page 9) HMNS at Sugar Land Tricks, Treats & T-Rex Saturday, October 26 (page 15) Distinguished Lecture “Ancient Egypt’s Golden Sunset: the Hellenistic and Roman Periods” Tuesday, October 29, 6:30 p.m. (page 7)

Giant Screen Film Premiere Jerusalem 3D Friday, October 4 (page 12)

HMNS events calendar

George Observatory Astronomy Day Saturday, October 12, 3 - 10 p.m. (page 11)

H M N S N E W S • s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 3 • V O L U ME 1 8 , N u m b e r 5

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HMNS News is now available online at HMNS activities are supported in part by funds provided by the City of Houston.

HMNS News (ISSN 1556-7478) is published bimonthly by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas 77030. Issues are sent every other month as a benefit to all Museum members. HMNS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to preserve and advance the general knowledge of natural science, to enhance in individuals the knowledge of and delight in natural science and related subjects, and to maintain and promote a museum of the first class.

premieres in 3d in wortham giant screen theatre on october 4

Museum News September/October 2013