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news march / april 2013 VOLUME 18, Number 2

New Permanent Hall of Ancient Egypt Opens may 24th

H M N S i n t h i s i s s ue • h m n s m u s eu m s t o r e • p a r t y s m a r t y



hmns museum store 2 HMNS Store Party Smarty

Get your child a pet you won’t regret!

3 Xplorations Summer 2013 General Information 4-5 Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision 6-7 Gems of the Medici Maya 2012: Prophecy Becomes History 8-9 Cockrell Butterfly Center Wiess Energy 10 - 11 HMNS at Sugar Land 12 - 13 Wortham Giant Screen Theatre 14 - 15 Burke Baker Planetarium George Observatory

With the Museum Store’s innovative new Adopt-a-Dino program, choose from a tenacious Triceratops, terrific Tyrannosaurus rex or stupendous Stegosaurus, and delight the budding paleontologist in your life with a customizable certificate of authenticity, a plush toy, corresponding luggage tags, and an HMNS-exclusive carrying

case. One hundred percent of Museum Store proceeds benefit HMNS and its programming. Multiply your contribution and adopt all three! Adopt-a-Dino for $29.95 per pet at the Museum or online at

16 - 17 For Teachers 18 - 19 Just For Kids 20 Adult Education Earth Day 21 Travel Program Legacy Society 22 - 23 Events Calendar LaB 5555 New Egypt Hall Get connected to hmns facebook







Cover photo courtesy of Sam Roberts.

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. Themes: Dinosaur, Butterfly/Bugs, or Astronomy Weekend Parties begin at $350, Members $300 Weekday Parties begin at $250, Members $200 Upgrade to a Deluxe Birthday Party Deluxe packages begin at $800. 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 Visit for complete partyplanning info, including optional add-ons.

Priority Membership Registration Begins: February 21: President’s Circle Benefactor Discoverer February 25: Voyager March 4: Family March 25: General Public

general information Main Campus


Monday through Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 2: Museum closed for Gala Spring Break Week: March 9-17: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Easter Day Weekend: March 29 -30: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 31: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Wortham Giant Screen Theatre Cockrell Butterfly Center Burke Baker Planetarium GyroXtreme BroncoSaurus Special Exhibitions: - Maya 2012: Prophecy Becomes History - Gems of the Medici - Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision


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.


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


For all venues: (713) 639-4659,


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


(713) 639-4749,

SUGAR LAND (713) 639-4629, 13016 University Boulevard Sugar Land, Texas 77479

Hours of operation

Thursdays - Fridays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays: noon to 5 p.m. Spring Break Week: March 11-15: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special Ticket Venues Dig Pit Special Exhibition: - Zula Patrol: Mission Weather

GEORGE OBSERVATORY (281) 242-3055, Located in Brazos Bend State Park. Park entrance fee: $7 per person; free for ages 12 & under. Private groups can schedule tours, Challenger missions and astronomy classes.

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


H M N S s u m m e r x p l o r a t i on s • G E N E RAL I N F O RMATI O N

It is time to plan your summer science adventures! The 2013 Xplorations catalog is now available online at summercamp. Register early to secure your camp spots! 4

H M N S f a b e r g ĂŠ : a b r i l l i a n t v i s i on

a bri l l i a nt v ision e x hibition no w o p en

Many Fabergé eggs include an intricately fabricated “surprise” inside. The McFerrin Collection on display at HMNS features several examples of Fabergé eggs, including the Nobel Ice Egg, the Diamond Trellis Imperial Egg, and one of the famed Kelch Eggs.

Kelch Rocaille Egg

from ivory, gold, enamel, and rose-cut and brilliant diamonds. The original base for the Diamond Trellis Egg consisted of three cherubs, thought to represent the couple’s three sons.


Diamond Trellis Imperial Egg Created by Fabergé workmaster August Holmstrom, this egg is made of gold, jadeite, rose-cut diamonds, and silver, and is hinged to open. The Diamond Trellis Egg was a gift from Tsar Alexander III to Tsarina Maria Feodorovna for Easter in 1892. It once included an Easter “surprise” (now missing) of a miniature elephant, made

Nobel Ice Egg Inspired by the patterns made by frost on a window pane, this egg is made of platinum, silver, translucent white enamel, and seed pearls. The egg contained a matching pendant with a clock as the “surprise.” The egg and surprise were made for oil tycoon Dr. Emanuel Nobel, an important client of Fabergé, and the nephew of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Faberge: A Brilliant Vision is organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science with the McFerrin Collection.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR Faberge: A Brilliant Vision Wednesday, April 10, 6 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $20 Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $20

This large Kelch Egg is made of gold, platinum, rose-cut diamonds, and enamel, with a silk lining inside. Adorned with elaborate gold rococo designs, the egg was created by Fabergé workmaster Michael Perkhin in 1902 for Barbara Kelch. It was one of several commissioned by the Kelch

family, affluent Moscow merchants. The surprise is a heart of gold, rose-cut diamonds, and enamel mounted on a footed gold stand.

H M N S f a b e r g é : a b r i l l i a n t v i s i on

Peter Carl Fabergé, a master goldsmith and legendary jeweler, is still celebrated for his inventive design and meticulous craftsmanship. Although the House of Fabergé created numerous items— including jeweled picture frames, carved hardstone figurines, cigarette cases, and jewelry—Fabergé eggs remain the most iconic pieces.

H M N S ge m s of t h e m e d i c i

through march 31, 2013


Within the Gems of the Medici exhibition, HMNS highlights the Galleria degli Uffizi and its Tribune, an octagonal room. The Uffizi, Italian for “offices,” was constructed in 1560 under the direction of Cosimo I, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. It was meant to house the administrative and judiciary offices of Florence. Giorgio Vasari, one of Cosimo’s favorite artists at the time, was given the commission to create the “u” shaped Uffizi. Upon the architect’s death in 1574, Bernardo Buontalenti was called on to continue construction of the building. Around 1581, Francesco I dé Medici, the new Grand Duke of Tuscany, decided that he wanted to be able to walk among paintings and sculptures. He delegated a portion of the Uffizi to statues and other precious objects from the Medici collection, calling this area the “gallery,” a term that is still used today. Buontalenti was responsible for creating what is now considered the heart of the Museum, the Tribune, which he completed in 1584. Beginning in 2009, the Tribune underwent a three-year restoration. Friends of Florence, a US based group, donated their time, effort and

monetary gifts to restore the Tribune to its former glory. Scientists, artists and historians worked together to accomplish this goal. At the start of the project, large amounts of dust and the deterioration of the painted surfaces had caused the original shades of color to fade. Artists painstakingly worked on the 6,000 shells set in plaster that now shine around the cupola. The mother-of-pearl inlay was meticulously cleaned to restore its polished radiance. Ancient Greek sculptures went through chemical analysis to determine the best materials to use during their restoration. The final result is a beautifully restored Tribune. In the Gems of the Medici exhibition you will see two busts from the original Tribune as well as a door to one of the old cabinets that is no longer in existence. The recessed image on the wall shows the Tribune as it appears today. This exhibition is organized by Contemporanea Progetti, Florence, Italy in collaboration with Museo degli

All photos courtesy of Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Rome.

Argenti, Palazzo Pitti and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Firenze. Support is provided by The Wortham Foundation, Inc.


Dining in the Renaissance Tuesday, March 26, 7 p.m. Hosted at Giacamo’s Tickets $100, Members $90 Renaissance banquets were carefully staged to display prestige, as well as to influence political and religious affairs. This feast will examine recipes, culinary treatises, and recorded descriptions of banquets to enable participants to envision the complexities of such events, and what it would have been like to be a guest. Chef Lynette Mandolla, who specializes in Italian culinary history, is preparing a unique menu for this evening of Renaissance indulgence.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR Monday, March 25, 6 p.m. Tickets $35, Members $25

The final chapter of a Maya city is on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Both the stela and the crown are on display at the Museum. The crown, made from small alabaster plates, has

Maya 2012: Prophecy Becomes History is on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science until March 31. This special exhibition is organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science with the National Museum of Archeology, Guatemala City, Guatemala and is generously sponsored by HMW Entertainment and The Kislak Family Foundation. Support provided by The Wortham Foundation, Inc. BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR Monday, March 25, 6 p.m. Tickets $35, Members $25

Background: Aguateca Stela 6. Foreground: Carved jade ornament in the shape of a skull. In between: the Maya royal diadem.


Some time around 800 AD, things went very badly for the king of Aguateca, a Maya site in what is now northern Guatemala. The fortified city appears to have been braced for an attack. Eventually, that premonition came true—the city was violently destroyed. By whom, we do not know; nor do we know how many people died there. We do know that the last ruler, Tan Te' K'inich, commissioned a carved stone monument, Stela 6. Maya writing identifies the individual by name; his royal status is confirmed by the depiction of a royal crown wrapped around his head.

a protruding element portraying a Maya god. It is one of only a handful of Maya royal crowns known to exist. This particular diadem is unique in that it has archaeological context, and it is represented in art.

H M N S m aya 2 0 1 2 : p r o p h e c y b e c o m e s h i s t o r y

through march 31, 2013

H M N S c o c k r e l l b u t t e r f l y c en t e r


SPRING PLANT SALE! Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. - noon 7th Floor of HMNS Parking Garage Spring is here, the weather is fine—time to get ready for the butterfly season! We can help you bring more butterflies to your garden by providing some of their favorite plants. A bevy of staff and volunteers, all butterfly gardening experts, will be on-hand to help you select the best nectar plants for the adult butterflies and choice host plants for their babies. Be sure to come early as the selection of favorites is depleted quickly. Parking is complimentary if you spend $30 or more. HOUSTON ORCHID SOCIETY SHOW AND SALE “Orchids on the Bayou” Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 21, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free Admission, at HMNS This spectacular event is not to be missed if you love exotic flowers. For one weekend only, the Grand Entry Hall will be filled with award-winning arrangements of these bizarre and beautiful blooms. It’s a feast for your senses—orchids are not only stunningly colored and shaped, but many of them have wonderful fragrances. Along with the show, several vendors will have orchid plants and supplies available for purchase, giving you a chance to add to your own collection or get started in this popular and addictive hobby.

HANDS-ON CLASSES “Planting a Butterfly Garden” Saturday, March 23, 9 - 11 a.m. Tickets $23, Members $17 Natural butterfly habitats are shrinking every day. You can help our native butterflies by creating new habitat right in your own yard or patio. Learn which butterflies occur in our area, which plants the adults and baby butterflies (caterpillars) need to survive, and where to get plants that lure them in. Take home a plant and seeds to get you started. This class is followed by a tour of our greenhouses and butterflyrearing operation. Soni Holladay, HMNS horticulturist and greenhouse manager, leads this class. “How to Grow Orchids, Bromeliads and Other Air Plants” Saturday, April 20, 9 - 11 a.m. Tickets $23, Members $17 Epiphytes—sometimes called “air plants”—are plants that grow perched upon other plants rather than with their roots in the ground. Such favorites as orchids and bromeliads first come to mind, but some ferns, aroids, peperomias and even cacti are also epiphytes. Because they don’t take much space, and sometimes have beautiful flowers or foliage, they are ideal houseplants.

This class begins with a tour of the Butterfly Center to see a variety of epiphytes growing in situ and to learn about the adaptations that allow them to grow above the ground. Then we’ll move to the greenhouses to show you how to pot, fertilize and care for these exotic plants. We’ll finish by dividing up some orchids or bromeliads so everyone can take home a start for their own epiphyte garden. Zac Stayton, HMNS horticulturist, leads this class. After the class, visit the Houston Orchid Society's show and sale in the Museum’s Grand Entry Hall!

wiess energy hall Three great ways to learn about the energy industry from HMNS! CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS

Led by experts in the fields of upstream, downstream, and energy economics in the 21st century—including alternative energy sources—this course includes breakfast, lunch and tour of the Wiess Energy Hall. To register, visit www. or call (713) 639-4629.

Wiess Energy Hall Tour

Energy 101 offers an extended look into the world of oil and gas, including hydrocarbon formation, geology, drilling, production, refining, products, transportation, distribution, and alternative energy sources. This online course is great for people new to the industry and those seeking a comprehensive overview about how the industry works. A discount to attend “Overview of the Energy Industry” (left) at HMNS is included with the purchase of this online course. Available at

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 (713) 639-4737 or

H M N S w i e s s ene r g y h a l l

Overview of the Energy Industry Friday, April 26, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. $200 per person

Online Training


The Museum wishes to thank its 2012-2013 Wiess Energy Hall Partners, whose donations to the Museum’s Annual Fund provide support to further the Hall’s educational reach and strengthen the educational impact of the Museum’s programs as a whole.

$25,000 - $49,999


$10,000 - $24,999

BP America Chevron ConocoPhillips Exxon Mobil Corporation Marathon Oil Corporation

Aramco Services Company CGGVeritas Services Inc. Hyperdynamics Corporation Swift Energy Company TAM International

CB&I Devon Energy Corporation Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. PwC Shell Oil Company

Wiess energy hall partners

H M N S h m n s a t s ug a r l a n d

hmns at s u


Zula Patrol: Mission Weather

On Exhibition through May 27 Weather on planet Earth will be the hot topic for intergalactic fact gatherers. Captain Bula, Professor Multo, Space Pilot Zeeter, and flying wonders Wizzy and Wigg welcome you to analyze temperature, wind, clouds, and other wondrous weather phenomena in this interactive exhibit.

u gar l and Ancient Encounters: Ancient Egypt Saturday, April 20, 2 - 5 p.m. Sponsored by Archaeological Institute of America, Houston Society Members Free, Nonmembers Free with General Admission

A child reads to Sabrina the therapy dog, who is accompanied by her owner Marion Nixon.


Keep your little critter developmentally on track! Join us for our “parent and me” classes, in which you can instill a love of science at an early age through games, crafts, stories and songs. The fun includes parachute play, science-themed scrapbook crafting, and marching to music, emphasizing rhythm, math and gross motor skills.


Every Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. Children of any age and reading ability get to read aloud to trained therapy dogs. The dogs are great listeners and many children find it easier than reading to an adult or peer. Take this opportunity to meet our special dog friends, talk to their owners, build reading confidence and learn more about animal life.


Friday, April 26, 6 -10 p.m. Tickets are only $3!

Weather Land Friday, April 5, 6:30 - 9 p.m. Tickets $15, Members $10

Tour Zula Patrol: Mission Weather and the newly redesigned Hall of Paleontology. Enjoy children’s crafts, cash bar and refreshments. Reserve early—this event will sell out! Please call (713) 639-4629 for reservations.

Skies are clear for Friday Family Fun Night! Play a Museum-wide Weather Land game. Learn all about different types of weather and how they develop. Special activities, crafts and snacks for all!


Parent and Child Science Explorations Thursdays, 9:30 - 11 a.m. Tickets $13, Members $10, Children $5

P.A.W.S. Reading Program

Encounter an ancient culture through hands-on activities specially devised for children. Join us for an afternoon of family fun in our butterfly garden with activities related to life in ancient Egypt, provided by the Houston Society of Archaeological Institute of America. Put on a pith helmet and investigate the home of a tomb builder. Make your own cartouche. Do a bone count to see what was on the menu for an Egyptian. Discover how irrigation was accomplished in ancient Egypt by working with a large model of a shaduf.

H M N S h m n s a t s ug a r l a n d


Films and showtimes may change. Please visit

H M N S w o r t h a m g i a n t s c r een t h e a t r e

wortham giant s


opens march 9 for spring break! A breathtaking exploration of the fastest race in the world, Air Racers provides unique insight into the legendary Reno National Championship Air Races. The film takes moviegoers into Northern Nevada’s Valley of Speed to experience, from inside the cockpit, the intensity and high-speed thrills of a sports event like no other, captured for the very first time for the giant screen. At twice the speed of a NASCAR® race, elite pilots fight for position,

wingtip-to-wingtip and head-to-head, with Steve Hinton’s WWII-era P-51 Mustang fighter plane in the world’s fastest motorsport. An action-packed, entertaining and visually stunning film presented in 3D, Air Racers is also a unique invitation to discover, from the pits to Reno’s roaring sky, an exceptional world filled with passion, competition and excitement combined with top-notch air show performers, including the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds.

Film Guide Icon descriptions available at Proceeds from the sale of all Wortham Giant Screen

g for current schedule and more information about each film.

screen theatre H M N S w o r t h a m g i a n t s c r een t h e a t r e

now showing 13

coming soon Rocky Mountain Express propels audiences on a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and relates the epic adventure of building the nation’s first transcontinental railway. The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 ranks among the greatest engineering feats in history. The film weaves together breathtaking vistas of the west, archival photographs and maps and the potent energy and rhythms of a live steam locomotive to immerse audiences in a an era of remarkable ingenuity and struggle and a region of stunning natural beauty. Discover some of the most beautiful and rugged landscapes on earth and the heroic human drama and epic engineering that shaped a continent.

now showing

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

H M N S b u r k e b a k e r p l a ne t a r i u m

occur in solar systems around other stars. Sensitive measurements are required to detect the tiny wobble in a star caused by an orbiting planet, or the drop in light caused by a planet’s crossing in front of a star.

When you look up at the night sky, do you ever think that you’re seeing other solar systems? Do you ever wonder if any of the stars have planets like Earth in orbit around them? We now realize that our search for an alien Earth must

NASA’s Kepler Telescope, a planethunting mission, has uncovered 2,740 potential alien worlds in just the few years since its 2009 launch. Of these, over 350 are about the size of Earth. Now we are working on developing sensors that can identify gases in an


a l s o s h ow i ng


Burke Baker Planetarium exoplanet’s atmosphere so we can look for the oxygen and water vapor that support life on Earth. It is just a matter of time before we find a world that is truly Earth’s twin.

Will the discovery of an “Alien Earth” change the way we think about the universe and our place in it? Will we then realize that our planet is not unique and perhaps that life on Earth is not unique either? Does this change how we think of our home planet and ourselves? Visit the Planetarium’s new show The X-Planets, Discovering Other Earths to explore the first exoplanet discoveries and ponder these fundamental questions.


H M N S geo r ge o b s e r v a t o r y



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, kids 12 and under free). Directions are posted at www.hmns. org/observatory. Current observatory weather conditions can be accessed at, zip code 77461.


Tuesday, March 12 & Thursday, March 14, 5 - 10 p.m. New this year—the telescopes and Discovery Dome will be open during Spring Break for these special weeknight viewings.


Friday, April 12, 8 - 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).


Mars Mission in the Challenger Learning Center Saturday, April 13 Tickets $10 per person Astronauts of all ages—kids and adults—can fly to the Moon with NASA volunteers in the Challenger Learning Center. Great fun for the family! Mission times are 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Visit for more information and advance tickets. (Kids ages 7 to adult.) Then stay for Celebrate the Planets Night.


For a very few days, both Saturn and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky at the same time. Telescope tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. (Tickets: $5, Members $4.50). Viewing begins at dusk.

Telescope Tickets: $5, Members $4.50 Discovery Dome Tickets: $3, Members $2.50

H M N S fo r t e a c h e r s

for teac h ers


Cost: $165 - $200 per lab Capacity: 25 students per lab


Coming to HMNS in Hermann Park or HMNS at Sugar Land for a field trip? Try one of our Weekday Science Labs! With new topics each month, our labs 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. Time Labs for Grades 1-8 March: Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Come travel the world as you discover the wonders of the ancient world, from the Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramids of Giza. May: Ancient Games Are games simple amusements or something more? Discover the games played by the ancients and what they have to tell us.

ConocoPhillips TechNo Science Labs for Grades 1-8 April: Crash Course Investigate the physics of collisions and safety technology. May: Shape Science II There’s so much exciting shape science it wouldn’t fit in one class! Come explore more puzzles, tessellations and symmetry. Dissection Labs for Grades 5-10 March: Seeing Stars Not the kind that twinkle, but the kind that crawl. Dive deep into this class about the starfish and its echinoderm cousins. Includes starfish dissection. Wildlife Lab for Grades 1-8 March: Slow and Steady Wins the Race Built to last, turtles and tortoises are some of Earth’s most charming creatures. Amble on up as we take a close look at these chelonians. April: Tall Tails and Fantastic Fables In many cultures, animals have been given multiple roles. From the sacred

scarab beetle to the majestic buffalo, explore our relationships with animals both exotic and awe inspiring. May: Dangerous Deserts Meet some rugged animals as we explore life in this harsh environment. Biology Lab for Grades 5-10 April: The Celery Stalks at Night Why are so many fruits called vegetables? Why do flowers get all the glory? Get to the root of the problem in this class about the rest of the plant. Includes microscope use.


Cost: $200 at HMNS, add a $75 travel fee for school visit Capacity: up to 25 students Need help with a TEKS objective? Each Lab on Demand is tailored to your grade-level needs and can be offered at the Museum while you are here for a field trip, or we can bring the lab to your classroom. Available topics are Chemistry, Force and Motion, Electricity, Light and Optics, Magnets, Storm Science, Ancient Egypt, Cells, Earth

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

Science, and Dissection. Email for more information.

“Mummies and Mysteries” Tuesday, April 23, 5 - 8 p.m. Grades 3-10 Discover how you can incorporate a favorite topic of kids everywhere into math, science, social studies and English. “Art Smart” Tuesday, May 7, 5 - 8 p.m. Grades K-8


“Probability and Problem Solving” Tuesday, March 26, 5 - 8 p.m. Grades 5-9 Discover how fun math can be when you explore probability and problem solving using real world applications. “Energy” Tuesday, April 9, 5 - 8 p.m. Grades K-5 Learn how light, heat, sound, and electrical energy change from one form to another. “Magnificent Metamorphosis” Tuesday, April 16, 5 - 8 p.m. Grades K-3 Completely confused by complete metamorphosis? Explore monarchs, migration, and mimicry as you investigate the life cycle of the butterfly.

$60 per person (Spring Special: $50 if registered before May 1) Session is limited to 40 participants Time: 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Dates: June 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28 and August 5, 6, 8, 9 Register by calling (713) 639-4708.

“Differentiation for All Learning Styles” HMNS presents the third in a series of Gifted and Talented professional development sessions in the strand of differentiation. Participants will explore 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 hands-on activities available for immediate implementation. Participants will receive 6 hours credit toward the completion of state mandated 30-hour training or 6 hour update credit for those who have completed their 30 hours. Course includes techniques for utilizing menus and graphic organizers, handson Museum related activities, and workshop notebook. At the end of the workshop participants will have the opportunity to visit the Museum's special exhibitions at the field trip price.

17 19


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

Discover ideas and activities to bring your classroom to life as you go behind the scenes with HMNS curators and staff in these exciting interactive workshops. These programs are for teachers only. Includes dinner and 3 hours CPE credit.


Application Deadline is April 26 Through the generosity of the Cockrell Foundation, HMNS is proud to offer the Evelyn Frensley Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Science or Mathematics and the Wilhelmina C. Robertson Excellence in Science or Mathematics Teaching Award. To nominate a student or teacher who demonstrates excellence in science or mathematics, please fill out the 2013 Student Scholarship Form at www. and select Awards and Scholarships. The deadline for applications is April 26, 2013. For questions, contact the HMNS Education Department at or (713) 639-4651.

H M N S fo r t e a c h e r s

From clever crafts to symmetrical sculptures, learning will abound when you create sensational sciencebased masterpieces.


H M N S j u s t fo r k i d s

attention scouts! What’s Up! (Astronomy, Space Exploration, and Weather badges) New at HMNS this summer! Your Citizenship and Heritage (Citizenship in the Community and American Heritage badges). Webelos can also spend a week earning their Engineer, Forester, Geologist, Naturalist, and Scientist Activity Pins.


Careers in Science, Just for Girls

Visit for more information on Museum programs for Scouts. Summer Scout Academy Registration for the Summer Scout Academy is open starting in March. Boy Scouts can earn multiple badges through the summer in our weeklong Merit Badge based classes using the Museum’s expertise and resources.

Robot Inventors (Robotics and Inventing badges) Computer Craft (Computers, Graphic Arts, and Photography badges) CSI Scouts (Crime Prevention, Law, and Fingerprinting badges) Lights, Sound Action! (Cinematography, and Radio badges)

Classes include:

Power Plus (Nuclear Science, Electricity and Engineering badges)

By Air, Sea and Rail (Aviation, Railroading, and Oceanography badges)

Safety First (Fire Safety, Traffic Safety, and Safety badges)

Citizenship (Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World badges)

The Environment (Environmental Science and Soil & Water Conservation badges)

Our new Careers in Science program for girls, especially Junior Girl Scouts and above, introduces the main sciences of the Museum—Astronomy, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Paleontology as intriguing and attainable careers. Some of our class offerings are also available at HMNS at Sugar Land. Scout Adventure Night Friday, May 17 Spend the night at the Museum! Tigers, Cubs and Webelos can all have an exclusive adventure through the Museum exhibit halls, with activities and a late-night flashlight super safari through our giant new paleontology hall. Also included are special programs in the Burke Baker Planetarium, where scouts have a clear night adventure under the stars.


If you want to learn more science, do independent research, or master mathematics, our new Teen Science Academy has new and improved courses in science, engineering and math.

of Houston will cover the science fair registration fee for any student from the class who submits a project to the Regional Science and Engineering Fair in 2014.

Super Science Mysteries

Dive deeper into your favorite subject and get the full Museum experience when you visit us this Spring Break! We are offering two themed programs to accompany the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre films Flight of the Butterflies 3D and Titans of the Ice Age 3D. Each program includes a fun, interactive class on the topic, admission to the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, entrance to the related Museum exhibit and free General Admission tickets. Classes are designed for children ages 4 -12. Each child requires a chaperone. Please plan extra arrival time to account for Spring Break traffic. To register visit

Aramco Science Fair Boot Camp Students design and complete projects—collecting data and drawing conclusions—based on Museum exhibits and collections. Investigations will focus on environmental science in the Butterfly Center, interpreting fossils in the Paleontology Hall, solving energy challenges in the Energy Hall, finding clues in exhibits for the new Chemistry Hall and analyzing adaptations in the Museum’s vertebrate zoology collections. The procedures that students use in this boot camp can lead to real science fair projects during the school year. The Engineering and Scientific Council

NEW! LEGO ROBOTICS CLASS HMNS in Hermann Park: Tuesdays, March 26 - May 28, 4:30 - 6 p.m. HMNS at Sugar Land: Thursdays, March 28 - May 30, 4:30 - 6 p.m. Registration $240, Members $190

Our most popular summer camp is now available during the school year! Join us 10 Tuesdays or Thursdays after school to explore the basics of NXT Robotics Engineering. Build models with our LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT

Flight of the Butterflies 3D Tuesday, March 12, 9 a.m. Tickets $20 Titans of the Ice Age 3D Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m. Tickets $20

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Five mysteries offer opportunities for students to solve mysteries with science. Each week features a different mystery with astronomy and physics connections: What Sank the Titanic? Cold Cases Buried in Ice Finding Alien Earths Coming of the Comet 2013 Designing Interplanetary Expeditions

Using an advanced artificial intelligence program from Reasoning Mind, you will match wits with a genie to solve math puzzles. The software adapts to your responses, making each puzzle a challenge—but one that you can solve. With Reasoning Mind, you go at your own speed with problems picked by the computer just for you. By the end of the week, you’ll be a “Master of Math,” and more prepared for algebra.


H M N S j u s t fo r k i d s

Math Mastery

TM system and then use a computer to program your model to obey your every command! This program is limited to 16 students in grades 4 - 7, with a minimum of 10 students. Visit www. for more infomation.

Adult education H M N S a d u l t e d u c a t i on • e a r t h d a y 2 0 1 3



“Evolution of Mothering: The Natural Heritage from our Deep Mammalian Past” Robert Martin, Ph.D. Field Museum Tuesday, April 2, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12 Sponsored by The Leakey Foundation Mammals, whose name comes from the Latin “mamma” for teat, are defined by suckling. Mothering began 200 million years ago with the first mammals and developed to become a hallmark of ancestral primates. Taking evidence from anthropology, archaeology and genetics, this presentation reviews the long evolutionary trajectory of human mothering. Reconstructing that history throws light on the natural basis for our own maternal behavior and highlights sources of problems encountered by modern mothers. Dr. Robert Martin is curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago. He has devoted his

career to exploring the evolutionary tree of primates, as summarized in his 1990 textbook Primate Origins. Dr. Martin is particularly interested in reproductive biology and the brain, because these systems have been of special importance in primate evolution. His research is based on broad comparisons across primates, covering reproduction, anatomy, behavior, paleontology and molecular evolution.

HANDS-ON CLASS Fossil Recovery Tuesday, April 23, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $36, Members $26 David Temple, associate curator of paleontology, will walk you through the process of recovering Permian-age fossils (182-187 million years ago) from muddy matrix to fossil identification. Participants will be introduced to fossil collecting techniques and gain handson experience with fossils from the Museum’s site in Seymour, Texas. This class includes tour of Morian Hall of Paleontology and areas not open to the public.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES The X-Planets Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12 Since its launch in 2009, NASA’s planethunting Kepler Telescope has uncovered 2,740 new extra solar planets, also known as exoplanets or X-planets. Now scientists are working to identify gases in the exoplanets’ atmospheres that can support life. It is just a matter of time before an “Alien Earth” is found. Join Dr. Carolyn Sumners and Adam Barnes of the Museum’s astronomy department for a behind-the-scenes look at the science behind X-Planets, the making of the film X-Planets and viewing of this film in the Burke Baker Planetarium. More on page 15. Morian Hall of Paleontology Monday, April 29, 6 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $25 Go on a paleo safari through time—from the first lifeforms on Earth to our human ancestors—in the world-renowned Morian Hall of Paleontology when the Museum is closed to the public.

e a r th d a y 2 0 13 EARTH DAY 2013 Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free Family Event

Celebrate Earth Day at the Museum with the HMNS Energy Conservation Club. This year’s Earth Day at HMNS will focus on water conservation. For this family celebration, HMNS is partnering with Keep Houston Beautiful, which has just launched the new Urban Runoff Challenge website that was jointly developed by the City of Houston Streets and Drainage Division. Visit for more information. Earth Day at HMNS is sponsored by the HMNS Energy Conservation Club, generously supported by Marathon Oil Corporation.

t r av e l p r o g r a m Tanzania: A Treasure Trove of Wildlife & Culture, Past and Present November 11-22, 2013

This two-week trip includes safaris to superb areas for seeing giraffe, zebra, elephant, hippo, tree-climbing and blackmaned lion, black rhino, wildebeest, impala, flamingo, warthog, baboon, and many other species of African wildlife. You will also visit a Maasai village and the site where Mary Leakey unearthed the roots of modern man.

Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, HMNS curator of anthropology, and David Temple, associate curator of paleontology, will accompany this trip exclusively for HMNS. Space is very limited. Visit for complete itinerary, pricing and registration. Contact for questions.

Travel Night Tuesday, March 19, 6 p.m. Interested travelers and those already registered can meet our trip leaders and learn more about this HMNS travel opportunity.

hmns legacy society The HMNS Legacy Society was recently launched to honor individuals who provide for the Museum in their estate plans. Individuals who continue their commitment to the Museum in a variety of ways, including bequests in their will, beneficiary designations of retirement assets, or donating a life insurance policy to the Museum, are eligible for membership. Members of the HMNS Legacy Society receive exclusive benefits for their visionary gifts, including invitations to private, behindthe-scenes events; recognition in Museum publications; a commemorative item; and an invitation to an annual event honoring all Legacy Society Members. For more information, visit or contact Marilyn Knight at (713) 639-4748 or Details of your gift are not required; however, any information that you wish to share will be held in strictest confidence.


HMNS Legacy Society Preserving the Past, Securing the Future

H M N S t r a ve l p r og r a m • h m n s l eg a c y s o c i e t y

See the wonders of East Africa—the unique ecosystem of the Ngorongoro Crater, the vast savannahs of the Serengeti, the forest and grassland near the shores of Lake Manyara, and the renowned anthropological and geological sites at Olduvai Gorge.

For tickets to all events, visit www

LaB 5555 Friday, March 22, 7 - 10 p.m. (page 23)

Lego Robotics Class Tuesday, March 26, 4:30 p.m. (page 19)

Xplorations Summer Camp Family Registration Begins Monday, March 4 (page 3)

adult Class “Planting a Butterfly Garden” Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m. (page 8)

Spring Break Family Lab Flight of the Butterflies 3D Tuesday, March 12, 9 a.m. (page 19)

Xplorations Summer Camp General Public Registration Begins Monday, March 25 (page 3)

ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday “Probability and Problem Solving” Tuesday, March 26, 5 p.m. (page 17)

Spring Break Family Lab Titans of the Ice Age 3D Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m. (page 19)

Behind-the-Scenes Tours Gems of the Medici (page 6) Maya 2012 (page 7) Monday, March 25, 6 p.m.

H M N S even t s c a l en d a r

Museum Closed Saturday, March 2 (page 3)

Travel Night Tanzania Tuesday, March 19, 6 p.m. (page 20)



Distinguished Lecture “Evolution of Mothering” Tuesday, April 2, 6:30 p.m. (page 20) Friday Family Fun Night Sugar Land Weather Land Friday, April 5, 6:30 p.m. (page 11) Spring Plant Sale Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. - noon (page 8) ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday “Energy” Tuesday, April 9, 5 p.m. (page 17) Behind-the-Scenes Tour Fabergé: A Brilliant Vision Wednesday, April 10, 6 p.m. (page 5) Members Night at the George Friday, April 12, 8 p.m. (page 15)

Cultural Feast Dining in the Renaissance Tuesday, March 26, 7 p.m. (page 6) Lego Robotics class Sugar Land Thursday, March 28, 4:30 p.m. (page 19)

a p ril George Observatory Family Space Day & Celebrate the Planets Night at the George Saturday, April 13 (page 15) ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday “Magnificent Metamorphosis” Tuesday, April 16, 5 p.m. (page 17) Behind-the-Scenes The X-Planets Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m. (page 20) adult Class “How to Grow Orchids, Bromeliads and other Air Plants” Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. (page 8) Houston Orchid Society Show and Sale Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (page 8) Family Festival Sugar Land Ancient Encounters: Ancient Egypt Saturday, April 20, 2 - 5 p.m. (page 11)

Adult Class Fossil Recovery Tuesday, April 23, 6:30 p.m. (page 20) ExxonMobil Teacher Tuesday “Mummies and Mysteries” Tuesday, April 23, 5 p.m. (page 16) Continuing Education “Overview of the Energy Industry” Friday, April 26, 8:30 a.m. (page 9) LaB 5555 Friday, April 26, 7 - 10 p.m. (page 23) Earth Day 2013 Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (page 21) GT Teacher Workshop “Differentiate through Flexible Grouping” Saturday, April 27, 8:30 a.m. Behind-the-Scenes Tour Morian Hall of Paleontology Monday, April 29, 6 p.m. (page 20) or call (713) 639-4629.

LaB 5555 Geek responsibly! Tickets $20, Members $12

Friday, March 22, 7 - 10 p.m. Do you have the need for speed? The race is on to LaB 5555: Rev your engines to the tunes of The Octanes. Friday, April 26, 7 - 10 p.m. Get your shine on and learn about all things bling at LaB 5555: Sparkle with DJ Dave Wrangler.

New Permanent Hall of Ancient Egypt Egypt is coming to Houston! Safely ensconced in the Sahara desert, and drawing its lifeblood from the river Nile, ancient Egyptian civilization flourished for more than three millennia. A quintessential example of what archaeologists call a “primary civilization,” ancient Egypt did not rely on inspiration from others to develop its own architecture, writing and religion—all of Egyptian culture was developed “in house.” The themes of politics, trade, writing, religion, natural resources, astronomy and—of course—mummification will be explored in this new permanent exhibition hall. Ever since the late 18th century, the Western world has been exploring Egypt. This hall will present artifacts collected during these early days of investigations, and will also compare old-style archaeology with 21st-century approaches, such as using satellite imagery and remote sensing to locate and map ancient settlements. The Museum’s own mummy, Ankh Hap, will be moved to his new surroundings in time for the opening on May 24, 2013.


Opens summer 2013

H M N S l a b 5 5 5 5 • ne w eg y p t h a l l

You are far too intelligent to miss an event like this. Keep your beakers full and your smarts stimulated at LaB 5555—the party place with an intellectual twist. Check out a hot science topic, formulate a few cocktail concoctions, enjoy the hottest food truck fare, and then rock your maddest dance moves to some live music. Visit www.hmns. org/lab5555 for 2013 schedule.

HMNS NEWS • march / april 2013 • VOLUME 18, Number 2

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

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.

now on exhibition

HMNS News March-April 2013