Consider the spider: eight legs, eight eyes, and a brain the size of a poppy seed. These are some of nature’s most amazing and charismatic creatures, and yet we know so little about their worlds. Paul Shamble will discuss the lives, habits, and marvelous morphologies of these animals—from sensory structures and cognition to locomotion and behavior. Understanding these creatures helps us better understand evolution and diversity—and leads us to ask what it means that even tiny animals inhabit complex lives.
Celebrate International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day by taking a virtual swoop through the Peabody Museum. These smart birds play games with each other, display anger and friendliness, and appear in cultural tales from around the world. Flap like a real raven with museum educator Javier Marin and learn more about the birds’ characteristics. Find ravens drawn or carved in Alaskan Native art, enjoy a read-aloud Tlingit tale and make a paper craft with Andy Majewski.
Life on planet Earth can sometimes seem unbelievably diverse and resilient, yet we’re more aware than ever of how connected all living beings are to one another. This special Earth Week edition focuses on some of the challenges animals face today, and on what we humans—young and old—can do to help. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder, and join Javier, Ryan, and some of our amazing animals as they lead you in a live 45-minute program.
Join the Harvard Museum of Natural History in celebrating Earth Day with engaging sustainability-themed virtual events and activities for all ages. Join the conversation as Harvard students and experts weigh in on our most pressing environmental challenges, on cutting-edge research, and on promising paths to a more sustainable future. Introduce young minds to environmental science with our live museum animals and HMSC Story Time. Find out how to reconnect with nature and record the biodiversity in your local area. Or, simply indulge in our staff recommendations for...
Animals develop special characteristics that help them survive in their environments. From keeping warm to staying hidden, animals solve problems every day. Have you ever thought about how we humans do the same?
Get ready for a lively night of fun, games, and surprises when Javier Marin transports you back inside the Harvard Museum of Natural History. He will broadcast from the galleries pointing out some of the ways animals adapt to challenges they face in the wild. Then, you will look through your own homes in a problem-solving scavenger hunt. Your family will work together...
Have you ever thought about the way you eat, or even how you chew? Now, imagine that you are a huge bullfrog, a sea star, or even a scorpion. How would you eat? As March is Nutrition Month in the U.S., it’s the perfect time to meet some of our live animals and explore our creatures’ diets and eating habits. Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan in this 45-minute program for families and get a close look at some weird eaters.
Participate in the Arnold Arboretum’s 2021 Tournament of Trees! Get to know this year’s Sweet Sixteen contenders (March 3–9) and cast your votes in this fun bracket style tournament. Let the March Tree Madness games begin.
A plant that generates heat and attracts pollinators with its stink? Learn more about skunk cabbage in the Arnold Arboretum’s newest winter Wonder Spot, at the Arboretum meadow’s edge or online. Free and open to all.
Break out of the winter doldrums and welcome Harvard science into your home with the all-virtual I Heart Science festival lasting from Friday, February 12 to Monday, February 15. This day’s “Faraway Worlds” theme looks at exploration of places hard to get to such as space, deep oceans, and the distant past.
During the live webinar, starting at 1:00 pm ET, meet Harvard researchers studying how we study the sun and what we hope to learn from missions to Mars.
At home, try your hand at investigating light, explore what we know about coelacanths and hear the story...
Break out of the winter doldrums and welcome Harvard science into your home with the all-virtual I Heart Science festival lasting from Friday, February 12 to Monday, February 15. This day’s “Love the Earth” theme looks at how we are taking care of our planet and the geology that makes it all possible.
During the live webinar, starting at 1:00 pm ET, meet Harvard researchers studying how we can design batteries large enough to power a building and investigate what it takes to save endangered species.
At home, try your hand at growing crystals, modeling volcanos, and...
Break out of the winter doldrums and welcome Harvard science into your home with the all-virtual I Heart Science festival lasting from Friday, February 12 to Monday, February 15. This day’s “Tiny Creatures” theme looks at bacteria, viruses, and other microbial creatures.
During the live webinar, starting at 1:00 pm ET, meet live tardigrades, also known as water bears. Watch recorded videos featuring Harvard scientists who study bacterial resistance, ways to test for viruses, and how bacteria grow.
At home, try your hand at making a water-drop microscope, comparing...
Break out of the winter doldrums and welcome Harvard science into your home with the all-virtual I heart Science festival lasting from Friday, February 12 to Monday, February 15. Today’s “Incredible Evolution” theme looks at ways that animals have adapted to their environments.
During the live webinar, starting at 1pm ET, meet Harvard researchers studying how brains evolve and how stress can enhance performance.
At home, watch recorded videos by Harvard scientists studying mice behavior or try your hand at comparing bone structures, collecting...
Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences—Online
Join us for a virtual celebration of materials, and their importance in our lives. Professor Howard Stone and team will investigate the wonders of common materials, and delve into the science of some materials that make our holidays special. Get ready to learn some interesting science about materials you use every day; we will then go into the lab and check out some not-so-everyday materials.
This 1-hour presentation is designed for children ages 7 and up and their families, but all are welcome to join and learn something new! Visit our website for registration and some...
Explore the wondrous world of fungi! Join Harvard students for a closer look at the mushrooms, yeasts, and molds found in gardens, forests, labs—even in our own refrigerators.
This popular annual event turns virtual this year, featuring videos created by Harvard students. Join the webinar to participate in live conversation in response to student projects. Be prepared to see fungi in a whole new way!
Celebrate National Fossil Day—a celebration organized by the National Park Service—by taking a closer look at museum fossils with Harvard paleontologists. What can we see on ancient seafloors? How do modern animals help us understand extinct animals? What fossils still amaze scientists? What is it like to be a practicing paleontologist? Bring your curiosity and questions to this online event for all ages!
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online
The first person who will set foot on Mars is alive right now. We believe this, but even if we're wrong we know the first crew to arrive there will look nothing like the ones that landed on the Moon fifty years ago.
Our world has changed for the better, and ASTRONAUTS tells the story of the women who built this better world. The main character and narrator is Mary Cleave, an astronaut you may not have heard of. It's not because so many people have been to space; only a few hundred have! It’s because this graphic novel isn’t about fame. No astronaut you'll ever meet took the...
Earth is home to a vast diversity of organisms that collectively define the modern biosphere. How did this diversity come to be? Javier Ortega-Hernández will discuss his approach to answering this question by studying organisms that lived more than half a billion years ago in the Cambrian Period (485–541 million years ago). By focusing on the earliest-known animals—some of the most versatile to ever exist—Ortega-Hernández aims to reconstruct the early evolutionary history of major animal groups and contribute to our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity.
Ever wonder what tarantula’s hair feels like? Curious about what vinegaroons smell like? Want to get up close and personal with the business end of a scorpion? If so, then grab a snack and join human museum staff Javier and Ryan as they spend thirty minutes feeding, interacting with, and discussing the museum’s many live arthropods!
Register by 1:00pm on September 23. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom.
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online
Join the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian for a virtual Public Observatory Night with guest lecturer Donavan Moore, author of "What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin."
It was not easy being a woman of ambition in early twentieth-century England, much less one who wished to be a scientist. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin overcame prodigious obstacles to become a woman of many firsts: the first to receive a PhD in astronomy from Radcliffe College, the first promoted to full professor at Harvard, the first to head a department there. And, in what...
Interested in what a spider crab eats? Want to see a sea star up close? Curious about what a horseshoe crab does with that long tail? Grab a snack and join human museum staff members Javier and Ryan as they spend thirty minutes feeding, interacting with, and discussing these amazing animals. This event is free and will be hosted on the Zoom webinar platform.
Register by 1:00 pm on August 4. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom.
This even is free and open to the public, but registration...