Events and programsAt the KU Natural History Museum, we offer dozens of science outreach programs annually in the museum and throughout the community.  From hands-on activities for families, such as Discovery Days, to talks for adults, such as Science on Tap, there is something for everyone. 

Upcoming Programs:


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From Prometheus to the Naked Mole Rat: Toward a better understanding of hyaluronan biology in response to injury and aging
A Kansas City Science on Tap Event with Michele Pritchard
Tuesday, October 23
7:30 pm
Bier Station, 120 East Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, MO
Our fascination with Prometheus and pop-culture icons such as Wolverine, indicates that our society has a persistent and unmistakable interest IN perfect wound repair, or regeneration. Much scientific effort is devoted to trying to crack the “regeneration code” to prevent imperfect wound repair, which leads to scar formation. Join Dr. Michele Pritchard at this Science on Tap to discuss her effort to leverage secrets from the naked mole rat to improve tissue repair after toxic liver injury and to delay aging in the human ovary.

Macabre at the Museum
Thursday, October 25
KU students are invited to experience a spooky night in the KU Natural History Museum to celebrate Halloween. From spiders and snakes to parasites, we will explore the science of the creepy things that go bump in the night. See museum specimens, enjoy free refreshments, and win prizes. This event is for KU students, by KU students. Hosted by the museum’s student group, the Natural Science Community Organization.

International Archaeology Day
Friday, October 26
10am – 1pm
As part of the Archaeological Institute of America's 7th Annual International Archaeology Day, KU's Wilcox Classical Museum and the Natural History Museum's Archaeology Division are opening their collections. Tours begin at the NHM's Archaeology Division in Spooner Hall and end at the Wilcox Classical Museum in Lippincott Hall. Tours are at 10am, 11am, and 12pm. Please RSVP to Tashia Dare at no later than Oct 23 by 5pm. When you RSVP, please indicate your preferred tour time.

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Member Day
Sunday, October 28
We appreciate our museum members and invite members & friends to join us for snacks, behind the scene tours, plus fossil, rock, and artifact identification with experts!

Super Powered, Super Creepy
Wednesday, October 31
The KU Natural History Museum is offering a pop-up event at the Lawrence Public Library! Learn about super powered, super creepy crawlies and animals with us at this Halloween event. We’ll have crafts and presentations about some of the creepiest critters out there. Plus, the library will have some creepy snacks!


Drop In & Draw: Museum Grotesques
Thursday, November 1
Come by the KU Natural History Museum to view and sketch our grotesques before they go back to the seventh floor overlook. Work alongside professional artists and sculptors, Laura & Karl Ramberg, who will be there to offer artistic tips and tricks.

Museum at Prairiefire Science Happy Hour featuring Michael Engel
Wednesday, November 7
Join us at the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park for Dr. Engel's talk, "400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects.” Dr. Engel, who is a KU professor and a curator of entomology at the KU Natural History Museum, will highlight interesting facts regarding the evolutionary history of insects from his work on their fossil record and diversity.

Discovery Day: The Poles
Friday, November 9
10am – 12pm
Join us when Lawrence Public Schools (K-8) are out with hands-on science activities for children and families. Explore the biodiversity of the Arctic and the Antarctic, and learn about fossil plants that grew abundantly in Antarctica over 100 million years ago.

Fall 2018 BugBlitz Youth Photography Contest
Submission Deadline: Sunday, November 11, 2018, 5 p.m.
Do you enjoy taking nature photographs, especially of insects? Are you new to nature photography? Either way, this contest is for you! Youth are encouraged to submit photos for the KU NHM’s Fall 2018 BugBlitz Photography Contest.

More information available here

Collections Up Close
Tuesday, November 13
11:30am – 1:00pm
Explore Biodiversity Institute collections with graduate students studying ornithology, paleontology, ichthyology, mammals, botany, herpetology and more. We bring a few of the 9 million specimens from our collections to share with the KU community in the Kansas Union at this monthly event. At this month’s program, explore our fascinating ornithology (bird) collection with graduate student Fernando Machado-Stredel.

Science on Tap: Let’s Go to Titan
Wednesday, November 14
Free State Brewing Co., Significant attention has been focused on Mars for terraforming purposes. However, Titan (a moon of Saturn) may be more advantageous for human settlements because of its abundant fuel resources and oxygen availability through an underground lake. At this Science on Tap, Christopher Depcik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, will highlight the possibilities of sustaining life on Titan using available technologies along with the analysis of a theoretical heat and power generation system.

Carnival of Chemistry
Sunday, November 18
Integrated Sciences Building, Join the Department of Chemistry for their annual Carnival of Chemistry - this time in the brand new Integrated Sciences Building. The KU Natural History Museum will be offering an activity station at this event where children & families can use real scientific equipment to explore the chemistry of nectar.

Kansas City Science on Tap: Forget Everything You Thought You Knew About Biology
Tuesday, November 27
Bier Station taproom in KCMO, Biology is based on the known life of the planet: animals, plants, fungi. But Earth’s unknown life is more numerous, more widespread, more fundamental to our existence -- and more mysterious. At this Kansas City Science on Tap, join Biodiversity Institute director Leonard Krishtalka for a talk about how the unknown life will overturn and revolutionize everything that is being taught about biology.


Discovery Day: Wildlife Conservation
Sunday, December 2
Help us honor Wildlife Conservation Day a little early. Join us as we examine museum specimens from around the world, engage in hands-on learning, and discuss global conservation efforts.

Collections Up Close
Tuesday, December 4
11:30am – 1:00pm
Explore Biodiversity Institute collections with graduate students studying ornithology, paleontology, ichthyology, mammals, botany, herpetology and more. We bring a few of the 9 million specimens from our collections to share with the KU community in the Kansas Union at this monthly event. At this month’s program, explore the surprising world of parasites from our invertebrate zoology collection with graduate student Kaylee Herzog.

Explorer’s Dinner
Thursday, December 6
This museum donor thank-you event is by special invitation only. Guests will enjoy dinner, drinks, and a presentation about progress made thus far on the grotesque renewal project.