Events and programsAt the KU Natural History Museum, we offer dozens of science outreach programs annually in the museum and througout 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. Browse featured events here or see our full list of programs at our calendar of events.  

Events and programs



Grotesques event

Art + Science: The Museum Grotesques
Thursday, June 14
1-4 pm

Join us on Thursday, June 14, between 1-4 pm to learn about the museum's iconic grotesques. We will talk about how the grotesques will be studied, carved from new stone and put back on their pedestals. Artists Karl Ramberg and Laura Ramberg together with Professors Keith Van de Riet and Amy Van de Riet will lead the activities. The eight grotesques will be located in the Panorama for viewing during the event.
The grotesques were removed from Dyche Hall in fall 2017. A fundraising effort is underway to support the recreation of these sculptures. Ramberg Stoneworks, in collaboration with the KU School of Architecture and Design,​ have been chosen to lead the project. For more information, visit

1 pm: Children, families and adults are invited to sculpt their own grotesques from modeling clay.
2 pm: Try your hand at sketching the grotesques alongside artist and sculptor team Laura & Karl Ramberg.
3 pm: Professor Keith Van de Riet will deliver a talk on the 3D scanning techniques used to generate hi-resolution images of the grotesques.

Glaciers Science on Tap

Glaciers: Myths and Mysteries
A Science on Tap event 
with Leigh Sterns, associate professor, KU Geology
7:30pm, June 20
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence KS
Headlines about glaciers are often alarming: Antarctica is disintegrating into the ocean. An iceberg the size of Rhode Island broke off.  Only a few more years until Glacier National Park has no more glaciers. At this Science on Tap, Leigh Stearns will outline some of the recent changes that are taking place on glaciers worldwide, but particularly in Greenland and Antarctica. We’ll talk about how we measure glacier change, and why some changes are alarming and others are not.

The Coelacanth: "Old Four Legs" and the KU Collection of Fishes
A Kansas City Science on Tap event
with Andy Bentley, collections manager of fishes
7:30pm, June 26
Bier Station Taproom, 120 E Gregory Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64114

The coelacanth is one of the most enigmatic fish on earth.  Thought to be extinct until 1938, it is a pivotal species in the evolutionary process of the movement on to land.  Come and learn more about this fascinating species and the specimen in our collection of almost 700,000 fish specimens at the Biodiversity Institute.

Discovery Day BugBlitz

Discovery Day: BugBlitz Insect Photography
Wednesday, June 27th 
South Park gazebo in downtown Lawrence

Our summer BugBlitz Youth Photography competition is now open! Do you like taking nature photographs? Join us and discover how to take photos with your smartphone or tablet right in your very own backyard or in the park. This event will offer photography tips & tricks for young citizen scientists. 

Exploring the Birdlife of Guyana
A Science on Tap event
with Mark Robbins, collection manager, ornithology
7:30 pm, July 18
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence KS

What birds are found in some of the world’s most difficult places to access? KU ornithologist Mark Robbins will share what it was like to document birdlife on a remote tabletop mountain in Guyana that is one of the wettest places on the planet, and what discoveries he and colleagues from the Smithsonian made during the expedition.