Polar Weekend at Carnegie Museum of Natural History explores the science of climate change
Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Visit Carnegie Museum of Natural History for an exploration of the ice caps at the North and South Poles and the climate change happening everywhere in between! During this special weekend—Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13—participate in hands-on activities for visitors of all ages, close-up examinations of the museum’s scientific specimens, and a scientific talk for adults. With museum scientists and educators as your guides, discover the changes happening in our world and what we can do to protect it. Learn how people and animals have adapted to live in harsh environments at the poles and how some animal species are adapting to survive the effects of climate change. Understand how fossils from life forms that existed millions of years ago can give us clues into what is happening today. Meet energy production experts and learn how the making and use of energy affects the climate. All activities are free with museum admission (admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, and $11 for children 3–18 and students with valid ID. Members and children under 3 are admitted free).
Climate change weekend is a project of Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Center for Lifelong Science Learning.
Activities are geared toward kids and families. Most activities take place on both Friday and Saturday.
Friday and Saturday
10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
- Go on an expedition with a museum educator as your guide! Make your way through the museum in search of experiments, evidence, and information, and participate in thought-provoking discussions about climate change. Choose from one of three themes: Plant and Animal Adaptations to Climate Change; Climate Change at the Polar Regions; and Energy Science. Expeditions begin on the hour and last for 30–45 minutes; appropriate for all ages.
- Go behind the scenes in the museum’s Big Bone Room! On this educator-led tour, examine bones and try your hand at identifying what ice age mammals these bones belonged to. Behind-the-scenes tours begin on the half hour and last for 30 minutes; appropriate for all ages.
- Hear Inuit folktales and play Inuit games, led by the museum’s Teen Docents.
- Participate in hands-on activities to learn about clean energy. Presented by The National Energy Technology Laboratory of the Department of Energy.
- Learn about solar panels and the material science used to make them more efficient. Presented by the Hutchinson research group from the University of Pittsburgh’s Chemistry Department.
- Measure the energy uses of various devices using a Belkin meter. Presented by Penn Future.
- Develop your ideal energy portfolio and speak with experts about the impact of your decisions. Presented by the Climate Decision Making Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Receive energy-saving light bulb kits (for Duquesne Light customers who bring an electric bill). Presented by Duquesne Light.
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
- Visit with an African Penguin. Presented by the National Aviary.
- Enjoy Captain Green’s Time Machine, an interactive stage presentation about the science of climate change and the innovative ways humans can limit their impact on the environment. Presented by Carnegie Science Center.
- Explore renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Presented by Conservation Consultants, Inc.
10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
- Celebrate the polar bear, the symbol of the Arctic and the face of climate change. Polar bears are in danger because of a dramatic reduction in sea ice which is changing their habitat. But it’s not too late for these animals: Learn how you can help by lowering your carbon footprint. Presented by Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
- Join legendary Carnegie paleontologist Mary Dawson for a presentation about her research on Devon Island in the Arctic Circle, with a special focus on the evolution of seals in response to climate change. During the presentation Dawson describes a number of changes to the habitats of this area that she has witnessed over years of paleontological fieldwork in the Arctic. Appropriate for adults.
Center for Lifelong Science Learning
The Center for Lifelong Science Learning at Carnegie Museum of Natural History brings together museum staff and partners from area universities, community organizations, and national experts devoted to science education to conduct and explore research into informal science learning—the many ways people learn about science in settings outside school classrooms. The Center links these theories and practice so that the research findings are applied in the development of new educational programs and exhibitions for all ages. The Center for Lifelong Science Learning was launched in November 2010 and is under the direction of Mary Ann Steiner.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website, www.carnegiemnh.org.