I ♥ Science (2016)


Saturday, February 13, 2016, 10:00am to 4:00pm


Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street

Explore the marvelous science of our natural world in this annual daylong festival featuring dozens of activities. Use fossil teeth to study animal diets, design an insect maze, investigate  the factors that differentiate New England beaches, examine frog adaptations, animal/plant interactions, and more! Awaken your love of science with activities led by Harvard scientists, graduate students, and enthusiastic explorers. Hear short talks on current research at Harvard. This program has something for everyone and is appropriate for children and adults of all ages. View the Harvard Student Speaker Schedule

Regular museum admission rates apply

Free parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage


  • Identifying Minerals - Join members of the Boston Mineral Club to learn how to identify minerals. Bring your own to stump the team! 
    • Total Solar Eclipse 2017 - On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will be visible along a narrow path of totality across the US. Explore where you can travel or what you can see from New England.

    • Lego Habitats - Use your Lego building skills to design a place for Madagascar hissing cockroaches to explore. Then test it out with our animals to see what they prefer.

    • Plants vs Insects - Plants and insects are waging a life or death battle under our very noses.  Come talk to biologists from the Pierce Lab at Harvard who study plant-insect interactions and learn about how insects are adapted to eat plants, the strategies plants use to stop them, and the occasional truces between the two sides.

    • Exploring the Secrets of Sand - Use tools like magnets, magnifiers, and sieves to investigate what sand is made of.  Notice the differences in sand from New England and other locations. 

    • Meet a Paleontologist  (1:00pm – 4:00 pm) - Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at the Harvard Natural History Museum? Take this unique opportunity to meet real-life paleontologists from the Pierce Lab who are using the latest technology to learn about extinct animals, right here at the museum! They'll be bringing some of their favorite fossils for you to see first hand.

    • Funky Fish Fins - Not all fins are used for swimming! Find out what happens when fish fins take on a variety of other roles by investigating fish from the museum's Ichthyology Collection with biologists from Harvard's Lauder Laboratory.

    • Hidden Life - Dip into a pond to see what lies hidden beneath the surface.  See swimming insects and other creatures of New England.

    • Life Under a Rotting Log - Deep in the forest or right in your backyard, amazing animals can be found under leaves, rocks and logs.  See some of the squirmy, crawly creatures that live below our feet.

    • Boston Malacological Club - Examine spectacular shells collected by members of the BMC. Bring your own shell to be identified.  

    Harvard Graduate Student Speakers

    10:30 am - "The Wacky and Wonderful Life Cycles of Frogs" by Mara Laslo

    Learn about the incredible diversity of frog life cycles, meet some live frogs, and hear about current research on the life history of these fascinating amphibians.

    11:30 am - "A Secret Garden – the Surprising Diversity of Seeds" by Becky Povilus

    Seeds make up most of what we eat and are essential to the ecosystems we live in. Peer inside these remarkable little packages of plant life, using the latest in microscope technology!

    12:30 pm  - "Backbones – Who needs them?" by Kira Triebrgs

    Vertebrates are only 3 percent of the animal species on earth! What about the other 97 percent? Meet live animals, ask questions, and revel in the amazing diversity of animal life on this planet!

    1:30 pm  - "What Happened to the Neanderthals?" by Bridget Alex

    Why did we survive and they go extinct? What bits of Neanderthal do many of us still carry with us today? Have your questions answered as you learn about our ancient relatives.

    2:30 pm - "Tales From the Deep: Alien Life at Hydrothermal Vents", by Jessica Panzarino

    With incredible amounts of heat, pressure and poisonous chemicals, there could not be a more inhospitable environment for life than the bottom of the ocean. Explore how this ecosystem works and how scientists are studying it.



    See also: Family Programs