Latest Posts

Choose Your Weapon: Shark or Vending Machine

You may have heard that more people die from vending machine accidents every year than from shark bites. My fourth grader knew that, and it's not hard to dig up statistics to confirm it. So, if we're going to make the world a safer place by eradicating vending machines or sharks, I'd choose vending machines....Read more
Tags: shark
Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) off the coast of Cuba. Photo by Alex Chernikh, via Wikimedia and EOL, CC-BY.

Hey Moth, That's a Great Rack on Your Head

Browsing through moths in the Q?rius Collections at the National Museum of Natural History during National Moth Week,  I discovered some impressive antennae. The wide, sturdy projections from many of the moth's heads looked like the blades of a helicopter....Read more
Tags: moth
Male fox moth (Macrothylacia rubi) with a magnificent set of antennae. Photo by Biopix, via EOL, CC-BY-NC

Origami Bird Project: Help Fold a Commemorative Flock of Passenger Pigeons

We’ve got a fun, educational project for kids of all ages here in Q?rius: Folding origami Passenger Pigeons to help remember this extinct bird. People thought it would never happen, but 100 years ago the Passenger Pigeon, once the most common bird in America, went extinct. Now you can commemorate this famous fowl by folding an origami pattern and displaying it in your home or office....Read more
Tags: pigeon
Origami passenger pigeons flock together in Q?rius. Photo by Smithsonian Institution.

Tarantula: Friend or Foe?

How can you tell whether to trust a tarantula or not? Most tarantula defenses, such as trying to look big, hissing, or running away, are harmless to humans. It’s the rare but harmful defense -- the bite -- that we tend to focus on....Read more
Tags: spider
The massive Goliath birdeater tarantula (Theraphosa blondi). Smithsonian photo by Rosa Pineda

My Journey to Becoming a Paleontologist

Many students in high school apply to the YES! program, but only a few are given the opportunity to enter. When I first heard of the YES! program, I was told that it was being held in a Smithsonian museum and it revolved around science. The word science is what caught my attention. I am interested in studying paleontology and I believe this program is the first step to achieving my goal....Read more
Tags: teens
YES! interns Aldair (left) and Maria take the fossil cart through the museum. Photo by Smithsonian Institution.