Skip to main content

The Q? Blog

February Events in Q?rius: Sand Creatures, 'OrKID' Festival, Invasive Species, and More

by Jasmine Utsey -- Feb 4, 2015
Jasmine Utsey, Learning Program Assistant

Jasmine is a learning program assistant for the Experience Design team in the Museum's Department of Education and Outreach, where she coordinates and...

The 'OrKID' Family Festival on Feb. 21 will feature some activities in Q?rius and other places in the Museum. Photo by Ian Chalmers.
The 'OrKID' Family Festival on Feb. 21 will feature some activities in Q?rius and other places in the Museum. Photo by Ian Chalmers.

Did you know that thousands of microscopic species live between sand grains on beaches around the world? Or that elephants, lions, and camels used to live in North America? Or how you can help combat invasive species? Come to Q?rius this month and see the tiny sand dwellers through a microscope, contemplate returning some large mammals to our continent, and learn more about invasive species. And don’t miss the OrKID festival when you can see, smell, and touch beautiful orchids while participating in a variety of activities.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and take place in Q?rius, the interactive science learning space on the ground floor of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. New event listings and cancellations are possible, so check the Upcoming Events calendar for the most current information.

Feb. 4 - Genes in a Bottle*
See  your own DNA! Take part in a molecular biology activity and create a necklace pendant made up of your own DNA from a cheek swab. This is a drop-in event. Q?rius, Barbara and Craig Barrett Lab. Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m.  Activity runs about every 20 minutes.
*This activity is not appropriate for children under 7. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Feb. 12 - Live Webcast: Global Change - Reading Ocean Fossils
Tiny ocean fossils can tell big stories about the climate on Earth millions of years ago. Join Smithsonian paleobiologist Brian Huber as he shares his findings during a live webcast event. You can even ask him questions via real-time online chat. Watch a video preview and register.

Originally Feb. 19 - Rescheduled to March 31 - Restoring a Lost Ecosystem?
Twelve thousand years ago, elephants, lions, and camels roamed North America. These animals went extinct over the course of just a few thousand years — about when humans arrived on the continent. Would reintroducing large mammals restore important ecosystem functions? Could threatened mammals of Africa and Asia be conserved here? Join Harry W. Greene, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, and Kate Lyons, Smithsonian paleoecologist and research geologist, to discuss how understanding the past can change our perspective on environmental conservation, restoration, and management. Q?rius Theater, 6-7:30 p.m. This event is free, but registration is requested.  

Feb. 21- OrKID Family Festival  
Join us for an exciting festival of orchids! See, smell, and touch beautiful orchids in a variety of activities to celebrate the Museum’s newest exhibition, “Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty.”
This is a drop-in event. Q?rius, ground floor 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Feb. 22 - The Skeleton and the Skin
Annet Couwenberg is a fiber artist whose artwork is based on the concept of clothing as a metaphor for examining the precarious balance between the body/skeleton and the outer membrane/skin. Fish curator Lynne Parenti studies the comparative anatomy and distribution of tropical freshwater and coastal marine fishes mainly from Southeast Asia. Annet and Lynne worked together during the summer of 2014 for a unique fellowship experience studying the Division of Fishes' collections through the lenses of both art and science. Join us as they exhibit their work and discuss what they discovered and how they learned from each other. This event is free, but registration is requested. Q?rius Theater, 2-4 p.m.

Feb. 23 - Expert is In: Meiofauna - A Miniature Zoo in a Dish
A huge diversity of animals — thousands of species — glide, swim, and crawl their way unseen through the watery space between grains of sand on beaches around the world, surviving pounding waves (and feet) and churning sand. The catch? You need a microscope to see them. Smithsonian marine biologist Jon Norenburg provides beach sand and live animals; bring your own "Q?riosity." This is a drop-in event. Q?rius Barbara and Craig Barrett Lab, 2-4 p.m.

Feb. 28 - National Invasive Species Awareness Day Festival
Learn about the impacts, challenges, and possible solutions to invasive species. A few activities will also take place in Q?rius jr., the O. Orkin Insect Zoo, and the Sant Ocean Hall.

  • Expert Is In: The Nutria Nightmare  
    Join Lianne Hibbert and Stephen Kendrot (USDA Environmental Risk and Analysis Service) to learn about the impacts of invasive species with a focus on nutria and the efforts being made to reverse the impacts of this semi-aquatic rodent. This is a drop-in event. Q?rius, Basecamp, 12-3 p.m.
  • Expert Is In: Hungry Pests and the Creep with a Mission
    Invasive pests are non-native species that feed on agricultural crops, trees, and other plants. These “hungry pests” have cost the U.S. billions of dollars. People are the biggest influence when it comes to introducing and spreading invasive pests, but people are also the solution. Learn from Abby Powell (USDA Animal, Plant, and Inspection Service) how to do your part to leave hungry pests behind. This is a drop-in event. Q?rius, Basecamp, 12-3 p.m.
  • Expert Is In: Crustacean Invasion Frustration
    Meet Smithsonian invertebrate zoologist Amanda Windsor and post-doctoral fellow Nat Evans as they explore the diversity and distribution of invasive crustaceans (such as crabs and crawfish) around the world, with a focus on the U.S. East Coast. This is a drop-in event. Q?rius Barbara and Craig Barrett Lab, 12-3 p.m.
Categories: Q?rius News
--> -->