Tired and frustrated with the cold? Well then, warm up with the “Heat Wave Weekend” at the Academy of Natural Sciences! Starting this month, the Academy will host themed weekends where children and adults alike can make crafts, watch live animal shows, discern dinosaurs and other specimens, engage in interactive activities and view special presentations. “Heat Wave Weekend” provides Philadelphia with the distinct opportunity to discover some of the hottest habitats on earth and learn how animals adapt themselves to extreme temperatures that exist on our planet. You can also make a sun catcher craft to bring the sunshine home with you!
To incorporate the “heat-wave” theme, the museum has displayed a variety of exhibits. The migrators exhibit shows a number of animals from North America that migrate for food, mating or simply a warmer climate. This display is interactive and incorporates maps and artifacts, including that of a zebra skull. Children can view the claws and fur of polar bears, as well as learn about their adaptability to the environment.
The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 and is America’s oldest natural history museum. It is a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research. Its main mission is to carry out research within our natural world and explore ways to share this information with the people through interactive exhibits and educational programming. One of the main goals of the Academy is that of patent research and the spread of information to the public. Ted Daeschler is the associate curator and chair of vertebrate zoology at the Academy. Daeschler’s current research program in vertebrate paleontology focuses on the vertebrate fauna of the Late Devonian Period in eastern North America. The research involves active fossil collecting, systematic work focusing on freshwater vertebrates, and the nature of early nonmarine ecosystems.
Additionally, the Academy has an open prep lab where a joint project involving Drexel University and the Academy is taking place. Scientists at Drexel are studying a fossil, while most of the prep work is being done at the lab. Members from both institutions, including professors, graduate students and Academy staff, were involved with the discovery and excavation of this dinosaur.
The “Heat Wave Weekend” takes place Jan. 14-16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Academy is located at the corner of 19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Drexel students with a Cultural Passport can enter for free! Take a break from the cold weather and step into the heat at the Academy. Don’t forget to catch the live animal show!