Marion Natural History Museum After-School Programs

The Marion Natural History Museum will offer the following programs through the winter and spring:

January 24: Rain Gutter Regatta with engineer Mark Whalen. Participants will be developing a model sailing vessel to “race the clock” as well as each other. The program includes pre-event discussion and demonstration of sailboat engineering and design: buoyancy, stability, lift and drag forces. Program is limited to 20; please register early.

February 14: Whales of Buzzards Bay with Woods Hole marine mammal biologist Michael Moore. Dr. Moore will discuss the biology of whales we might see along our coast, with special focus on the humpback whale. He’ll speak about how the current population of this species is faring and what we may or may not see in years to come. This program promises to be an exciting opportunity to ask Dr. Moore questions about these animals and explore some of the museum’s relevant collections.

February 28: BARK! Have you ever noticed how trees have different types of bark? Some smooth, some deeply furrowed, but all serve an important purpose. Let’s learn a little about tree identification using characteristics other than leaves.

March 14: Animal Track, Scat and Sign Basics. Gnawed wood, deer scat, and animal tracks left in the snow or mud. Come join us for a fun-filled adventure to learn about different animal tracks, how animals move, and the signs animals leave behind.

March 28: Designing with sticks and stones. Have you ever built a fort out of sticks? Some people might consider that a form of art as well as cover. We’ll be looking at examples of different arrangements of simple items from nature (sand, rocks, twigs, leaves) to create art, and attempt to create a simple piece ourselves.

April 4: Backyard Bugs. Together we will take a closer look into our own backyards at the world of insects. We will explore some of the insects we might find and how they have overcome challenges we would never consider. Come join us as we dive into the mysterious and misunderstood micro-cosmos of the insect world with Blake Dinius, Entomologist with Plymouth County Cooperative Extension

April 11: Early spring bird walk. Join us while we learn about some of the birds we see at our feeders or only glimpse briefly in flight. Justin Barrett, from the Nasketucket Bird Club, will be leading our walk. Please dress warmly.

April 25: Let’s dive into vernal pools. Let’s study these temporary natural nurseries. We will be using microscopes and magnifiers to take a close look at some of the plants and animals that rely on this important habitat (they will be returned to the same pool they came from).

May 9: Bird Island trip with Isaac Perry and the Marion Harbormaster’s office. We will see the habitat of some of the world’s rarest birds. This program fills very fast so please register early!

May 16: This IS rocket science! Join us while learning about propulsion and lift with Mike Cronin. Each child will have his/her own rocket with motor to assemble and set off. The cost for this program is $20 per participant. Submit payment to Marion Natural History Museum. Space is limited to 12 children. The program is limited to children ages 6 and older, on a first-come, first-served basis. Parent volunteers are encouraged to help with rocket assembly. For more information, go to

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