Sign Up Your Kids: Discover dinosaurs, explore Yellowstone with free NC Museum of Natural Sciences' virtual programs
The museum's free hour-long weekly programs are designed for kid and include an instructor-led activity.Posted — Updated
It's been months since kids and families have been able to pack into the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh for a few hours of exploration, education and fun.
But, soon after the museum closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it quickly shifted to offering lots of virtual activities for the kids and families who normally would be filling its halls.
"It's a live program, and they can interact and chat and comment," said Martha Fisk, the museum's coordinator of off-site and virtual programs. "It's a nice break in the daily routine."
In July, the topics for the museum's virtual classroom are:
- Dinosaur Discovery, July 7. Instructors will use real and replica fossil specimens to teach participants about the world of dinosaurs.
- Exploring Yellowstone National Park, July 14. Learn about the wonders of the world's first national park and what makes it special.
- The Salamander State, July 21. Learn about the life cycles of these "slimy, secretive neighbors."
- Box Turtle Science, July 28. Get the facts on North Carolina's state reptile.
My 10-year-old took part in one of the programs last month about Invisible Ink and had an absolute blast. The program explored how spies during the American Revolution would write messages in invisible ink to George Washington.
That program had an instructor-led hands-on activity, but most offer engaging discussion about a topic and the opportunity for participants to ask questions, Fisk said. For parents like me who continue to work from home, it's a great way to add a little education into these long, weird summer days.
Fisk said the museum will continue these Tuesday morning sessions through the end of August and then evaluate what's next.
- Virtual Trivia Tuesdays, which could be fun for families with older kids.
- Exclusive programming for members. Upcoming programs include a close-up with tropical animals for all ages and another about parasites for ages 8 and up. (You can join the museum now to take part in the programs.)
- Regular updates to its YouTube page.
"We have really enjoyed our virtual programs with individuals and families," Fisk tells me. "Helping people connect with nature and science is the highlight of our jobs, and we have missed our visitors."
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.