Bean museum hosts science program for children

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    By Julia Burgon

    The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum was full of life on Saturday, May 10, as children from Utah County participated in Saturday Safari, a series of fun-filled science courses for kids.

    Saturday Safari, a program hosted by employees and volunteers of the museum, was created to help children, ages five to ten, gain a greater understanding for science and the world around them.

    “It includes a lot of hands-on activities and brings the kids closer to science,” said Leanna Holman, one of the head instructors for Saturday Safari.

    Last weekend”s class was the first of a five-week series. Classes are every Saturday 9:30 a.m. to noon through June 7. Participants must register one week prior to the course. Each class costs $8 and includes a lesson, hands-on activities, crafts and a snack. The museum is located on 1430 North between the Marriott Center and Deseret Towers the Carillon Bell tower is across the street. Parking is on the north side of the Museum.

    The classes offer children an opportunity to explore the world of science by studying different topics including: swamp life, colorful creatures, predators and prey, plants and animals of Hawaii and creatures of the night.

    Sally Harker has brought her seven-year-old son, Daniel Harker, to participate in museum activities since last September.

    “He loves animals and they go into detail,” Harker said. “The arts and crafts and hands-on learning is great.”

    Last weekend”s class, titled Swamp Thing, hosted by several volunteer employees of the museum, explored bogs, marshes, wetlands and swamps with the students.

    “We learned about swamps and what lives in swamps,” said Jessica Cordner, a seven-year-old participant as she created her own swamp made of sticks, colored paper, play dough and leaves.

    “My favorite part was learning about the turtles and the crocodiles,” said seven-year-old Hannah Ahlander, who hopes to participate again in the class this weekend.

    Saturday Safari has been hosted by BYU”s life science museum for over five years and has experienced full classes almost every week, said Kara Wilkey an office secretary of the museum. The majority of participants come from Utah County, but there are also several out-of-state participants who are in Utah visiting relatives, she said.

    Classes are organized and hosted by Ryan Whitaker and Holman, both employees of the museum.

    “We come up with our own plans, crafts and ideas,” said Holman, who has hosted Saturday Safari for four years. “I”ve been doing it so long that I keep coming up with new ideas.”

    The museum was opened to the public in 1978 and houses collections of vascular and non vascular plants, invertebrate and vertebrate animals made available to researchers, educators and the public.

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