Bean Museum animal shows educate all ages


The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum on the BYU campus offers daily live animal shows free of charge to the public.

“We want to provide our community with a fun and educational experience that will help them learn and appreciate the world around them,” Education Administrator Katy Knight said.

These nightly classes are intended to teach grade levels in connection with Utah Science State Core Curriculum as well as instill in guests an interest in nature.

“First, I love interacting with animals and wildlife. Second, I like getting other people excited about wildlife too,” Bean Museum educator Josh Day said.

Bean Museum staff allow guests to not only observe animals but pet them as well.

“It was fun. I liked the turtle because it had a hard shell,”  4-year-old Peter Detling said after attending a live animal show with his family.

Free shows are held for the public in the museum each weekday at 7:30 p.m. Additional shows are offered at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

The shows normally last about 30 to 45 minutes.

“Every year, over 50,000 people will see a live animal show at the Bean Museum. Most people come and visit us in the spring and summer months,” Education Staff Member Brittany Nuttall said.

Bean Museum shows

There are eight different shows offered in the Bean Museum. Typically, each day of the week offers a different show.

Vertebrate Variety shows are held on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. at 3 p.m. It is a show for audiences of all ages. Attendees will learn to classify animals into five vertebrate classes — fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The animals featured in this show are chosen from among a frog, tarantula, cockroach, a lizard, snake or turtle.

Adaptations shows are held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. The show focuses on helping students at a fifth-grade-education level examine how plants and animals adapt and how this can help species survive. The three animals featured in this show are chosen from among a tarantula, frog, turtle or snake.

Utah’s Diversity shows are held on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. It is designed for a fourth-grade audience and helps guests recognize the different ecosystems in Utah, which include wetlands, forests and deserts. Guests will learn why certain specimen are more likely to be found in one area than another. The animals featured in this show are a frog, a snake and either a tarantula or lizard.

Classification shows are held on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. This show allows first-graders the chance to understand the scientific process of classifying animals. The three animals featured in this show are chosen from among a cockroach, tarantula, turtle, snake, lizard or frog.

Other shows include Animal Discovery, Animal Comparisons, Habitat Hunters and Nature Interactions.

Animal Discovery is designed for preschool-aged children. Guests play a game with a museum worker to discover new things about animals. The three animals featured in this show are chosen from among a cockroach, a frog, a lizard, a turtle or a snake.

Animal Comparisons was designed in connection with the curriculum for kindergartners. It will allow attendees to sort animals based on differences in animal form and function, through a study of body parts, body coverings and specialized senses. The three animals featured in this show are chosen from among a tarantula, frog, lizard, turtle or snake.

Habitat Hunters is designed for second-grade education and allows attendees to learn about different habitats and why certain plants and animals thrive in that environment. The animals featured in this show are a cockroach, a frog, and either a lizard, snake or turtle.

Nature Interactions teaches about the food chain and how creatures interact with one another. Attendees will learn about how plants and animals mutually and beneficially interact. The three animals featured in this show are a lizard, turtle and frog.

With a variety of shows, all ages and grade levels can find something entertaining and educational.

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