February 8, 2020 10:11:10 PM
For the fourth consecutive year, Mississippi State's Museums and Galleries Committee is presenting Science Night at the Museums.
Free and open to all, the interactive event is Feb. 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at various locations in Hilbun Hall, Harned Hall and the Cobb Institute of Archaeology.
Amy Moe-Hoffman, committee chair and MSU geology instructor, said the event offers visitors a wide array of hands-on activities.
"Participants can do everything from holding a live tarantula to watching chemical reactions," she said.
The Dunn-Seiler Museum, located in Hilbun Hall, and the Lois Dowdle Cobb Museum of Archaeology, located in the Cobb Institute of Archaeology, will be open for tours and showcase MSU's research across various scientific disciplines. Featured specimens on display include portions of Dunn-Seiler's mosasaur skeleton, a 65-billion-year-old marine reptile that was found in the area last year.
New this year is the inclusion of Harned Hall, which will highlight biological disciplines such as ornithology, botany, microscopy, microbiology and evolutionary biology.
Hilbun Hall will showcase MSU's research in fields such as chemistry, entomology, forest products, geology, paleontology, history, meteorology, physics and astronomy.
Featured this year is musician Bob Swanson, also known as the "Singing Weatherman." An instructor in MSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy, Swanson will perform a science-themed song set for the event.
Other planned activities include a science-themed photo booth and the Science Hall of Fame, featuring portraits of noteworthy individuals with significant contributions to various fields. A local Girl Scout troop will provide science-themed activities for children ages 2 to 5 years old.
Moe-Hoffman said the event is an opportunity for students and community members of all ages to experience almost everything the sciences have to offer.
"I hope that young people, including MSU students, walk away realizing science is a very broad term for a lot of different disciplines. There are so many different career options and opportunities available," Moe-Hoffman said. "The sciences are diverse, and so are the people who practice them. There's truly something for everyone."
Last year's event drew approximately 2,000 visitors from across the state.
MSU's Museums and Galleries Committee oversees the operations of numerous and diverse multidisciplinary museums and research collections. For more on the event or the university's museums and galleries, visit museums.msstate.edu and @msstatemuseumsgalleries on Facebook.
Moe-Hoffman may be reached at [email protected]