The new Science Forum brings visitors face-to-face with scientists, providing an informal space for scientist presentations, films, discussions, and more! 

Schedule subject to change.

January Demos

Join us in the Science Forum for 15-20 minute engaging science demonstrations that will help you see the world in a whole new way. Demonstrations are appropriate for visitors ages 5 and above.

How to Become a Fossil
Most Saturdays and Sundays
11:00 a.m.

Explore how fossils form and what parts of animals can become fossilized! How old are the earliest fossils? How old does something have to be before it is considered a fossil? You’ll touch some real fossils, learn the different types of fossil evidence, and discover what is necessary to become a fossil.  Finally, we’ll discuss what kinds of things fossils can tell us, and how fossil casts are made in the museum!  

Life: How do we find it?
Most Saturdays and Sundays
3:00 p.m.

Discover how scientists search for life on other planets. Explore the field of astrobiology and re-evaluate your definition of life. Observe a re-creation of an experiment from the Mars Viking Lander expedition, and learn about what kinds of planets might support life.

February Demos

Join us in the Science Forum for 15-20 minute engaging science demonstrations that will help you see the world in a whole new way. Demonstrations are appropriate for visitors ages 5 and above.

Out of the Water and Back Again: A Whale’s Tale
Most Saturdays and Sundays
11:00 a.m.

Take a journey through deep time as we explore a story that has taken millions of years to unfold, and then examine a brand new discovery!  Where did life begin? How did the first four-footed land animals emerge? And why do fossil whales have feet? Participants examine the museum’s fossil whales and related species as they learn about the evolutionary processes responsible for the diversity of life on earth. After a brief presentation, visitors can make a cast of a tooth from an ancient whale species called Dorudon and help to construct an evolutionary timeline.

Home Sweet H.O.M.E.S.: Exploring the Great Lakes
Most Saturdays and Sundays
3:00 p.m.

Home to 84% of North American surface fresh water, complex ecosystems, and more than 30 million people, the Great Lakes are the backdrop for all life on both of Michigan’s peninsulas. Explore their natural history, current human impact, and the challenges for the future. Can you guess where the oldest fossils are? Or how much of the world’s accessible fresh water the Lakes contain? Join us.

January and February 2020

Most Saturdays and Sundays
1:00 p.m.

Check at the Welcome Desk for schedule.  Join a University of Michigan researcher in the Science Forum for a special peek into cutting-edge research. Interactive presentations last about 15 minutes, with time for conversation afterwards. Presentations are appropriate for ages 5 and up. 

Schedule subject to change.