Author Archives: Sternberg Museum

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After School Adventures and Activities Program

Our After school Adventures and Activities program will be resuming Tuesday, August 29th from 3:30-5:00pm.
Here is a look at our fall after school program schedule:

August 29: Welcome to Our Museum!

September 5: Baby Animals

September 12: Animals at Night

September 19: Migration

September 26: Why Do Leaves Change Color?

October 3: DINOSAURS!

October 10: Rocket Science

October 17: The Nature of Costumes

October 24: Pumpkins!

October 31: No afterschool Program- Spooktacular

November 7: Hibernation

November 14: Avian Dinosaurs

November 21: No Program (Thanksgiving Break)

November 28: Cambrian Critters

December 5: Snow!

December 12: The Science Behind the Holidays (last program for fall 2017)

Afterschool Program will resume on January 9

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Brian Jarvi’s African Menagerie

The backstory of AFRICAN MENAGERIE consists of a calculated subtext intended to dramatize the urgency of the moment to save not just the great iconic species of Africa, but also wildlife across all of our shrinkingly-diverse enironmentally-threatened planet.

In Brian Jarvi’s African Menagerie, a museum tour produced by David J. Wagner LLC, “seven large panoramic panels form a sweeping, grand panorama of the African savannah and the animal kingdom contained therein.” Jarvi’s work was featured in an article by Todd Wilkinson written for the MAHB Art Blog: Wildlife Art as a Rallying Cry in a Time of Mass Extinction. You can learn more about African Menagerie through the exhibition prospectus.

The tour will be taking African Menagerie to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University in Kansas from October 1- December 21, 2017. From there it will continue on to museums in New Jersey and Ohio.


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The Sternberg Museum of Natural History and Eagle Communications will be hosting Spooktacular! on Halloween, October 31 from 3:00 to 4:30.


Come to the museum in costume and trick or treat through the exhibits.


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Sternberg Camps: Returning Students

Sternberg Museum Science Camp Students Find Their Inner Selves in the Outdoors

Hays, KS – Most of us find intrinsic joy in being out in nature, and for some, thinking about the science of the natural world brings them even more joy. Middle and high school students who are fascinated by science topics like why there are so many species or how animals live in severe environments can satisfy that curiosity at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History Science Camps. Each summer, David Levering, Director of Education at the Sternberg, leads camps in which students can immerse themselves in paleontology and biology.


The camps are equal parts education and adventure. Camp students have explored the sparkling white sands in the Chihuahuan Desert, stunning rock formations at Arches National Park, and areas full of fossils right here in western Kansas.

VIRB Picture

Over the past three years, the Sternberg has offered Field Naturalist Camp and Paleontology Expedition Camp for middle school students, and Southwest Biology Camp and Sternberg Paleontology Camp for high school students. The two paleontology camps make use of the rich fossil resources in Kansas, while Field Naturalist Camp takes students to Utah, and Southwest Biology Camp take students New Mexico.

The benefits of attending one of the camps are many. Jackson Stanton, a high school student from Hays who participated in the Southwest Biology Camp said, “I have found a calling for my life.” Stanton plans to pursue a career in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles.


For Emiri White, a middle school student who attended the Paleontology Expedition Camp, getting to find and identify fossils the way a paleontologist would was a “great learning experience.” White added, “That was probably the part I most enjoyed about the camp.”

The popularity of the camps is due to how they are structured. Camp students learn science techniques by being allowed to try them out for themselves. It’s not uncommon for a camp student to hold a wild bat or dig out part of a mosasaur fossil – under supervision, of course.


At first some students may feel a bit unsure or uncomfortable working outside, holding animals, or operating equipment. Those feelings quickly fade as students get practice doing these new techniques in a safe environment. After returning from camp, students reported feeling more confident when approaching new challenges.

Levering and the other camp instructors welcome and encourage questions from participants, and hold regular discussions to enrich each student’s understanding of science. These conversations complement the field-based portions of the camps by building the educational foundation behind the activities in which students take part. “This [structure] sets our program apart from the way other programs operate,” Levering said.

The instructors also talk about college and career paths – topics that are especially timely for the high schoolers. Christopher Noll, a student from California, participated in the Sternberg Paleontology Camp and didn’t expect to hear about these topics, but commended the instructors for talking about them. “I am better prepared for college in general having spent . . . two weeks at camp,” Noll said.

In addition to the regular biology and paleontology camps in 2017, the Sternberg will offer Expedition: Ecuador Camp, featuring a trip to the Andes Mountains during which students will observe and document the unique plant and animal life in the region.




Maggie Wolf of Kansas City is planning on attending the Expedition: Ecuador Camp. Ecuador is home to hundreds of amphibian and reptile species, hundreds of mammal species, and over a thousand bird species (many of which, Wolf is eagerly looking forward to seeing). Getting to explore an area with such biodiversity is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the camp students. Wolf said, “I’ve never been to an area like where we will be going and the animals will be entirely new to me, so I can’t wait to see all there is to see!”

Next summer will be Wolf’s third year in a row of attending one of the Sternberg Museum Science camps. In fact, a number of students – “camp veterans” – come back year after year. Wolf said that she benefited from returning because she was able to ask “more informed and thoughtful questions” about the topics that interested her. Arabelle Konrad, another camp veteran from Michigan, said having prior knowledge from the previous year made getting into the swing of things easier the second time around. “I still remembered the fundamentals and I knew what to expect when out in the field,” Konrad said.

Sternberg Paleontology Camp 2015

The students also enjoy seeing friends they’ve made in previous years and creating new friendships. “We all are interested in biology,” Wolf said. That common interest keeps the camp students learning and growing together.

Registration for the 2017 Sternberg Museum Science Camps is now open at If you are interested in supporting the camps, visit the donations page:

Story written by Medhavi Ambardar (adjunct professor of biology, FHSU).

BySternberg Museum

KAS – 2017

  April 7-8 2017


Welcome to the 2017 KAS meeting at Fort Hays State University! We are proud to host the meeting this year and are excited to see you there!

Opening Dinner

This year the opening dinner will be held at Fort Hays State University’s Sternberg Museum of Natural History. The dinner will be Friday evening at 7:00pm.!

The museum is located at 3000 Sternberg Dr. in Hays.

Get Directions


Keynote Speakers – TBA

The meetings will be on the FHSU campus at Tomanek Hall.

Get Directions


Let us know what you would like to present! Please submit your abstract using the button below .



To register for the meeting and join us this year, just click on the button below and fill out the form.

Field Trips

We will be offering field trips throughout the afternoon on Friday. Choose your own adventure!  All of the field trips will end before the opening dinner.

4-6pm Collections tours of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History

  • 4-5pm will be a zoology collections tour with Curtis Schmidt – Zoology Collections Manager
  • 5-6pm will be a tour of the paleontology collections with Dr. Laura Wilson – Curator of Paleontology and Assistant Professor of Geosciences.

2:30-4pm Bird watching at Cheyenne Bottoms

  • With Curtis Wolf – Manager of Kansas Wetlands Education Center.

3-5pm Water issues in Hays, Kansas

  • With Dr. Kenneth Neuhauser – Professor of Geosciences

11am-5pm Paleontology field trip to the historic Fish-Within-a-Fish site,

  • With Mike Everhart, Adjunct Curator of Paleontology at the Sternberg Museum.
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Darwin Day at the Sternberg Museum

FREE DAY at the Sternberg Museum! This Sunday February 12 from 1-5pm!

Join us at the Sternberg Museum for 5 family friendly topics: Natural Selection, Mutation, Migration, Sexual Selection, and Evolution. We will have examples and information at stations and presentations set up as well as games and activities!

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FREE Day! Darwin Day

FREE DAY at the Sternberg Museum! This Sunday February 12 for 1-5pm!

Join us at the Sternberg Museum for 5 different topics: Natural Selection, Mutation, Migration, Sexual Selection, and Evolution. We will have examples and information at stations and presentations set up as well as games and activities!

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Bee-lieve It Or Not!

Bee-lieve It or Not!

The Secret Lives of Honey Bees

January 28 – April 2, 2017

Exhibit highlights:

    • Learn what makes a honey bee a honey bee
    • Discover why pollination is important
    • Read about threats to honey bees
    • Play a video game and learn who is a pollinator
    • Uncover the differences between bees and wasps
    • Learn about honey and beeswax

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Beginning Beekeeping Classes

Print and fill out the registration form and bring it in to the museum or call today to pre-register! Registration will reserve your spot and classes are filling up fast so HURRY UP!

February 18 – 19 and 25 – 26, 2017
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
$10.00 registration fee, $5.00 for Sternberg Museum Members

Course will be taught in two part intervals, parts 1 on Saturdays and part 2 on Sundays. You do not need to take each part in order – (example, if you can make Sunday Feb. 19, but not Saturday Feb. 18, you can participate in part 1 the following weekend).  The course will be held at the Sternberg Museum in the Engel Education Classroom on the 3rd floor.

The course is basic in nature, with a reasonable amount of details to get you a good understanding of getting started with keeping bees in central/western Kansas. 

We will discuss:

  1. Beekeeping tools and equipment
    2. Hive components
    3.  Locating your hives
    4.  Installing bees and inspecting their progress
    5.  Basic pest management
    6.  Progressing with the hive from late winter/early spring through fall
    7.  Hobby and business opportunities
    8.  Membership in State and local bee associations

We will not discuss:

  1. Top Bar Hive management
    2. Warre Hive management
    3.  Honey Flow Hive
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Summer Science Camps Survey

Please take just a few minutes to tell us what you think about the science camps we are currently offering as well as what camps you would like to see in the future! We want to make sure the best camps are offered based on your opinions and the wants of you  and/or your kids!

How interested are you or your child/student in our Sternberg Museum Summer Science Camps?

How interested would you be in a 3-4 day Paleontology or Biology Camp, in the state of Kansas, if we were to offer it?

In a 1 week Paleontology or Biology Camp in the state of Kansas?

In a 2 week Paleontology or Biology Camp in the state of Kansas?

In a 2 week Paleontology or Biology Camp outside of the state of Kansas?

In a 2 week International High School Biology Camp? (Outside of the U.S.)

How interested are you in applying for financial aid for any of the above camps if it is available? (This could be for partial or complete coverage of the associated costs)