Penn Museum and the Philadelphia Science Festival

PSFLogoAs a Founding Partner and a core collaborator of the third annual Philadelphia Science Festival, Penn Museum participates in a range of "Be Curious" activities around the city, and this year hosts a "signature" program that features a hands-on look at the often behind-the-scenes science of conservation.

The citywide Philadelphia Science Festival, a 10-day celebration of science and technology in everyday places, runs April 18 through 28, 2013. Asking Philadelphians to question the world around them, the Festival, one of the first of its kind in the country, aims to create homegrown citizen scientists, and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. More than 105 partners are working together to produce the Festival, presented by The Dow Chemical Company and organized by The Franklin Institute.

Inside the Penn Museum:

2007 10 04 UPenn Museum - 0084Long Live Our Treasures:
The Science of Conservation and Preservation
Wednesday, April 24, 5:00 - 8:00 pm.
A Signature Event of this year's festival, Long Live Our Treasures takes place in the Penn Museum's third floor galleries. Seventeen partnering organizations—including the Mütter Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Barnes Foundation, and the Art Conservators Alliance—join together to share conservation science stories at demonstrations, hands on activities, and in short talks. Leading researchers and conservators show and tell how museums preserve their most precious artifacts—mummies, photographs, textiles, films, and even living specimens—and how anyone can preserve their own personal treasures.

Penn Museum's own public conservation project and ongoing exhibition, In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies, stays open, with the conservator ready to talk about her months' long work "in the fishbowl" where the public can watch her activities and see her progress. Tickets for Long Live our Treasures are just $6 in advance from the PSF website; $12 on the day of the event. Teachers with valid ID pay $5 at the event.

"Be Curious" with the Penn Museum at the following events held around the city:

Science Carnival on the Parkway
Saturday, April 20, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
The science festival free carnival features more than 100 exhibitors offering non-stop, family-friendly experiments, interactive activities, games, and a packed line-up of live entertainment. Penn Museum joins with a "What in the World Is This?" booth featuring "The Wheel of Context." Guests can think like an anthropologist and test deduction skills while examining artifacts through time and across continents. They'll be asked to guess the function of an object based on clues, in a game where everyone can contribute ideas and perspectives.

ClarkParkClark Park Science Discovery Day
Saturday, April 27, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
This West Philadelphia science festival offers neighbors a chance to connect with science in their own favorite park. Penn Museum joins in, with an opportunity to explore animals in the ancient world, with touchable skeletal remains. Visitors can learn how to identify animal bones found in an archaeological dig.

Science Day at the Ball Park
Citizens Bank Park
Thursday, April 25, 1:05 pm
Penn Museum offers an exploration of the wide world of ancient sports and games, at an interactive station where Phillies fans can check out a ball associated with the Maya ball game, learn more about the ancient Greek Olympics, and more.

Liver, Beans, and Dice: The Ancient (and Modern) Science of Fortune Telling
Friday, April 26, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
The Clay Studio
139 N. Second S Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Once upon a time, people commonly thought that fortune telling (divination) was a science. Guests are invited to practice some fortune telling, while examining both ancient and current forms of divination, at an event that explores the actual science behind the ways that were (and still are) used to divine our fates. Penn Museum Research Associate Jean Macintosh Turfa, an archaeologist specializing in the Etruscan culture, and Jonathan Seitz, an historian of early modern religion, science and magic, lead the way. $10.

Neighborhood Science with the Penn Museum at the Free Library:

Mummies and Mummification and A Day With Ancient Greece
Monday, April 22, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Independence Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia
18 S. 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19105
Guests of all ages explore ancient science and technology, hands-on, with opportunities to touch mummification tools of the trade, crank an Archimedes water screw, dress like a Greek warrior, and more. Paul Mitchell, Masters in Biological Anthropology candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, and Joe Balmos, Penn Museum volunteer and director of the educational non-profit A Day with Ancient Greece, present.

A Day With Ancient Greece
Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Oak Lane Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia
6614 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19126
Guests of all ages explore ancient science and technology, hands-on, with opportunities to learn about ancient Greek warfare and dress a soldier; discover how the ancient Greeks pumped water as you work an Archimedes water screw, and more. Joe Balmos, Penn Museum volunteer and director of the educational non-profit A Day with Ancient Greece, presents.

About the Penn Museum:

Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.

Photo captions (top): Project conservator Molly Gleeson documents the condition of a falcon mummy. Two mummified human heads are visible in the foreground. In the Artifact Lab brings visitors into a Museum conservator's world with the opportunity to see conservators at work on Egyptian artifacts from the Museum's own collection. Photo by Jim Graham. (Bottom) Visitors to the Clark Park Science Discovery Day can learn about animals in the ancient world through touchable skeletal remains. Photo: Penn Museum.


3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000


Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
First Wednesdays: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Monday: CLOSED


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