We need your help to #RockTheMuseum!

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We’ve got great news—a generous donor has given us a matching grant challenge to raise funds for technology upgrades at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. Dr. Gene Meieran, an Intel Fellow and avid mineral collector, will match all public donations dollar-for-dollar up to $6000 to reach this goal by July 31, 2016.

Your contribution towards this challenge will go toward new computers and network systems critical for our daily operations, collections care, education, and outreach.

Every year, more than 10,000 school children from around Oregon and Washington tour the museum as part of their earth science programs. The museum also provides natural science outreach programs to over 30 schools and groups annually. Built in 1953 and incorporated as the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in 1996, the museum is now a Smithsonian Affiliate and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  It is also the #1 attraction to visit in Hillsboro, Oregon, according to TripAdvisor.

You helped make those things happen. But we still have more work to do.

We need your financial support now more than ever.

This exciting matching challenge is a launch pad for a series of micro-campaigns that will arise throughout the year to help revitalize and #RockTheMuseum. The challenge focuses on our highest priority of needs: technology upgrades.

Currently, the museum’s computers are way past their shelf life. We need to upgrade the technology, network, and Internet infrastructure to be more efficient and secure and to improve our educational programs.

Our museum’s mission is to engage, inspire, and educate generations on the splendor and complexity of our Earth. Whether you contribute $25 or $2500, your donation will help the Rice Museum stay on the leading edge of science education.

Donate today with PayPal, mail a check, drop one off, or contact Julian Gray at the museum by July 31 to ensure we meet our matching donation goal. The Rice Northwest Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

Summer Fest August 6-7, 2016

Our annual Summer Fest 2016 will be at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Saturday and Sunday, August 6-7, 2016. This year will be bigger than ever! The hours are 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is only $5, and kids 17 and under are FREE.

Geodes and other minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booth.The outdoor festival features a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, and fossil dealers. We will have food, music, and plenty of fun family activities. Of course, our favorites Fred and Wilma Flintstone will be rolling in on the famous Flintmobile to give “rides” to children and adults.

Rock clubs from around the region will be offering wonderful educational displays, demonstrations, and activities.

The road construction is complete so you will have no problem finding your way through the new interchange at Highway 26 and Helvetia.

Come early and stay the whole day. The entire museum will be open during this event, so you can explore all our displays after browsing vendors’ tents and creating a “pet rock.” Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the refreshments at the museum. It’s a perfect event to spend with friends and family. Bring them all!

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Northwest and American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Event in Albany, Oregon

Precious gems and minerals on display in vendor's booth.Oregon state is privileged this year to be honored with the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies Federation Show at the same time as the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies holds their region meeting in Albany, Oregon, July 29-31, 2016. The event is at the Linn County Fair Grounds and Expo Building just off I-5.

Presented by the Willamette Agate and Mineral Society, this year’s theme is “Treasures of the Northwest.”

Rarely do the two federations come together for a single event, so we are honored to have some of the best geologists, collectors, and rock hounds share their passion with so many in one place.

There will be over 200 display cases, and a vast variety of vendors, lectures, daily field trips to a local petrified wood locale, and a silent auction to help raise money for the group. The schedule (pdf) is packed for each day.

Some of the speakers’ topics include a learning about the fossils of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, studying rocks from a microscopic view, learning more about the newly discovered thalattosaurs, coastal rockhounding, petrified wood, and more.

There are local hotels and campgrounds offering show discounts if you are heading for the full event.

The Rice Museum representatives will be there and we hope to see you there, too!

Now Hiring Executive Assistant Position

This position is closed.  Thank you for your interest.

Do you have great administrative and customer service skills? Apply to join our team here at the museum as an Executive Assistant to our director. This role is essential to our daily museum operations and includes a variety of scheduling and correspondence tasks, as well as assisting visiting school groups and the general public.

Rice Rock and Mineral Museum Rated #1 on TripAdvisor

Thundereggs on exhibit at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals.The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has earned a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor and is rated the #1 attraction in Hillsboro.  Read the reviews on TripAdvisor to find out why, out of 52 things to see and do in Hillsboro, they said:

“You absolutely need to take time to see this museum if you are in the Portland area.”

Visitors were impressed with the “unbelievable collection and friendly staff,” and said it’s “perfect for all members of the family.”

“Birdguy” wrote:

Our group of six visited here because two of us are very interested in rocks and minerals. Well, it turned out to be a trip favorite for everyone. The collection is simply amazing and very well displayed. The history and architecture of the house are interesting as well. The staff was very welcoming and the grounds are beautiful, with some local wildlife making appearances. It’s hard to describe how surprisingly fascinating this place turns out to be.

Like many of us rock lovers, we have families who tolerate our enthusiasm. Read this from “maxpaste:”

Being the only rockhound in the family, my suggestion of visiting this museum was greeted with a healthy bit of skepticism by the family. However, when we were done everyone agreed it was well worth the stop. This is an amazing collection of rocks and minerals. In fact I can’t recall another museum I have visited that contained anything close to this. The fact that it’s all maintained in a house from the 1950s adds to the charm. We spent an hour here, which was the right amount of time for non-rockhounds. I could have spent another hour.

Better yet, come visit the museum and see for yourself!

Thanks to all who’ve taken time to give us such great reviews. If you’d like to join the chorus, you can review us on TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Google Reviews.

Zircons are Forever at OMSI SciPub

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Zoned zircon at 200x magnification. Image courtesy Union College.

Curator Leslie Moclock will be giving this month’s OMSI Science Pub lecture at the Venetian Theatre & Bistro in Hillsboro, OR.

Everyone knows that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. But have you ever wondered how we figured out that number? Come discover the secrets of geochronology and learn how scientists determine the age of rocks and fossils. From maps and sledgehammers to radioactive crystals and cutting-edge electronics, this talk illuminates the tools and techniques used to investigate the history of our Earth.

Date: Monday, June 27

Time: 7-9 PM

$5 suggested cover charge

Venetian Theatre  & Bistro
253 E. Main St., Hillsboro, Oregon

Meteorite and Family Fun Day this Saturday, June 4

Come join us this Saturday for talks and activities about rocks from outer space. Dick Pugh of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory will be bringing an extensive collection of meteorites for visitors to touch after his talks at 11 AM and 1 PM.

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Ever wonder where meteorites come from, or why they make fireballs in the sky? Do you want to go meteorite hunting, or do you perhaps already have a rock you suspect might be a meteorite? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Talks are great for families and people of all ages.

Kids’ activities will also be taking place throughout the day.

Admission is reduced to $5 for all ages and includes entrance to the museum all day (10 AM – 5 PM).

Julian Gray Featured on KUIK Radio

Executive Director, Julian Gray, was recently interviewed on KUIK Radio by Hillsboro, Oregon, Chamber of Commerce President, Deanna Palm.

Julian discussed the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and why it is so popular and recognized internationally. He spoke about the history of the museum and how it inspires children today to become rockhounds, collectors, geologists, and scientists through its school tours and educational programs and events.

This is an excerpt from the full show featuring Julian Gray on YouTube.

Here is the full show.

Rice NW Museum Awarded Grant from the Cultural Coalition of Washington County

The Rice NW Museum of Rocks & Minerals is the proud recipient of a grant recently awarded by the Cultural Coalition of Washington County. The funds will promote community access with document translations. Creating Spanish-language documents such as self-guided museum tour pamphlets will enhance visitor accessibility within our diverse community.

The Cultural Coalition is the re-granting board of the Oregon Cultural Trust in Washington County. Monies donated to the Cultural Trust come back to Washington County and are distributed as grants to Cultural non-profits per the Washington County Cultural Plan. These grants help promote the cultural identity, quality of life and economic vitality of Washington County and its arts, heritage and humanities organizations.
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