Aurore Giguet

Collector’s Edge at the Rice Museum

The Museum to excited to host Collector’s Edge Minerals for a special pop-up shopping event on Saturday, November 5. Free with general admission, this event will be your opportunity to view and purchase museum-quality fine minerals. Mineral collectors recognize Collector’s Edge Minerals, Inc. of Golden, Colorado, as one of the world’s premier sources for exquisite, collector-quality mineral specimens. Since 1984, Collector’s Edge has operated numerous large-scale and small-scale mining projects, has purchased significant private mineral collections, and has developed mine-direct sources for mineral specimens all around the globe.

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Woodland Management

The Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals is looking for 2-5 regular volunteers to help maintain our grounds and trail system. Help to keep the museum grounds clean, safe, and inviting for visitors. Tasks would include regularly walking the trails, trimming blackberry and grasses as needed, and other tasks to keep the museum trails clean, safe, and inviting for visitors. Would you like to walk the grounds weekly or monthly to keep them accessible for visitors? Then connect with us by filling out the Volunteer Interest Form. VOLUNTEER INTEREST FORM

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Tucker's Dinosaur Club Members Badge

NEW Online Kids Club

LEARN MORE Tucker’s Dinosaur Club, the Rice Museum’s new kids’ club, launches September 1, 2021. Tucker’s Club is FREE to all but registration is required to become an official member. Members receive free passes to the Museum, an official member badge, and invitations to special club events at the Museum. Every month new activities will be posted to this page, and you’ll receive a reminder by email. For the first twelve months Tucker will present 12 different dinosaurs and club members will get fact sheets, games, and activities to enjoy. This club is perfect for children interested in dinosaurs, junior rockhounds, or those just looking for something new.  This program is supported through a grant from the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council. 

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Special Kids Tour (June 5)

REGISTER NOW Join us on Sunday, June 5 at 10: 30 for a FREE guided tour and reading from local children’s author and illustrator Audrey Sauble. Audrey will be reading from her book, Can a Rock Grow. This nonfiction book explores different rock shapes while explaining how rocks change over time.  After the reading, museum staff will guide you through the Museum.  This program is part of the Rice Museum’s commitment to making earth science education more accessible to the residents of the communities the Museum serves. Advanced registration is required. This is a mixed group (families) tour of up to 25 attendees per program.

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FREE Guided Tour Program Returns

The Museum is offering free guided group tours (guided experiences) from March through November 2022 thanks to a grant from the Juan Young Trust. These limited capacity group tours hit all of the same Next Generation Science Standards as the Museum’s typical school tour program and are lead by the same enthusiastic group of educators. Tours include outdoor activities (weather permitting).  Priority booking is given to families who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. This program is part of the Rice Museum’s commitment to make earth science education more accessible to the residents of the communities the museum serves. The Rice Museum has been bringing informal earth science experiences to the Portland metropolitan area and the surrounding region since 1997.  The Museum is actively seeking funding to expand the free tour program. Donate now to help make this a reality.  Advanced registration is required. These are mixed group (families) tours of up to 25 attendees per program.   BOOK YOUR TOUR TODAY

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Wood pedestal with large 400 pound yellowish topaz

400 LB Topaz Now On Display

The Rice Museum is excited to announce this incredible 400 lb topaz specimen will be on on loan from local collector Gene Meieran through September 2022.  About the specimen: Over 60 years ago, when Gene Meiran was a graduate student at MIT, several large single crystals of topaz were purchased from a mine in Brazil by Alan Caplan, a well-known Brazil specimen collector of the time. These were on display in a Los Angeles gallery and were among nine large topaz crystals purchased by ManLabs, a metallurgical laboratory in Cambridge, MA. All nine crystals were slated to be cut into diffracting crystals and used as x-ray monochromators for x-ray fluorescence analysis machines, some of which were destined for Surveyor lunar moon rock analysis. When Gene saw the large single-crystal specimens, he recognized their exceptional size and quality. He believed that they were too important to be cut into pieces, believing they should be preserved in a museum for everyone to see, enjoy, and perhaps learn a little about the natural world around us. So he persuaded the President of ManLabs to preserve the few that remained uncut. Two were loaned to the Smithsonian, where they remained on display next to the Hope Diamond for years before eventually being donated. And a third uncut crystal was donated to the Harvard Mineral Museum. Fifty years after they were originally put on display, a similar large topaz found in Brazil was offered to Gene, and, still inspired by the memory of the three crystals he saved, he decided to purchase this one for his collection. It was an easy decision, although it is about 400 lbs.

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You Can Help Sustain a Special Place

As we reflect on this season, we are reminded of the importance of coming together and how enjoying museums supports our mental and physical wellness. 2021 was a momentous year for the Rice Museum, both as a unique experience and a banner year for change. The damage and closure from January’s flood allowed us time to reimagine our use of the galleries and update our historic house. We introduced new access programs that allowed more people to experience the Museum. We started work on expanding the museum experience beyond the walls of our building onto our 23-acre property. We offered free guided tours throughout the summer. We reintroduced an internship program. We were able to take our Alma Rose to the HardRock Summit in Denver to dazzle a new audience and we welcomed a record number of visitors over the summer.  None of this would be possible without your generous support. If you have been inspired by a visit to Rice Museum this year or in years past, please make a year-end contribution in any amount to sustain this special place and help us to continue to evoke excitement and awe in our community. Thank you for joining us and for your continued support of the Museum. We wish you and yours good health and happiness this holiday season. DONATE NOW

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Member Double Discount Days

Tis the season for giving thanks. To show our appreciation for our members, we are having a week-long sales event just for you! Members get 20% off all regular price merchandise from Sunday, November 21 through Sunday, November 28 in-store. Not a member? Join today: Our gift shop is fully stocked and new items are added weekly. So grab your shopping list and head to the Museum. Not only do we have minerals at a variety of price points, we have a great selection of unique gifts, and your purchase helps support our mission.

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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon

New Smithsonian Exhibition On View

Columbia command module pilot Michael Collins inside the craft. Credit: Photo courtesy of NASA The Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals presents Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The poster exhibition from the Smithsonian celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and explores the birth and development of the American space program and the space race.   On July 24, 1969, Apollo 11 met President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge of “landing  a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” The poster exhibition explores what led the United States to accept this challenge and how the resulting 953,054-mile voyage to the moon and back was accomplished just eight years after the program was authorized. Destination Moon examines the mission and recognizes some of the more than 400,000  people employed in NASA programs who worked through the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the 20 missions from 1961 to 1969 before Apollo 11.   Fifty years later, the Apollo program remains the benchmark for great national achievement. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon and humans first set foot on another celestial body, it gave humanity a new perspective from which to view the world. Using this  poster exhibition, viewers will be able to look back at this historic mission, and hopefully  envision the next generation of innovators, scientists, explorers and astronauts.   Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission is made possible by the support of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, Joe Clark, Bruce R. McCaw Family Foundation, the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, John and Susann Norton, and Gregory D. and Jennifer Walston  Johnson.  EDUCATOR GUIDE

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Mystery Mineral Day (September 25)

MAKE A RESERVATION Mark your calendars for the return of Mystery Mineral Day, scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2021 in the Northwest Gallery. The always-anticipated event runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Every year, the Museum organizes a panel of experts in the fields of rock & mineral identification, fossil study, and meteorite analysis. We bring together experts from multiple fields to inspect your “mystery” finds and tell you what you’ve found. The event is FREE with paid general admission. We encourage you to schedule an appointment. Limit 5 items ID’d per person. Capacity will be limited. OUR EXPERTS:   Greg Carr Local Amateur Paleontologist Greg Carr is an active member of the North American Research Group (NARG), a frequent contributor and member of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and has volunteered for years at OMSI. Greg has prepared, loaned, donated, or conserved many impressive specimens for the museum, including “Bernie” the Thalattosaur, a large Brontothere skull, and an impressive plate of local Crinoids. Jill JohanssenJill describes herself as “one of those kids who loved rocks”. For as long as she can remember she was picking up rocks, putting in her pockets, (and one up her nose), then stashing them in a large shoe box under the stairs in her father’s garage. It was a hobby Jill studied on her own and though she took some Geology in college, it was only the rock science that really had her interest. Jill attended the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and turned her hobby into a career. Her goal is to one day teach Gemology and share her passion with others. Nothing makes her happier than seeing people of all ages get excited to learn and knowing she can help inspire rock lovers everywhere. Angela PillerAngela is the curator of the Rice Museum. She develops exhibits, conserves our collection of minerals, gems, rocks, meteorites, and fossils, and promotes the museum’s mission to engage, inspire, and educate on the wonder and complexity of our Earth. She has a background in surficial processes and environmental geology and loves the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite mineral is wulfenite. Garret Romaine Garret holds a geology degree from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in geography from the University of Washington. Garret is a Fellow in the Society for Technical Communication, and he has been a writer, editor, instructor, manager, and author in the Portland area for the past 30 years. He wrote a regular column for the Gold Prospectors magazine for 15 years, and he is the author of numerous guide books and magazine articles regarding geology, rockhounding, prospecting, and other field studies. Daniel SheikhDaniel Sheikh is a Portland State PhD Student working at the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory (CML). While completing his M.S., he worked with both meteorite collectors and scientists to identify and classify meteorites into the Meteoritical Bulletin Database, and he hopes to continue that work over the next few years to help expand their scientific repository. Tom Wilson Tom is a lifelong rockhound and a member of Tualatin Valley Gem Club in Forest Grove, OR. Intimately familiar with northwest materials, he was an avid thunderegg collector at Richardson’s Rock Ranch and other locations. Some of his other specialties are plume agate and petrified wood. Tom has contributed many outstanding self-collected rocks and minerals to the Museum.

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Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals
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