Veterans and Active Military receive FREE admission Veteran’s Day

To honor those who have or are serving in our nation’s military, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks an Minerals will admit all veterans and active military free of charge on Veteran’s Day (Friday, November 11, 2016).  We thank all the brave men and women who serve our country to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

The museum will be open to the public regular business hours, which are 1:00 to 5:00 PM.  Please remember to bring your military ID with you.

2016 Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum

2016 NW FOssil Fest PosterThe Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group (NARG) will take place at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on Saturday, August 13, 2016, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The Theme for the 11th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest Fossil Teeth!

The event is free for families to learn about fossils, fossil collecting, preparation, identification, hands on demonstrations, and educational displays. There will also be two great talks.  The first will be Dr. John Bershaw of the Geology Department at Portland State University. He will be talking about how he uses fossil teeth to measure changes in chemistry that tell us something about how the past environment changed.  Victor Perez of the University of Florida will present a talk entitled “The Giant Megalodon and what we know about it from Teeth.”

Paleontologists will be on hand identify fossils and to show kids of all ages how to clean and prepare fossils.  There will be lots of hands on activities and this is a great event for families and fossil fans.  Attendance for the Fossil Fest includes free admission to the museum.

For more information and up-to-the-minute information see Northwest Fossil Fest.

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!

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).

Thunder-Egg-Stravaganza is March 26

It’s almost here! Join us for our annual egg hunt at the museum on Saturday, March 26, between 10 AM and 5 PM. Win real thundereggs and other treasures as prizes. We will have saws running to cut your thunderegg open right in front of you, for no additional charge. This is one egg hunt that is unique and not to be missed!

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Enjoy a reduced admission of $5 for all ages (children under five are still free). During this event, you can also explore the museum and learn about the thunderegg with short talks by our curator and assistance from expert volunteers.

(By the way–we will have eggs and prizes available all day! We are happy to see you when our gates open at 10, but you can come have a great time at any point during the day.)

Limit two thundereggs and one thunderegg cutting per visitor. No outside thundereggs will be cut.

Bring your mysteries to the museum this Saturday

Mystery Mineral Day is happening this Saturday, February 27, from 10 AM to 2 PM at the museum. A panel of experts will be ready and waiting for you to bring your unknown rocks, minerals, fossils, gems, and potential meteorites for identification!

Have you always wondered what to call that cool crystal you picked up on a hike that one day? Did you inherit a collection, but it’s missing some labels? Do you think you may have found a fossil bone or a rock from outer space? Our experts are volunteering at this event just for you, so don’t be shy. Come on by!

This event is free with general admission (and, of course, free to members).

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FREE admission during Smithsonian magazine’s annual Museum Day Live! September 26, 2015

Smithsonian-Magazine-Museum-Day-LiveThe Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 26, 2015, as part of the Smithsonian magazine’s eleventh annual Museum Day Live! A nationwide event, Museum Day Live! offers free admission to visitors who present a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution.

Get your Museum Day Live! ticket at Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive Each ticket will allow two guest to be admitted at no charge. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. The Rice NW Museum is just one of 29 participating Oregon Museums.  For more information about Museum Day Live! 2015 and a list of other participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit: Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive/venues. And remember, the Rice Northwest Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Scenes from Summer Festival 2015

Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Summer Fest guest in Flintmobile.Summer Fest 2015 at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals was a resounding success with more than a thousand in attendance in spite of high temperatures and road closures in the area.

Rock clubs and groups from around the Pacific Northwest were there to provide educational fun as well with geode cracking and gold panning among the many highlights. Vendors from around the country offered a wide range of rocks, minerals, and gems for every type of interest for collector or jewelry lover. The children’s area brought glue, paper, ribbons, and beads together with rocks for some creative artwork.

Fred and Wilma Flintstone were there for the entire weekend, entertaining children in the Flintmobile and exploring the ancient rocks and fossils on display. Many children enjoyed exploring the rock cave.

Leslie Moclock, museum curator.Curator Leslie Moclock and volunteer Barb Epstien kept the silent auction going through the busy weekend, with many auction winnings bringing treasures back with children and adults. Many people went home with more rock and jewelry prizes in the hourly drawings.

Thanks to all the vendors, rock clubs, exhibitors, sponsors, and the many volunteers for a great weekend. Without all of you, this special annual event would not happen. Much of the thanks go to you, our members, and fans. Your continuing support keeps us going and helps to provide world class exhibits and diverse educational programs all year long. If you are not a member, consider becoming a member. Continue reading