Only a few hours left!

What a great year it’s been for the Rice NW Museum. With your support, we won gold as Hillsboro’s Best Family Attraction and Best Place to Take the Kids.

Before you ring in the new year, we ask for your support to help us wrap up 2016 on an even better note. While any time is a good time to donate to the Rice NW Museum, end-of-year donations make an impact. So donate now. You’ll get a tax break and help the museum at the same time. Contributions received by midnight tonight will count toward the 2016 tax year.

Together we can do even more in 2017. Thank you again for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the museum in the new year.

 

We’ve been bronzed!



GuideStar
is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. We’ve taken ownership of our profile and have achieved bronze level participation

What that means is we’re starting the process of sharing who is involved in our museum, who supports us, and how we’re achieving our mission.

This helps us see how we measure up to other museums and share knowledge to help us all achieve our missions. It also helps our donors to see where their money is going and make informed gifts. Plus, we get this shiny badge to put on our website that lets everyone know we share that info!

We’re proud to have began this journey toward institutional transparency, and we’re not done here! We’re going for gold!

Holiday Hours

Seasons Greetings! We have a holiday hours update!

We are OPEN for our regularly scheduled 10-5 on Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve! Guided tours are included with your general admission at 2pm. Meet the lovely and very knowledgeable Donna in the Northwest Gallery to join the fun and learn the history of the collections and the house!  These tours last about 90 minutes.

We are CLOSED on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to allow our staff to spend time with their families.

We are also taking an administrative holiday on 12/26/16 and 1/2/17, so while we aren’t normally open to the public on Mondays, we also will not have staff in the office to answer phones and emails.

holiday-hours

Thanks everyone, enjoy your holiday!

Support the Rice Museum on #GivingTuesday!

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals needs your support and #GivingTuesday, November 29, 2016 is a great time to contribute.  Your tax deductible donation will help us continue the great programing and events at the museum.

With your help the Rice NW Museum has become recognized as one of the top 10 mineral museums in the United States.  We reach over 11,000 students annually with programs and tours designed to inspire future scientists from all walks of life, and our displays and activities attract nearly 27,000 visitors. Our staff educate young and old alike on the key role earth sciences play in our everyday life, and in our future well being.  None of this would be possible without you.

#GivingTuesday gifts go directly to supporting our staff in their efforts to expand educational programming, preserve and exhibit our fabulous mineral specimens and our beautiful historic house, and inspire thousands to pursue science.

This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 29, 2016. We’ll spend that day encouraging our supporters to spend just a little time reflecting on how their gifts and talents can best be used to help the Rice NW Museum.  We’re asking for a little of your time as well. Please consider giving a gift to support our operations so that we can grow and share our passion with our community.

It’s easy, just grab your credit card and mouse and give to the museum by:

  • Donating to help keep the museum the best in the Pacific Northwest and globally
  • Become a member and join the Rice NW Museum family of supporters
  • Sponsor an event, rock or mineral, or an exhibit at the museum
  • Volunteer to help with the many projects and activities around the museum for a few hours or on a regular basis

After you give, join the #GivingTuesday conversation on November 29th. Share your thoughts online about the importance of giving back and see why others support the Rice Museum and are thankful for our mission.

Thank you for helping on this #GivingTuesday, and we look forward to seeing you often at the museum!

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.

Join us at Portland Regional Gem and Mineral Show this weekend, October 7 – 9, 2016

Come see us this weekend at the Portland Regional Gem and Mineral Show, October 8-9, 2016. This is the largest rock, gem, mineral, and fossil show in the Portland area, with 45 dealers and 80 educational exhibits including a beautiful petrified wood display from the Rice NW Museum collection. And Museum executive director Julian Gray, co-author of Minerals of Georgia, will be lecturing at 1:00 pm today and tomorrow at the show.

The event takes place at the Washington County Fairplex. Saturday hours are 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.  Adults $5, children 12 and under are free. Plenty of free parking is available or ride the Max to the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport  station (stop #9838 on the Blue Line). Educational fun for the whole family. Great chance to start or enhance your own rock collection, buy beautifully crafted jewelry (“minerals you can wear”) or pieces you can use to make your own, and much more.

Conflict Minerals and your Smartphone

If you’re a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, you’ve probably heard the term blood diamond. It’s the title of his 2006 film set in Sierra Leone against the backdrop of armed conflict funded by diamond sales. The film helped raise awareness about this terrible connection and the steps being taken to break it.

Minerals associated with violence go beyond diamonds. Other lesser-known but vitally important materials play similar roles in conflicts elsewhere. And these materials end up inside your mobile phone.

Our museum’s display at this year’s Denver Gem & Mineral Show (Sept. 16-18, 2016), addresses the issue of conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These minerals include gold, tantalum, tungsten, and tin ores.

What is a conflict mineral?

A conflict mineral is a resource that directly or indirectly supports paramilitary violence and warfare. Mining in the DRC is carried out by small, local operators using hand tools and manual labor. It is a critical source of income for poor families who would otherwise rely only on subsistence farming to survive. Because these operations are so small and decentralized, however, the ore they produce must go through a long series of traders and middlemen before it can reach the market.

Paramilitary groups exploit this part of the supply chain because the material and money are so difficult to trace. Using violence, murder, rape, and extortion, they force taxes on the movement of ore minerals and use the profits to buy weapons.

How do these minerals affect me?

Materials derived from conflict minerals are critical to products you use every day. Just look at that ubiquitous symbol of high-tech gadgetry: your mobile phone.

Inside every smartphone, you’ll find:

  • Gold, which makes fast electrical conductors that won’t corrode over time
  • Tungsten, used in the vibrating motor that makes your phone buzz
  • Tantalum, needed to help tiny capacitors hold an electric charge
  • Tin, the soldering material connecting components together

These four materials are known collectively as the “3TG.” They have a wide variety of other uses, from hardening drill bits (tungsten) to forming surgical implants and rocket nozzles (tantalum) to shaping window glass (tin).

Circuit Board of a computer.

Image source: Morgan A. Vigil, University of California-Santa Barbara

 

How are corporations responding?

With such widespread uses of 3TG materials, it can seem impossible for the average person to have an impact on this issue. Fortunately, international governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations are taking steps to cut off suppliers linked with conflict.

Annually, reports from electronics corporations and other organizations show positive trends: they are making headway in creating transparent supply chains and identifying conflict-free source materials. However, more must still be done, especially to combat smugglers who mix uncertified ore materials with ores certified to be conflict-free.

What can I do to help?

You can help work towards a conflict-free future by being an informed consumer. If you’re shopping for a new phone, look up the manufacturer’s Conflict Minerals Report as well as its device’s processing speed. If you are dedicated to a particular smartphone brand, contact the manufacturer in writing or through social media to express your support for conflict-free sourcing.

And when you’re done with your old device, always remember to recycle. Electronics recycling not only reuses 3TG materials, but also benefits public health and the environment.

We’re Hiring! Museum Educator Position Available

Will you be our new Educator? In this position, you’ll give on-site museum tours to school groups and travel to classrooms and camps to deliver dynamic presentations. You will also have the opportunity to develop new outreach education modules and programs.

Learn more about this job and submit a cover letter and resume through our posting on Indeed.com, just in time for the new school year.

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.