New Museum Exhibit: “What’s inside a rock?”

Have you ever picked up a rock and wondered about what might be inside? This new exhibit puts everyday rocks under the microscope to show the beautiful secrets inside ordinary stones.

What's inside a rock?

This exhibit sheds light on some of the science behind the gorgeous minerals displayed at the museum. It’s great for families and people of all ages!

Come visit to discover the humble ingredient in over half the rocks on Earth’s surface and find out what, exactly, makes something a crystal. You can even check it out during the museum’s upcoming Summer Fest, taking place this year on August 6 & 7 from 10 AM through 5 PM.

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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.

Rice Northwest Museum Featured on Carl in the Morning on XRAY.fm

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals’ executive director, Julian Gray, was interviewed on XRAY.fm radio’s “Carl in the Morning” show by Carl Wolfson and Kate Bush on Friday November 6, 2015.

In the interview, Carl noted that the Rice NW Museum was highlighted in a recent New York Times article. During their lively conversation they talked about the diverse, beautiful exhibits at the museum including petrified wood, gemstones, thundereggs, and more. They also talked about the museum’s educational programs and events.

Have a listen:

New York Times article calls attention to the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals

In a November 1, 2015 article in the New York Times, Quentin Hardy calls attention to five noteworthy museums around the United States.  The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is one of the museums highlighted in the article.  Other unique museums mentioned include the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York; the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Ringling in Sarasota, Florida; the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota; and Walt’s Barn in Los Angeles, California.

Image of the New York Times article featuring the Rice NW MUseum

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.

Support the Rice NW Museum with Amazon Smile!

Do you already like to shop with Amazon.com? You can now use Amazon Smile to have Amazon donate money to the Rice Museum each time you make a purchase. It’s easy! Just follow these three simple steps:

  1. Go to Amazon Smile and sign in with your usual Amazon username and password.
    Amazon Smile Login
  2. When prompted, type “Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals” into the charity search box. Select our museum as your preferred charity.
    Amazon Charity Selection

Use smile.amazon.com to log into Amazon every time you shop.

And that’s it! Each time you make a purchase using Amazon Smile, the Rice NW Museum receives a small donation.

Sign up now and support our museum by using Amazon Smile!

Sneak Peek: Find out “What’s In The Box?”

What's in the box? written over boxes of rocks and minerals.Join us for a new, online feature and discover “What’s In The Box?” with curator Leslie Moclock. Leslie will take you behind the scenes to see some of the beautiful and interesting specimens currently off display. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram to see photos and learn a little about each one as we dig deeper into our rock and mineral inventory.

We are in the midst of a massive Collections inventory project that, when completed, will allow us to start rotating some of these back room beauties into the galleries for display. “What’s in the Box?” gives YOU a sneak peek here first! Discover our hidden treasures as Leslie makes her way through Collections storage. Curious to know more about a particular object? Simply reply to the original post on your social media platform of choice with your questions. And don’t forget to share these finds with your friends!

Curator Leslie Moclock stands at table with rock and mineral specimens at Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Check out #RiceWITB and find out “What’s In The Box?” along with Leslie as she uncovers these treasures and shares them with you! If you want to see even more photos of collections items, don’t forget to join us on Facebook for Mystery Mineral Mondays, too.

Press Release: The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Now Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution

Hillsboro, Oregon, April 17, 2015

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals has been named as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This mark of distinction signifies the achievement of a goal long held by the Rice Museum’s originators, according to co-founder Sharleen Harvey. Her parents, Richard and Helen Rice, “had great respect for the Smithsonian Institution and used their collections as a high standard for quality and beauty when building the Rice Museum collection,” Mrs. Harvey explained. “Being a Smithsonian Affiliate confirms that our museum has the high caliber required to assist our schools and community in earth science education. It assures that visitors and supporters of the museum can have confidence in the quality and content of the exhibits, plus enjoyment in viewing fine minerals, fossils, meteorites, and lapidary specimens.”

“The Smithsonian is very proud of its new Affiliation with the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals,” stated Harold A. Closter, director of the Smithsonian Affiliations program. “The Museum has a well-deserved reputation for engaging generations in earth sciences through its scholarship, exhibitions, and education programs. Our partnership offers the opportunity to underscore the importance of science as a source of inspiration in our daily lives and in the years ahead.”

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and other educational and cultural organizations in order to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a mutual relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across the United States.

The new relationship between the Rice Museum and the Smithsonian will bring great things to museum visitors in the Pacific Northwest. Not only will the Rice Museum be able to borrow objects and exhibits from the Smithsonian’s collections, but the Museum will also gain opportunities to collaborate on research projects and to sponsor exciting programs from renowned visiting scholars.

“We expect the Affiliation to serve our community well,” explains Julian Gray, Rice Museum executive director. “It will help us increase awareness of our excellent museum and attract more visitors to the area, allowing more people to experience our own world-class exhibits, events, and educational programs.”

Board President and Intel Senior Fellow (retired) Gene Meieran hopes that “this association will lead to the creation of next-generation collectors, curators, and scientists who will continue to preserve and understand our fascinating and ever-changing natural history.”

The Rice Museum houses a premier collection of rocks and minerals recognized as the finest in the Pacific Northwest and one of the best in the nation. The museum is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, just west of Portland (exit 61 off highway 26). Its educational programs include organized school field trips as well as ongoing educational outreach throughout the community at large. A variety of public and private events are hosted throughout the year as well. The museum is listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes for its unique architectural style and its use of natural stone and extraordinary native Oregon woodwork throughout the building.

For more information about the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, call (503) 647-2418. Receive updates on museum events by following the Twitter handle @RiceNWMuseum, on Google+, or the Facebook Page for Rice NW Museum.

More information is available on the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activities site.

FREE admission during Smithsonian magazine’s tenth annual Museum Day Live! September 27, 2014

Smithsonian-Magazine-Museum-Day-LiveThe Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 27, 2014, as part of the Smithsonian magazine’s tenth 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. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2014 and a list of other participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit: Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive/venues. And remember, the Rice Northwest Museum just extended our hours, the museum is open on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.