Guided Tours: Now On Sunday!

Our popular guided tours are now available Saturday AND Sunday!

Guided tours are included with admission and start at 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and last for approximately 90 minutes. Get here a few minutes early to purchase your admission, then meet your knowledgeable museum host at the entrance of the Northwest Gallery at 2:00 PM to join the fun.

Tours are appropriate for all ages and cover the whole museum.

Students in exhibit room - Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum.

New Topaz Crystals from Pakistan now on exhibit

A spectacular new specimen of topaz and smoky quartz crystals is now on exhibit at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. This exhibit was recently donated by long-time museum supporters Sharon Meieran and Fred Cirillo.

Topaz and smoky quartz from Shigar Valley, Pakistan

The overall specimen, which stands over 14-inches tall, contains two large sherry-colored topaz crystals in a matrix of white/gray clevelandite (a variety of albite feldspar). Several large smoky quartz crystals tower over the topaz crystals. The minerals were found in the Shigar River Valley in the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan, an area known the world over as a source of many varieties of gems including tourmaline and aquamarine. Spectacular specimens like this one occur in deposits at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level. If gem crystals are able to grow into an open cavity as they form, we get these amazing and showy rocks.

One of the reasons we close on Mondays and Tuesdays is so that we can perform case cleaning, maintenance and installation of new exhibits such as this one. We received several other fine mineral donations in the last month. Look for these to be on exhibit in the museum soon.

If you would like to come see the new specimen, Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is open special Holiday Hours this Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Happy holidays from all of us at Rice Northwest Museum!

Donor-Sponsored School Tours Top 1,000 Students for 2018

Nothing fills a museum with energy like school children on field trips. It’s always a pleasure to hear them marvel at our various exhibits of rocks, minerals, fossils, meteorites, gold, and gems. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals is proud to offer financial aid for qualifying schools and keep those hallways packed. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, we thought it would be a good time to update our followers about the program.

For background, the program began two years ago with a gift from a new benefactor. In 2018, we raised additional funds at the annual Benefit Dinner, specifically earmarked to help subsidize school trips for in-need communities. Qualifying schools may visit the museum, or we can send offsite programs to their classrooms. The goal is simple – to make sure kids of all backgrounds can experience how we can make earth science education fun. 

Schools can receive up to 75% of their program fees to be covered by our donors, based on the percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches. To date this year, the museum subsidized 19 school visits, mostly for grades 3 and 4, and served over 1,100 kids.

School buses line up adjacent to the Northwest Gallery. We like to see these buses all the time!

This week, a group of 5th graders made the trek from the Centennial School District, on the far east side of the area Rice NW Museum serves. The students learned about the rock cycle, how minerals form, how fossilization occurs, about mining, and about the volcanoes and earthquakes common in our region. 

Museum Educator Ramona Radonich prepares the students to enter the museum. 

If you would like to learn more about donating to the program, you can find more information on our Donations page.

To book a field trip or classroom visit to the Rice NW Museum for your school, please visit the For Teachers page and fill out the program form. We can review your financial aid status after you fill out the booking form. We are accepting reservations through June 2019 and look forward to seeing your students, so sign up today!

Job Announcement: Curator

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, seeks a curator to manage, maintain, and promote the museum’s collection of rocks, minerals, fossils, gems, and meteorites. The curator must have the technical and managerial skills and expertise required to maintain, display, and enhance the Museum’s extensive collections and associated records. The position requires a dynamic person with a proven ability to translate the mineral collection into accessible and compelling exhibits and teaching tools or programs.

Competencies & Experience Requirements:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in geology, Master’s or PhD preferred.
  • 20180820_144128At least 2 years technical experience in mineral sciences involving education, curation and/or collection management with a detailed knowledge of mineral collection management.
  • Proficiency in basic personal computer applications.
  • Basic knowledge of scientific mineralogical equipment.
  • Proficiency in the use of both verbal and written English language.
  • An ability to convey excitement about the value of earth sciences to scholars and novices alike. The curator must be as comfortable with people as with minerals and be capable of introducing one to the other.

Full job description and details are available at https://ricenorthwestmuseum.org/contact/job-seekers/

TO APPLY: Please email your resume and cover letter to careers@ricenorthwestmuseum.org  or mail job materials to Julian C. Gray, Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, 26385 NW Groveland Drive, Hillsboro, Oregon 97124. Application materials must be received by October 8, 2018. No phone calls, please.

Rice Museum’s Summer Fest – August 4 & 5, 2018

Our 15th annual Summer Fest 2018 will be at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5, 2018. The hours are 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $6 for everyone ages 5 and up!

Summer Fest 2018 Poster

Geodes and other minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booths. The outdoor festival features a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, jewelry, and fossil dealers. We will have food for purchase, live music, and plenty of fun family activities.

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

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!

 

Volcano Day is June 2, 2018!

New this year, we are partnering with the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory to bring you science and family fun at Volcano Day at the Rice Museum.

Volcano Day 2

 

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, CVO scientists will give short talks throughout the day on our Cascades volcanoes and volcano science. Have a question about the volcanoes in your backyard? Wondering what’s going on with the eruption in Hawai’i? Ask the experts!

Hands-on activities for all ages will take place in our galleries and on the lawn. And don’t miss Trash-Cano, the explosive eruption demonstration that will happen after each talk!

Local collector Mike Medvec will also be displaying his extensive collection of memorabilia from the famous 1980 eruption at Mt. St. Helens.

Don’t miss the fun! Event runs 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Included with regular museum admission.

2018 Rice Museum Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction

Event Phone: 503-647-2418

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals is hosting a benefit dinner. Please join us July 14, 2018 at 5:00 PM as we honor Mary and the late Dennis Murphy for their contributions and many years of support of the Rice Museum. Dr. Terry Wallace, Director of Los Alamos National (more…)