Harvard Museum of Natural History

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Sorry for not posting in the past few weeks! I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m involved with a club on campus called HUBSS – the Harvard Undergraduate Biological Sciences Society. My official role is the co-Career Coordinator, which means I am in charge of organizing events like visits from life sciences companies and career panels. However, the entire board (which is largely composed of my blocking group!) works together to organize a lot of our events, including our recent Night at the Museum: Survival of the Fittest (yes, we like science a lot). In honor of Charles Darwins’s 202nd birthday, we worked with the Harvard Museum of Natural History to create an event where undergraduates could visit the museum after hours, enjoy mochi ice cream and local froyo favorite Berryline (with fresh fruit toppings!), and participate in behind-the-scenes tours of the museum collection.

To prepare for the event, I spent an afternoon walking through the museum exhibits (Harvard undergraduates get free admission with their ID card) and writing up questions related to Darwin and evolution for the scavenger hunt undergrads could participate in for the chance for winning gift certificates to a local sandwich shop (called Darwin’s Ltd!). HMNH is just one example of the amazing resources available to students at Harvard. Without the urging of my friend Jeremy ’11, an OEB concentrator who has been able to use some of the museum specimens for class projects, I probably would never have discovered how amazing the museum is. After my thesis is turned in, I plan to spend more time looking at all the exhibits, which include everything from dinosaur fossils to exquisitely crafter glass flowers in a special humidity-controlled room.

The night of the event, John ’11, Veronica ’11, and I walked to Trader Joe’s to pick up mochi ice cream. Thanks to a grant from the Undergraduate Council, we could buy $200 of mochi ice cream, which we learned meant filling our cart with 44 boxes of mochi (11 of each flavor – mango, green tea, strawberry, and chocolate)! Not surprisingly, we got some strange looks from the Trader Joe’s employees.

After lugging the boxes of mochi to the museum, we spent the night unwrapping the boxes for the 150 undergraduates who I hope had a pretty great time. It was a lot of fun to catch up with people I hadn’t seen for a while since we’ve all been buried in our laptops writing our thesis and finishing up research. Remember, take a break every once in a while and do something fun!

Picture by Caterina Yuan ‘11 – note the awesome fossil behind John, Veronica, and me!

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