Museum to host new nature programming

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Courtesy Grand Rapids Public Museum

A local museum will offer three programs in August exploring nature and art through child-friendly activities. 

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) will host “The Intersection of Art and Nature,” three new additions to its public programs, on Saturday, Aug. 27. 

The new addition is a series of one-hour interactive programs focusing on the Grand River Watershed and making connections to art. These are family classes and will focus on students in grades 3-8, offering three unique areas of focus to choose from.

The first program offered will be a bug lab, held at 10:30 a.m. with Professor Nancy Hart of Kendall College of Art and Design. The course explores the insects that live in or near the Grand River. This class will travel to the riverfront to identify different species, their body segments and ways the insects have adapted to their environment. The program will continue in the museum’s lab to create illustrations and diagrams of the species they collected. 

The day’s programming continues at 12 p.m. with a conversation focused on the aquatic life of the Grand River, specifically the fish living, migrating or spawning in it such as Lake Sturgeon. Students will work with scientist Marty Holtgren of Encompass Socio-ecological Consulting to investigate the different species by looking at models of the different types of fish present in the river. To further the artistic connections, participating students will use carved fish petroglyphs to create prints of the different species.

The final program at 1:30 p.m., led by science educator Morgan Bailey, is focused on the different birds that make their homes along the Grand River and the greater watershed. Participants will look at plumage, beaks, talons and other bird anatomy to make connections to adaptation. Additionally, the program will explore the body designs that make each bird unique. The class will also look at the important role color plays in the bird kingdom and how humans have used those plumages for inspiration for their own color palettes. 

The Intersection of Art and Nature programs are limited to 20 participants per class and parents are encouraged to attend with their child. Parents may register their students for as many classes as they wish.

Parents who wish to experience these classes with their students must also register to attend. Registration is available here.  

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