Graduate Women in Science: Geosciences faculty nominate top women seniors and attend a banquet in their honor, sponsored by the UNL Center for Mathematics and Computer Education.
Women in Science: Junior- and Senior high school students from the region attend a banquet with recruiting booths and then have a day-long visit to campus that includes visits to labs, hands-on lab activities, discussions with women scientists and engineers (locally employed as well as academics)
Dinosaurs and Disasters: Graduate students Stephanie Thomas and Matt Luetz initiated "D&D" in fall 2004. Mary Anne Holmes, Kathy French (Outreach Coordinator for the Museum)and Debra Bathke now plan and execute this Special Event that allows graduate and undergraduate students to share their research and enthusiasm with the public.
A Special Event lasts one complete Saturday and has a minimum of twelve “stations” of activities for the public to participate in and/or learn about a topic related to the central theme of the event. Within a couple of weeks of our first planning meeting, we had volunteers and ideas for 22 stations.
Although Nebraska is not known for its dinosaur fossils (a grand total of three have been found in the state), we used “Dinosaur” as the hook to attract kids to the museum. It worked: the first year, 2005, we had 1,444 people from the community attend: a record for any Special Event held at the Museum in its entire history. Normal Saturday attendance is ~300. A dip in attendance in 2007 coincided with an impending blizzard. We bounced back in 2008 as word-of-mouth increases our visibility. Holmes called the newspaper during the 2008 event when it became clear that we would surpass 2,000 paying attendees. The Lincoln Journal-Star’s reaction: “Holy cats! Why didn’t anyone tell us?” (Our response: did you not see the publicity flyers we sent you??). Attendance records: