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First Friday - Da Vinci & Earth Science

Entire Museum

The next First Friday evening event at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science explores Leonardo da Vinci’s views of the natural world. On Friday evening, July 6, museum visitors will have one last chance to enjoy discounted prices to see Da Vinci — The Genius since this will be the final First Friday before the exhibition ends.

On July 6 from 5:30 – 9 p.m., admission to Da Vinci — The Genius is discounted by $5, making the final admission charge: Adults $17, Seniors $15 & Children $10. Admission to the museum’s permanent exhibits (excluding Da Vinci — The Genius), is $5 per person, a $3 savings off the usual adult price.

Da Vinci – The Genius demonstrates the full scope of Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable genius as an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician, and architect. Guests will enjoy many unique pieces including life-size machine inventions, entertaining animations of da Vinci’s most notable Renaissance works, and an eye-opening, in-depth analysis of his most famous piece, “Mona Lisa.” Visitors will be able to push, pull, crank, and interact with many of these exhibits for a hands-on understanding of the scientific principles behind them.

“Almost 300 years before the modern science of geology began, Leonardo da Vinci made fundamental observations and scientific conclusions about rocks, fossils, water, and mountains. He used these observations to create art that was geologically accurate,” said Jayne Aubele, NMMNHS Educator and Geologist.

On July 6 only, aspects of da Vinci’s contributions to our understanding of Earth Science will be explained by experts from several organizations at table displays:

  • Mama’s Minerals will display beads, fossils, rocks, and more;
  • ABQ Gem and Mineral Club will offer demonstrations and displays of rough and polished minerals;
  • New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources will present a demonstration of the newly-implemented statewide groundwater monitoring project;
  • UNM Institute of Meteoritics will have meteorites and “meteorwrongs” on display with games and information on identification;
  • NM Environment Department, Ground Water Quality Bureau/Pollution Prevention Section, will show a hands-on water cycle and pollution “ant farm” which mimics pollution;
  • U.S. Geological Survey Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory will distribute hand-outs and information about earthquakes;
  • Bohannon Huston, Inc will have their hands-on river model to demonstrate erosion and water movement in channels;
  • New Mexico Academy of Science will showcase their work to support science and science education in New Mexico and accept nominations for Outstanding Science Teacher Award;
  • NMMNHS scientists and educators will present information about da Vinci’s observations regarding rocks and fossils, and his paintings and drawings that depicted accurate geology;
  • Museum volunteers will display different minerals and the natural paint pigments that can be made from them by hand with techniques used by da Vinci;
  • Sandia National Laboratory will present educational information related to their studies.

The Planetarium will present Fractal Friday at the usual times of 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. with the normal admission of: Adults $10, Seniors $7 & Children (3-12) $5. Shows typically sell out in advance, so get your tickets early on the Fractal Foundation’s website:

The Museum Observatory will be open to the night sky for 30 minutes from 8:30 – 9 p.m., weather permitting, and da Vinci exhibition admission will be required for access.

The Nature Works store will be selling fascinating da Vinci merchandise and other unique gifts from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The Hope Café will be open continuously from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. that day, so you can enjoy dinner while waiting for the museum to reopen (only the café entrance will be open from 5 – 5:30).

Crack the da Vinci code and get a special discount! A word based upon a da Vinci invention will unlock a 10 percent discount on a da Vinci audio tour when deliberately said at the tour rental kiosk. The code word for June is “Vitruvian.”

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