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Science on Tap

Smithsonian National Zoological Park v Buffalo Museum of Science

Science on Tap events are growing in popularity among young professionals. However, how mission based and relevant these events are depends on the institution.  This post will take an unbiased look at two Science on Tap events at different institutions, along with other related events at said institutions.

Example 1:  National Zoo-Science on Tap

For the first hour of the event, attendees buy beer and wine from the cash bar and chat with zoo scientists and animal keepers. The second half of the event allows the attendees to submit questions that they want answered by the zoo staff panel.  Members of the panel from the last Science on Tap event included primate, giant panda, bird, and small mammal keepers, the curator of enrichment and training, and pathologists.

Other related events:

Brew at the Zoo-With the cost of their ticket, attendees receive a commemorative mug and samples from more than thirty microbrews.  There is also live music and food available for purchase.  Proceeds from Brew at the Zoo help support animal care, education, sustainability and conservation science.

Snore & Roar-An adult version of the popular zoo overnight program, this experience offers participants a two-hour tour, zoo hike, wine and cheese, a tent to spend the night in and breakfast the next morning.

Example 2: Buffalo Museum of Science-Science on Tap

Admission to Buffalo’s event includes a commemorative mug with ten drink tickets that are good for one beer tasting each. There is unlimited food sampling, home brewing demonstrations and live entertainment.  Attendees can also learn about the science of beer, the sociology of beer and the history of beer in Buffalo.  The museum’s permanent exhibit and galleries are also open during the event.

Other related events:

Star Lights, Drinks & Bites-An evening of stargazing mixed with wine and beer tasting, Star Lights, Drinks & Bites is strictly for the twenty-one and older crowd. Proceeds from the event go towards the museum and the Tifft Nature Preserve.

Museum’s Attic- This fundraiser gives participants a chance to view the museum’s collections that are not on public display.  Events include behind-the-scenes tours, a treasure hunt, auctions, and of course food and drink.




Spotlight on Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

An ideal mix of mission based and social programing, the main focus of the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is to promote the arts in the greater Philadelphia area.  Joining this group gives members discounts on events and an opportunity for social networking with likeminded young professionals.  Members have opportunities to meet with curators, artists, and collectors, while having special access to the museums collections though private tours.

Young Friends holds two main fundraising events each year: the Rodin Garden Party and the Winter Gala. The Rodin Garden Party is held every year at the end of summer. Guests pay for a night in the Rodin Museum’s historic garden, enjoying art, cocktails, and a raffle. The Winter Gala is also an annual event. Guests are treated to VIP tours of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, speeches, a raffle, and food and drinks. Members also have the opportunity to join the planning committees for these events. Funds raised through these Young Friends events are used to support new acquisitions for the museum, for conservation and preservation of existing collections, and educational and outreach programming.

In addition to these fundraising events, Young Friends enjoy several social events such as The Young Friends Holiday Party and Young Friends Fridays. The Annual Holiday Party is an event where the Young Friends can come together to socialize, enjoy complimentary drinks, and a Candy Cane Raffle. Young Friends Fridays are a part of the museum’s Art After 5 events. At these events, wine, beer and cocktails are available at the bar in addition to light fare. These events take place every Friday featuring international music and emerging jazz artists. During Art After 5, select galleries in the museum are also open.

For only an additional 50-dollar add on to membership, the Young Friends group is a great mix of social and mission based events.

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