Skip to main content

UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will host a family day from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday.

The celebration, boosted by a $25,000 award from the National Science Foundation, is organized by the McClung Museum and the student-led Darwin Day organizing committee on campus. Other partners include the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Twin Cities Public Television, UT’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, scientists from the UT–East Tennessee State University Gray Fossil Site, and members of the Great Schools Partnership.

“At the Smithsonian, expanding the public’s access to our education and learning resources is a top priority,” said Colleen Marzec of the Smithsonian’s Office of Education and Outreach. “Through the featured Deep Time learning experiences at the family festival, the McClung Museum and the NMNH will help visitors see connections among the past, present, and future”.

In addition to featured family activities developed by educators and scientists at the Smithsonian, the McClung will offer fossil digs, a virtual reality game, screenings of educational films, scientific activity stations led by researchers from the Gray Fossil Site, arts and crafts projects, and birthday cupcakes.

“Darwin Day bridges the gap between faculty, students, and the general public,” said student organizer Krista De Cooke, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology. “It has been an honor partnering with the McClung Museum to throw Darwin’s birthday party.”

On Wednesday, February 12, the committee will host two additional events on campus: a Phylum Feast at noon in Ayres Hall Room 308H, and a guest lecture by Rutgers University biology professor Jessica Ware at 6 p.m. in Strong Hall Room 101.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Free parking is available on the weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Orange Line Monday through Saturday. Visit the museum’s website for more information about family programming, parking, and collections and exhibits.


Callie Bennett (865-974-2144,

Leslie Chang Jantz (865–974–3662,