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Outreach

Outreach Efforts

We are involved extensively in educational outreach efforts geared towards people of all ages. From participating in university-led events to hosting individual or group tours at the Herbarium, our ultimate goal is to create opportunities for people from all walks of life to learn about the importance of herbaria, plants, and our natural heritage. 

Annual Events

MSU Science Festival

We are proud to be part of Michigan State University’s Science Festival, a free event that celebrates STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) in the spring. We share lessons and experiences in plant Biodiversity, Awareness, and Stewardship by creating fun and interactive activities for people of all ages. Some of the activities the Herbarium has done in years past include tours of the MSU Herbarium and conservatory, with information about history, importance, and collections; hands on exploration of microscopic plant parts and lichens; educational coloring pages; mount-your-own specimen activities; and exhibits about poisonous and tropical plants.

Darwin Discovery Day

Every February around Darwin’s birthday (February 12th), the MSU Museum hosts Darwin Discovery Day. The MSU Herbarium brings specimens and other materials centered on a theme relating to plant Biodiversity, Awareness, and Stewardship. Our exhibits in years past have included plant defenses, pollinators and passion flowers, lichen fluorescence, and our changing flora in MSU’s Baker woodlot.

Fascination of Plants Day

Also in spring, Michigan State University hosts hands-on science and art activities centering on plants for Fascination of Plants Day. The MSU Herbarium joins in on the fun by bringing along plant specimens for attendees to challenge their abilities to match seeds to specimens in a fun mini-game, and learn about adaptations seeds use to disperse by using microscopes.

Primary and Secondary School Involvement

We want to get kids excited about plant biodiversity and herbaria. Our outreach efforts geared towards primary and secondary aged children include bringing specimens to schools for classroom activities and science fairs, and providing resources and one on one assistance to teachers for herbarium-related activities.

Herbarium Tours

We encourage any university students or classes, primary or secondary school classes, community groups, families, or individuals to contact us to set up a tour of the MSU Herbarium. We will walk you through the Herbarium, teach you about plants, biodiversity, and history, have optional activities prepared, and answer any questions you may have about plants or herbaria! 

Visit our Contact page to get in touch with us about scheduling a tour.

Social Media

Here at the MSU Herbarium we share our collections, knowledge, and excitement for plants on our social media. Find us on Twitter @MSU_Herbarium, Facebook @MSUHerbarium, and YouTube at Michigan State University Herbarium!

MSU Herbarium Coloring Book

An interactive themed coloring book with coloring pages released weekly during certain seasons. The front page, back page, instructions for putting the book together, specimen linearts and their labels are all available for free download off of Twitter, Facebook, or our website. Just print and color away! Visit the Coloring Books page to get started.

Educational Videos

You can find a wide selection of educational videos on our YouTube channel. There are animations by Herbarium intern Benjamin Mitchell teaching about herbaria and plant research, as well as collection-based videos featuring Collections Assistant Matt Chansler teaching how to collect and mount specimens, and the importance of doing so.