The forth Museum Open House was much larger and ambitious than the three previous years. It was the first time a theme, Alien Invaders, was associated with the event. An educational booklet on the environmental impact of introduced species was produced and distributed to local schools a month before the rest of the program. The lecture by eminent ecologist Dr. Daniel Simbeloff on Friday, February 8, attracted more than 100 people. On the next Saturday, February 16, a team of about 90 volunteers welcomed over 1,000 visitors to the Museum Open House proper.
The Auditorium displays were dedicated to the theme of invasive species and the collections brought out-theme related specimens and artefacts, as well as some of their most impressive holdings. Once again visitors were presented with the challenge of a 'treasure hunt' - a series of questions that visitors answer by finding information distributed around the Museum. The device was effective in 2007 as a way to help direct visitors in their self-guided tour of the Museum. It also provided the visitors with extra educational content.
Highlights of the 2008 event:
- Theme: "Alien Invaders"
- Booklet: "Alien Invaders", distributed to schools in mid-January, a month before the program.
- Lecture by Ecologist Dr. Daniel Simberloff - "Biological Invasions: A Global Threat, but a Winnable War" - Friday, February 8th, 2008
- Treasure Hunt: Alien Invaders
- 'Heroes of Biodiversity'
- Sound kiosks:
- Posters on various topics: trap jaw ants, toxic mites, insect vision, squid, jellyfish, sean anemones, lichens, orchid pollination, parasitic plants, carnivorous plants, parasitc birds, etc.
- New content foam core cut-outs were introduced.
Hands-on activities included:
- Seedling planting
- Insect Zoo
- Bugs in Goo
- The Triplehorn Insect Collection distributed small magnifying glasses to children and challenged them to guess the number of parasitoid wasps in one of the displays.
Quick facts about the 2008 Museum Open House:
- Date: Saturday, February 16, 2008
- Hours: 10AM - 4PM
- Number of visitors: 937
- Number of volunteers: 91