Openhouse Events & Tours


We prepare for an openhouse by pulling out special, unusual and significant material for display. It's a great way to learn about the facility, what we do, and see some incredible specimens.  Openhouse events are scheduled at a variety of times throughout the year:(see our event calendar). 

In addition to these, the collection hosts a limited number of private tours; typically for student groups and members of the public who are studying or teaching about insects/arthropods as part of their curriculum, or collecting/studying insects as a personal endeavor/hobby.

Individual non-research visits: 

If you've never been to a research museum or are just curious about what we do: great! We welcome you to come visit us.  Please, give us some advanced notice before showing up as we do not have a self-guided tour and for security and safety reasons cannot provide unsupervised access into the laboratory or repository areas of the collection.

Visits for Collectors and Hobbyists:

If you are an insect collector yourself, or the parent of a child/children with an insect collection, and are seeking information or guidance about particular insects and/or techniques related to catching or preserving insects, please contact us directly.  We encourage you to reach out to us and plan a visit.  Private collectors and enthusiasts make up an important community for the collection, and we'd love to meet you and show you what resources we have that might help you in your pursuits.

Class visits:

1. Class tours are only available M-F from 9am-5pm during the academic year and must be arranged ahead of time.

2. We work with public, private, and homeschool classes.  We give priority to classes that have accomplished some units/learning activities directly connected to the collection's mission/holdings and classes associated with insects/arthropods or biodiversity in general, so please let us know if your students have covered related topics, such as:

-insect diversity,
-natural history museums,
-conservation, biodiversity and/or evolution,
-biological classifications (organizing schemes)

2. Unfortunately given space limitations, the OSAC can only accommodate 15 visitors at one time (this includes parents/teachers/teachers aids).  If you have more students than this, let us know, and we can discuss options.  

3. Children under the ages of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times while they are in the museum/collection space.

4. Children under the age of 5 must be supervised directly by an adult (e.g., 1 adult for every 2 children). 

Our tours are generally for 30-40 minutes depending on the specifics of the class, their interest and knowledge level, and the class size.  During the tour, we use insect specimens to discuss insect natural history and diversity as well as the role natural history collections play in biology, conservation, and evolutionary research.

That's a lot to fit into 40 minutes!  We encourage students to bring specimens with them, and to come with questions about insects in general or about natural history collections.

If you are interested in visiting and/or checking availability for a visit, please contact the curator at: