Here are some of the hands-on activities visitors will enjoy:
> Learn about spider courtship dances in the "Spider Disco."
> View a scorpion under a black light.
> Get a temporary tattoo of a tarantula.
> Collect trading cards for each of the 11 living arachnid orders.
> Mold a spider out of clay.
> Weave a spider web.
> Collect spiders using a headlamp and watch them forage in different environments. Record your observations, and see scientific results in real-time.
> Complete a souvenir "Path of Predators" activity booklet.
The University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History's next Sunday with a Scientist program for children and families will explore spiders and other eight-legged critters in the order Arachnida.
It will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine Streets on the UNL City Campus. Museum Sunday hours are 1:30-4:30 p.m.
"Eight-legged Encounters" will be a special, expanded Sunday with a Scientist with activities on two floors of the museum. There will be crafts, demonstrations, experiments, live and preserved specimens on display, and much more. The event will be led by Eileen Hebets, associate professor in the UNL School of Biological Sciences. Hebets will be joined by graduate and undergraduate students, as well as volunteers from the American Tarantula Society and the Prairie Hill Learning Center.
Spiders are the most commonly known arachnid -- but this diverse group of creepy crawlies also includes ticks, mites, scorpions, and "daddy longlegs," among others. All arachnids have eight legs, but unlike insects, they don't have antennae.