Programs & Services

Da Vinci & Technology Focus of Museum’s June 1st Monthly First Friday

May 18th, 2018

The next First Friday evening event at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science explores the technological genius of Leonardo da Vinci. On Friday evening, June 1, museum visitors who take advantage of discounted prices to see Da Vinci — The Genius can also study how Leonardo da Vinci envisioned the future of mechanical technology more than 500 years ago.

On June 1 from 5:30 – 9 p.m., admission to Da Vinci — The Genius is discounted by $5, making the final admission charge: Adults $17, Seniors $15 & Children $10. Admission to the museum’s permanent exhibits (excluding Da Vinci — The Genius), is $5 per person, a $3 savings off the usual adult price.

The June First Friday event at the Museum of Natural History & Science is part of the Old Town Countdown to Summer with many activities planned in the area. For more information about the Countdown to Summer events: https://www.abqtodo.com/summer/

Da Vinci – The Genius demonstrates the full scope of Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable genius as an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician and architect. Guests will enjoy many unique pieces including life-size machine inventions, entertaining animations of da Vinci’s most notable Renaissance works, and an eye-opening, in-depth analysis of his most famous piece, “Mona Lisa.” Visitors will be able to push, pull, crank, and interact with many of these exhibits for a hands-on understanding of the scientific principles behind them.

"Poised at the beginning of the Renaissance, Leonardo explored the importance of observation, experimentation, artistic visualization, and practical utilization that are at the core of modern technology. We can follow that chain of discovery simply by looking at and understanding many pieces of modern technology," said Larry Crumpler, Ph.D., museum research scientist and Mars Exploration Rover team member.

On June 1 only, aspects of da Vinci’s contributions to mechanical technology will be explained by experts from several organizations at table displays:



  • Mars Opportunity Rover planning lead Larry Crumpler will show how simple observations, like those that Leonardo would have made, are generating fundamental truths about the Red Planet. As one of the original Mars Helicopter team members, Dr. Crumpler will also present materials about this cutting-edge technology that have not been widely distributed;

  • American Institute of Architects, Albuquerque Chapter, will have two activities: Organizing Principles of Design and An Architectural Playground, building upon da Vinci’s concept of an ideal city;

  • The Society of Women Engineers at CNM will explain how physical science is used in many kinds of structures;

  • Lakeshore Learning Store will have an interactive learning display of their products;

  • Highlands University will show how a 3D printer can make parts for simple machines;

  • Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute will demonstrate the principles of modern robotics and how the concept of robots has advanced since da Vinci’s model of a mechanical man;

  • Applied Research Associates will show examples of how innovative technologies are turned into practical applications;

  • UNM Civil Engineering will present a display on bamboo as a construction material for building design.

The DynaTheater will be showing the 3D movie Dream Big. Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray explores the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels -- big and small -- and reveals the heart that drives engineers to create better lives for people around the world. Admission to this program is included in da Vinci admission; however, donations are always appreciated. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. and lasts one hour. The DynaTheater concession stand will be open before the showing and close when the video begins.

The Planetarium will present Fractal Friday at the usual times of 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. with the normal admission of: Adults $10, Seniors $7 & Children (3-12) $5. Shows typically sell out in advance, so get your tickets early on the Fractal Foundation’s website: fractalfoundation.org

The Museum Observatory will be open to the night sky for 30 minutes from 8:30 – 9 p.m., weather permitting, and da Vinci exhibition admission will be required for access.

The Nature Works store will be selling fascinating da Vinci merchandise and other unique gifts from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The Hope Café will be open continuously from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. that day, so you can enjoy dinner while waiting for the museum to reopen (only the café entrance will be open from 5 – 5:30).

Crack the da Vinci code and get a special discount! On each First Friday through July, a special word based upon a da Vinci invention will unlock a 10 percent discount on a da Vinci audio tour when deliberately said at the tour rental kiosk. The code word for June is “Bicicletta.”

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