The Franklin Institute

Celebrate Earth Day 2020 with The Franklin Institute!

plant in the ground

In the midst of a great global slowdown, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day represents a unique opportunity to explore and celebrate the world around us. There is no better—or more needed—time to cultivate an appreciation for the natural environment. It is only once we see ourselves as intricately interdependent upon nature that we can begin to properly care for it.

So step outside and look around. Everywhere life is blossoming, we just have to open our eyes to it. Join us in getting curious about nature in our backyards and from our front stoops. What can you find?

In the lead up to #EarthDay 2020, Dr. Rachel Valletta takes a look at the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our planet and how we can use those lessons to address climate impacts in this blog post.

Live Events
Science Happy Hour @ The Search Bar
Tuesday, April 21, 5:30pm EST, Instagram (Refresh our channel at that time to join us)
Join us for a Digital Happy Hour!  Enjoy a drink while engaging in a live Q & A with Environmental Scientist Dr. Rachel Valletta.  Get your questions about sustainability and climate change answered while learning how to make fun cocktails.  BYOC!

Wednesday, April 22, 3pm EST, Facebook (Refresh our channel at that time to join us)
Grab your binoculars and join our Environmental Scientist, Dr. Rachel Valletta, for a special edition of our outdoor scavenger hunt. What nature can you spot? Discover something surprising, snap a photo, and explore the world around you, all while appreciating the nurturing power of nature.

Night Skies @ Home
Thursday, April 23, 7:45pm, EST, Facebook (Refresh our channel at that time to join us)
Explore the night skies with Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts and find out if there are any other 'Earth-like' planets out there.

Things to Try at Home
#SparkofScience: Our talented science interpreters share their favorite science experiments.  Check out a special edition on April 22 where Al will be talking about something that makes our home planet unique - WATER! Water covers more that 70% of Planet Earth and is constantly cycling through the land, oceans, and atmosphere. We’ll rapidly simulate how water moves through that cycle using materials you have right at home! 

Science Recipes - Kid-friendly with a dash of fun and a dollop of laughter, each recipe is custom-made for families using everyday household ingredients.  Try bubble art or a shadow trick!

City Nature Challenge in collaboration with
April 24 - 27
Dr. Rachel Valletta encourages all Franklin Institute and #FranklinOutside enthusiasts to join her in a citizen-science event: the City Nature Challenge!  Philadelphia will be competing against other cities in the world to see who can find the most species in their regions.

To participate, download the iNaturalist app for free on your iPhone or Android device and snap photos of the natural world around you--it's that easy!  All photos captured in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties from April 24-27 will automatically go towards our region's team

To learn more, go to:

The City of Philadelphia alone has recorded more than 325 species of birds. Numerous butterflies including monarchs live and breed in the city. There are snakes, frogs, dragonflies, foxes, bats, and much more to experience in our area. The City Nature Challenge gives us a way to explore and document the biodiversity in the cities and suburbs we call home. This, in turn, is useful for science and conservation.

April 17, 2020, 05:00pm

Katie Ozeck

Katie is the Digital Marketing & Analytics Manager, managing all social media and proudly working to showcase the incredible stories of The Franklin Institute. She has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing and content management. She loves photography, traveling, pop culture, herbal tea and finding ways to help everyone discover their inner scientist.