Science After Dark: The Science of Africa

science_after_darkThe Museum of Discovery, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, UALR and the Little Rock Zoo are partnering to present “The Science of Africa” from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 27, the latest in the Museum of Discovery’s monthly Science After Dark series.

The museum’s Great Hall will come alive with interactive, science-based experiences highlighting the physical and earth sciences of Africa. Dr. Warigia Bowman, assistant professor at the Clinton School, and Joel Gordon, visitor experience director at the Museum of Discovery, have collaborated to plan and execute an engaging series of interactive experiences

Other presenters will include Dr. Amin Akhnoukh of UALR, representatives of the Reptile Rescue Center, members of the education staffs of the Little Rock Zoo and the Museum of Discovery as well as Hamadi Njoroge, owner/operator of African Wildcats Adventure Safaris.

Those attending the 21-and-over-only event full of Africa science-based experiences will get the chance to:

  • Meet some African animals and learn more about many of the continent’s best-known inhabitants.
  • Examine some of the more exotic skeletons of African animals, pulled from the Museum of Discovery’s collection, as well as skulls, hides and other animal artifacts from the Little Rock Zoo.
  • Learn about the science and scientists of Africa, including troubling phenomena like the melting of the snow cap on Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Explore “The Development of Construction from the Age of the Pharaoh to Modern Egypt,” as Dr. Akhnoukh talks about pyramids, pharaoh temples and newer projects such as the high dam in Aswan, Cairo Tower, the famous Alexandria Library, and the Egyptian Museum.
  • Enjoy African roots-based music.
  • And learn why deep down in our DNA, we are all African.

Dr. Bowman is an expert in the science of Africa. She earned her doctorate degree from Harvard University, where her Ph.D. research centered on the effect of technology in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. She has consulted for many African organizations, including the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, the African Technology Policy Studies Network and the New Economic Partnership for African Development.

Dr. Akhnoukh, a native of Egypt, is an assistant professor of construction engineering at UALR. He has his Ph.D. in construction engineering from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and his masters in civil engineering from Kansas State University. He research focuses on ultra-high strength concrete mixes. Dr. Akhnoukh is a registered professional engineer in Arkansas and Cairo. His board affiliations include serving on the board of the Arkansas chapter of the American Concrete Institute.

Hamadi is an expert on Kenyan animals, including many of the country’s 1,000 bird species as well as wild cats, including lions and leopards, and other important large game species including rhinos, elephants, giraffes and the numerous antelopes that make their home in the vast grasslands of East Africa.

Admission to Science After Dark is $5, free for Museum of Discovery members, and is payable at the door. Bosco’s will provide a cash bar, and visitors will have full access to the 85 interactive exhibits featured in the museum’s three galleries. For more information, visit and “like” Science After Dark on Facebook.