October 12, 2009

Q: What will you find at a natural history-themed pub quiz?

A: Over 70 intrepid quiz-takers, ready to prove their knowledge of the natural and cultural world!

Burke Museum Trivia Night is a brand new outreach program that started last Thursday at the College Inn Pub in the University District. We were treated to a hugely successful turnout of UW graduate students and others who came to test their knowledge of the natural and cultural world. Fifteen teams competed for prizes (drink vouchers from the Pub and museum passes from the Burke) and everyone seemed to have a really great time.

I’ve been excited to start this program for a while now, so it was really gratifying to see it come together so seamlessly. The idea came to me this summer as I was brainstorming creative ways to share the collective knowledge of the Burke Museum with people beyond the walls of the exhibit galleries. A regular pub quiz seemed like a good way to expose new audiences to the many, many subjects covered by our museum. I mean, who doesn’t love drinking beer with friends and showing off how much you know about random subjects?

I was lucky to receive instant support for the idea from the Burke’s director, along with generous financial support from the UW Graduate School . Then, I found the perfect venue for Burke Museum Trivia Night—the College Inn Pub. I liked the College Inn Pub because it’s close to campus, has a nice, laid-back atmosphere, and already attracts a lot of grad students who I thought might be interested in coming to a natural history-themed pub quiz.

The quiz consisted of 6 different rounds (the topics for each round will change each month) of 5 questions each plus a bonus round at half-time. All of the questions had to do with subjects that relate directly or indirectly to Burke collections, exhibits, or research. We also featured a picture ID round and a rock ID round, using images and objects from the Burke’s collections. Here are some sample questions from the first Burke Museum Trivia Night:

From the “Mount Saint Helens” round: In what year did Mt. St. Helens erupt?
From the “Antarctica” round: The United States operates three Antarctic bases devoted to research. Name 1 of those stations.
From the “Where in Washington” round: Where in Washington will you find a Washington city whose name means “place of many waters” in the Nez Perce language for its proximity to both the Columbia and Snake Rivers?
From the “Dinosaur Movies” round: Which dinosaur does NOT make an appearance in the first Jurassic Park movie? A: Stegosaurus B: Tyrannosaurus Rex C: Brachiosaurus D: Triceratops
From the “Holidays” round: Which Mexican holiday honors and remembers friends and family members who have passed away?

Think you know the answers to these questions and others like them? Then come to the next Burke Museum Trivia Night on November 5. If you miss that, we’ll be back on the first Thursday of every month.

Oh, and that's me, hosting the first Trivia Night, wearing a moose hat that one of the teams let me wear for the second half of the game. It never hurts to be cheesy!

Posted by: Julia Swan, Communications