Elementary Workshop Topics and Descriptions:
Acids & Bases, a Phantastic pH Phestival:
This class offers children a solid introduction to the properties of acids and bases, and the reason for these properties. They will learn that acids and bases come in a variety of strengths, and they will learn how their strengths can be measured, and on what scale. They will come to understand what happens when acids and bases react, and how acids, bases and their reactions relate to their everyday lives. With safety always being an important concern, they will learn to distinguish between a safe and an unsafe acid or base, as well as proper methods for handling them. Once the fundamentals have been established, the children will be introduced to the many applications of acids and bases and their reactions, such as how the carbon dioxide produced in an acid-base reaction can be used to put out fires. Finally, the children will enjoy an entertaining application of their new knowledge that will really make things “pop”!
All About Animals:
All About Animals teaches children about the incredible, diverse life in the animal kingdom. Children learn how animals are adapted to their different habitats through specialized feet, fur, and feathers. They explore the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates using x-rays of animal skeletons. Tooth and claw replicas provide hands-on experience with the science of zoology. Activities about classification, camouflage, and animal life cycles introduce the diversity of animals on earth. The students step into the shoes of a naturalist as they create their own casts of animal tracks to take home.
Black & Blue Oceans
This workshop introduces students to environmental issues relating to our water system. They will see and measure some of the effects of pollution on the living and non-living aspects of an ecosystem. Through a hands-on approach students explore the effects of oil spills, and the difficulties in cleaning up these spills. This lesson provides an opportunity to develop scientific skills through inquiry based instructional methods.
Explore your body! Jump on the blood vessel freeway as we stop at the respiratory, digestive, skeletal, and nervous systems. Discover how these systems work to keep you healthy. Learn how each of these systems operate - without the operation!
Students will be introduced to the concept of matter, and the properties and characteristics of its three most common manifestations: solids, liquids and gases. They will learn how and why matter changes between the different states, and will have a good understanding of elementary physical principles. The children will be able and eager to tell any inquiring adult all about carbon dioxide–in its solid or gaseous state! Perhaps most importantly, this lesson relates the material to the students' lives and school curriculum: they will leave with an understanding of the science behind the water cycle, carbonation, and even Hollywood special effects. This workshop contains some truly spectacular demonstrations.
Children are introduced to the world of entomology. Examining real specimens and models help children familiarize themselves with insect anatomy. They discover that insects have specific body parts that set them apart from other arthropods. An insect habitat match-up helps children understand how insects adapt to their environment. They learn how insects defend themselves in a world of giants, and their importance in pollinating plants. Children see from an insect’s point of view with an interchangeable lens viewer to take home.
What do you have in common with a dinosaur, amoeba, and a tree? Cells! Explore the tiniest machines in your body. Not only will the students explore cellular structures, but they will also make their own model cell in this fun introduction to the cellular sciences.
Che-mystery introduces children to chemistry with mysterious mixtures and surprising solutions. They learn that physical changes are different from chemical reactions because chemical reactions create new products. Crystals, colloid suspensions, solutions, and indicators are all part of this fun, information-packed class. Children learn the importance of lab safety and get hands-on with some amazing reactions.
Chem in a Flash
This class introduces children to the factors which determine how fast chemical reactions occur. Several fields of chemistry will be presented through demonstrations and hands-on activities. Students will explore the many ways in which different chemical processes can be sped up - they will experiment with catalysts, instantly grow crystals, release heat with exothermic reactions, and corrode metal.
Let’s keep our composure as we learn about decomposers! Learn about the importance of decomposition and its vital role in the food chain and in our environment. The students will explore both plant and animal decomposers. It will be “icky” and interesting!
Children use science to crack a case! They are introduced to the science techniques used to investigate and analyze crime scene evidence. The students begin their training by observing a fictional crime scene. Their inquiry continues with a mystery powder analysis, fingerprint examination, ink separation investigation, and teeth impression match-up. They create a composite of a perpetrator from memory and then analyze all the evidence to determine which suspect committed the crime.
Future paleontologists will discover the unique science of excavating fossils. Kids will make a study of our dinosaur friends as we learn about fossilization, carnivores, herbivores and many other “Jurassic” explorations. Students make cast a replica of a T-rex tooth to take home.
Children are introduced to the science of geology. They examine three different rock types and learn how and where they formed. Children investigate tectonic plates and learn how their movements cause stress on the Earth. They discover that these movements can cause mountains to form, earthquakes to occur, and volcanoes to erupt. The children make and take home a sedimentary stacker, which reinforces the concept of sedimentary rock formation learned in class. This class can be customized with different take home projects. Possibilities include breaking geodes and growing crystal gardens.
Explore the fascinating world of ecosystems. Students create an energy web to learn about the inter-relationships that exist between all the living things – including humans - and how ecosystems stay in balance. Discover what happens when one of the components tips the scale in their favor. Trace a portion of a food chain by dissecting owl pellets and identifying what animals the owl hunted.
Students explore the properties of electrons at rest, and experiment with electrical current. They get to use a Van de Graaff static electricity generator to demonstrate that negative charges repel - with hair raising results. Using a tesla coil, the instructor will amaze the class with safe demonstrations of high voltage electrical current.
Energy / Conservation of Energy (grades 4-6)
Perfect for the intermediate school curriculum! Explore how energy can be changed from one form to another, but not created or destroyed. The students will change kinetic energy to potential energy, electricity to light & heat, and chemical energy to heat and motion. This workshop contains some spectacular demonstrations and activities.
Energy Burst (grades 1-3)
Children are introduced to the law of conservation of energy. Several energy forms are explored with a focus on potential (stored) energy and kinetic (motion) energy. Children do hands-on experiments to learn that elastic objects store potential energy when stressed and release kinetic energy when returned to their original shape. Children lift balls against the force of gravity to learn about gravitational potential energy. They build and take home a catapult that stores energy in a wound string.
Fun-damental Forces introduces children to the pushes and pulls that make the universe tick. Gravity, inertia, and centripetal force are some key concepts they discover along the way. Some exciting, hands-on investigations into forces include the bike wheel gyroscope, a coin-spinning vortex, toy racetracks, and the balloon centrifuge. This program lays the foundation for further study in the physical sciences.
This class concentrates on how we perceive light and its effect on objects. Children are introduced to the luminescent properties of natural and synthetic materials. These concepts will be presented through a hands-on exploration of household objects, paper products, and earth minerals. The children will be given a brief history of fluorescence followed by a demonstration of chemiluminescence, the chemical aspect of luminescence. This program wraps up with a thought-provoking discussion and an activity on the applications of the science of light.
Good Vibrations (grades 3-6)
Surf sound waves and explore the properties of amplification, vibration and acoustics. Catch some sound waves, play a super-sonic banger, and compose a Mad Science Symphony.
Children learn about the concepts of heat and heat transfer, about how molecules move at different temperatures and how thermometers work. The instructor uses various tools like a heat gun and thawing blocks to demonstrate how we use temperature-sensitive equipment in our everyday lives. A series of interactive heat-induced experiments show how the hot and cold we feel is relative. Shaking up a bottle of sand shows how friction increases temperature. Children explore materials that transfer heat at different rates.
Children get clued in on the chemical reactions that occur when they prepare, analyze, and digest their food. They are introduced to the differences between chemical and physical reactions. The instructor demonstrates how yeast feeds on sugars to produce a gas-filled balloon. The students test food samples for starch and protein and learn that certain foods help us grow, develop, and function. They familiarize with digestion — the process that occurs after they eat. The hands-on, clear digestive-track model take home project extends this concept at home.
Students become lab scientists-in-training in this whirlwind program on laboratory techniques! Each student will learn to manipulate an assortment of lab equipment in a series of hands-on activities. They will learn to transfer droplets using a pipette, and larger quantities using a stirring rod. They will also learn to swirl with an Erlenmeyer flask. As the instructor demonstrates more complex experiments, students will also learn to make a hypothesis based on their observations and techniques learned during the class.
Life in the Sea
Life in the Sea plunges children into the depths of ocean life. Children learn to distinguish fish from invertebrates, and explore some of the adaptations sea creatures have developed for survival. Real shark and whale tooth replicas let children get hands-on with marine biology. Group games help them explore the concepts of food webs and sustainable fishing practices. They also learn some things they can do to help protect ocean creatures and habitats.
Enter the world of light and color. Children observe demonstrations that blend colors to produce white light, and others that separate white light into colors. Exciting experiments on white light including color-wheel blending and prism-splitting spectrums introduce Newton’s color theory concepts. Children learn the differences between mixing colored light and mixing colored paint. Activities involving diffraction lenses, spectroscopes, ultraviolet light, and chromatography provide lessons on scientific techniques used to study the physics of light.
Living in Space
This class puts students in the shoes of an astronaut. Children will explore the various demands and challenges facing astronauts, and the scientists who send them into space. Students then investigate astronaut training, mobility, and life support, and experience astronaut life for themselves as they participate in a space station building mission. Comparing their own schedules with those of astronauts, students will see how demanding a role it is.
Mad Science Machines
Children discover how simple machines make our lives easier. They learn about the six different types of simple machines: the screw, lever, inclined plane, wedge, pulley, and wheel and axle. Children launch with levers, secure with screws, and work with wedges through hands-on activities. A large child-operated pulley system demonstrates how pulleys help us move heavy objects easily. Children apply their newfound mechanical knowledge by building their very own propeller powered car.
Experience the pull of magnetism! Ever been an atom in a magnet? Don’t be repelled! Visit the North and South Poles and frolic in invisible fields. Children use magnetic wands, explore magnetic attracting and repelling forces, confuse compass needles, and magnetize paper clips. Entertaining demonstrations show the magnet’s gravity-defying abilities and educate children about the Earth’s magnetic properties. Play with some of the wildest forces in the universe!
Matter of Fact
Take a closer look at the 3 states of matter and molecules... the nuts and bolts of the universe. Students build, touch and explore molecules and create wacky-wild molecular concoctions. Through a hands-on approach, they will learn and observe the difference between physical and chemical changes, play alchemists by actually turning paper-clips to gold (well, almost), and, to cap it all off, students will find out just how much fun polymers can be!
The earth can be pretty crusty. Peek beneath its rough exterior and uncover what it’s made of. Explore the process of rock formation and learn how scientists classify and identify rocks and minerals. Break open geodes to find and keep amazing crystals.
Moving Motion introduces children to Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion. Performing hands-on experiments helps the students learn that objects tend to stay in motion or remain at rest unless met by an unbalanced force. Children investigate and learn that objects with more mass require more force to move. They learn that for every action force there is an equal and opposite reaction force through a variety of volunteered-powered demonstrations.
Children are introduced to the concepts of refraction, science of optics, and biology associated with sight as they explore the physics of optical illusions. The instructor uses a wide variety of optical illusions like the mirror mirage, twisting copper coils, and convex and concave mirrors to demonstrate how physics can trick our eyes. Children use erasable crayons to create a series of laminated paper illusions and explore the reflections of various mirror forms.
Does a plant have a nose and mouth? So how do they eat or breathe? Students will learn about the chemical processes at work in plant respiration and photosynthesis. Discover the place that plants have in the food chain, and use microscopes to look at plant cells.
Planets & Moons
In this class, students set off on a voyage to discover the Solar System. Students impersonate the planets to compare their sizes and distances from the Sun, recreate a solar and lunar eclipse, and become particles on a voyage into a planet's core.
This is your chance to be a rocket scientist! Students are provided with a valuable hands-on experience as they build a functional model rocket. As they move through the various stages of construction, students learn the components of a rocket, and the roles each plays in a rocket's flight. Students will learn about the four forces affecting flight in lessons that will be reinforced with a fun game in which they race through space. (75 minutes preferred - $4 per child materials fee)
Science of Magic
Science of Magic introduces children to a wide variety of scientific topics, challenging them to think logically and scientifically. Natural curiosity leads the way to the ultimate in inquiry-based learning as children ask, “How did they do that?” Scientific concepts ranging from optics to optical illusions and the importance of observation to the chemistry of hydrophilic polymers are investigated. Building an illusion box with a hidden mirror teaches about the science of optics. There are many illusions for children to see and try as they unlock the secrets of the science of magic.
Science of Toys
This class uses amazing toys to lead students to ask, “How does that work?!” Children test, play, and ponder and in the process of experimenting with physics. They investigate how some toys store and release energy, what forces make the toys move, and once in motion, why the devices act the way they do. Students create their own super-ball from “scratch”
Seeking Our Senses
Use your common sense and learn about our senses. Learn about sight, sound, touch and taste. Kids will get to explore their senses and how what we smell and see can affect our perception of taste.
Giant molecule chains called Polymers are vital to modern civilization, and to life itself. Learn what makes these maverick molecules so unique, and so very important. Explore, create, and play with a polymer you may already know...SLIME!
Music and all sorts of merry sounds engage children in sound experiments and live demonstrations showing the properties and transmission of sound waves. Children listen to sounds made with solid materials— from plastic, to metal, to string. Ordinary objects like handheld horns, metal screws, wooden ratchets and beads transform into a story sound-effect symphony. Electronic devices reveal frequency when a pitch-changing machine alters the children’s voices to gruff monsters or happy chipmunks.
Space Technology starts with an exploration of space related technologies used on Earth. Students will help guide laser light through a maze, use principles of radar technology to find hidden mountains, and discover the importance of points of reference to depth perception. From there, it's out into space with the launch of a satellite into orbit (at the edge of their desks) and an examination of potential threats to spacecraft. Children will leave revved up by an investigation of shuttle fuel.
In this class, students will learn about the propulsion systems employed for space travel. Children will participate in inquiry-based discussions and multiple hands-on experiments designed to introduce children to the concepts of thrust, propulsion, action/reaction, aerodynamics, rocket construction, the stages of rocket flight, and more. Students will participate in a model rocket launch outside.
In Space Phenomena, students will explore the phenomenal events that take place in the night sky. Children will create their own impact craters, and observe model meteors fall through a model atmosphere. After a friendly game of satellite tag designed to teach students about reflected light, students watch a model comet form right before their eyes. After exploring the composition of real comets, students will make comet balls to take home with them!
Sun & Stars
This workshop introduces students to stars (including our own) and the galaxies they form. A rich combination of hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations teaches children about stellar life cycles, how stars affect planetary formation, and about the various kinds of galaxies. Children will also investigate the perception of stars from Earth as they examine constellations in three dimensions, and make a three-dimensional model of the Big Dipper to take home.
Super Sticky Stuff
Students will be given the opportunity to perform inquiry-based experiments to test the properties of adhesive objects. Since chemistry is the study of the interaction of particles that are too small to see, students will be presented with objects such as Velcro that model what is happening at the microscopic level. They will develop an understanding of the science of sticky elements and practice hands-on activities to explore the nature of natural and synthetic adhesive materials. The children assemble a Professor Beakerdude kit, a set of reusable adhesives and a beaker that they can take home and use to perform experiments.
Super Structures introduces children to the fascinating science of architecture and engineering. They learn about structures, the forces behind them, and shapes and materials that strengthen them. The students are challenged to improve the strength of a basic structure by changing its shape. Children take home a bridge-building kit. They use the included components to strengthen a basic bridge structure.
Children develop a taste for science! Children get hands-on with magnifiers, model tongues, and mirrors to see what their own tongues look like – and test the classic model of the “tongue map”. A quick tasting test sorts out which class members are supertasters. The instructor uses spoonfuls of sugar to show sugar content in popular children’s drinks. A nose-plugging experiment links taste and smell, and children scientifically sniff-out extracted scents.
Under Pressure introduces children to the exciting science of air pressure and a host of associated scientific concepts including aerodynamics, the science of flight, thermodynamics, and Bernoulli’s principle. Children learn that air is all around us, and vital to life on Earth, while experimenting with Airzookas, hover pucks, and even a “magical” Viking ship.
Wacky Water introduces children to the properties of water. Children explore this fascinating fluid’s many facets including density, water as the universal solvent, water pollution, and wave motion. Water is a remarkable substance. It covers more than three quarters of Earth’s surface—and no life on Earth could survive without it. Yet, besides water’s two other states (steam and ice), children know little about its other properties. The Wacky Water program lets them get their feet wet and wade into a wider study of this all important compound.
Children conduct hands-on experiments to understand how and why weather occurs. They find out that seasons change as the Earth tilts toward and away from the sun. Children learn that air affects weather. They perform experiments to prove that air has mass and takes up space. After learning that water in the air affects the weather, children recreate the water cycle and mimic a rain cloud. They try out meteorology measurement tools and act like weather reporters. Children learn that ultraviolet light can cause sunburns. Possible take home projects include a weather station or a pet tornado.
Children have a solid introduction to the properties of electricity and electric charges. Students discover an electric charge’s basic properties, learn to distinguish between static electricity and electrical current, and explore the science behind these phenomena. Hands-on activities provide a tactile lesson in charging and discharging objects with static electricity. Children will be able to relate a newfound understanding of lightning and static-electric shocks—that may have previously been confusing or even frightening—to their daily lives. They will learn how to protect themselves from electric shocks and lightning.
Call us today to learn more about our school science projects and workshops!
We serve ALL of Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess and Putnam Counties
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