Our Elementary Grades Workshop Themes
Acids & Bases: 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 these reactions relate to their everyday lives.
Bubbling Potions (Silly States of Matter)
This workshop contains some truly spectacular demonstrations that involve dry ice. 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.
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. They learn how insects defend themselves in a world of giants, and their importance in pollinating plants.
Black and Blue Oceans
Students devise and test techniques to handle the aftermath of an oil spill, in an oil spill simulation, and discuss how to clean up and prevent the pollution that plagues our oceans.
Kids study the science of their insides by learning about the major systems of the human 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. Watch actual lungs inflate with air. Learn how each of these systems operates - without the operation!
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 out of food in this fun introduction to the cellular sciences.
An introduction to chemistry with mysterious mixtures and surprising solutions. They learn that physical changes are different from chemical reactions because chemical reactions create new molecules. 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.
Take some worms, add some food scraps, and what do you get; fertilized soil and a whole lot of fun! This workshop breaks down the science of decomposition and reveals the work of worms and other decomposers. Students interact with live earthworms.
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 by observing a fictional crime scene. Their inquiry continues with a mystery powder analysis, fingerprint examination, ink separation investigation, and teeth impression match-up.
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. This workshop pairs well with our Jurassic Encounters assembly/show, where students can interact with a "live" T. rex.
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. Several options of take home projects are available.
Children learn about ecosystems from the perspective of a field naturalist. Food webs are difficult to trace in real life. How do you discover all of the animals present in an ecosystem? Students will look at animal tracks, bones, and teeth to see what they can learn about the animals that leave these clues behind. Students make a plaster cast of an animal track, which they can take home.
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
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 for grade 4 and up.
Several energy forms are explored with a focus on potential energy and kinetic 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.
Fundamental 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. This program lays the foundation for further study in the physical sciences.
This program concentrates on the nature of light and its effect on objects. Children are introduced to the luminescent properties of natural and synthetic materials. The children will be given a brief history of fluorescence followed by a demonstration of chemiluminescence, the chemical aspect of luminescence.
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 temper-ature-sensitive equipment in our everyday lives. See how the hot and cold we feel is relative. Children explore materials that transfer heat at different rates.
Who gave us Morse code? How about earmuffs or the light bulb? Children are guided from observation through experimentation on their journey to becoming a great inventor.
Explore the chemical reactions that occur when we prepare, analyze, and digest food. Students are introduced to the differences between chemical and physical reactions. The students test food samples for starch and protein and learn that certain foods help us grow, develop, and function. They become familiar with digestion — the process that occurs after they eat.
Students are introduced to the scientific process involved in the measurement of volume, through a series of activities and experiments. They fill-up on the physics of liquids and practice techniques fit for a lab tech! Intended for grades 3-6.
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 experi¬ments on white light including color-wheel blending and prism-splitting spectrums introduce Newton’s col¬or theory concepts. Children learn the differences be¬tween mixing colored light and mixing colored paint.
Living in Space
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.
Mad Science Machines
They learn about the six different simple machines and how they make work easier. 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 a propeller powered car to take home.
What makes some metal magnetic? What shapes do magnetic fields invisibly form around different-shaped magnets? Can compasses really help you find your way? Kids discover the answers to these questions and many more as they use magnetic wands, explore magnetic attracting and repelling forces, confuse compass needles, and magnetize paper clips.
Matter of Fact
Students explore molecules and the forces that hold atoms together. They see the dramatic differences between physical and chemical changes, and they mix up a batch of their very own Mad Science Putty to take home.
Measure for Measure
Children learn all about the metric system of measurement and trek through a treasure trail.
Students recreate the process of rock formation and devise ways to identify and classify rocks and minerals. Break open geodes to find amazing crystals that they can take home for further study and investigation.
In this 10-part workshop series, kids develop computational thinking and problem-solving skills in an online game environment. They use programming concepts to help a robot get to the next level in the most efficient way; acquiring programming skills for life! Designed for kids in grades 3-6.
Moving Motion introduces children to Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion.
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 con¬vex and concave mirrors to demonstrate how physics can trick our eyes.
This workshop provides students with an introduction to photosynthesis, including an understanding of the chemical processes at work in plants, plant respiration, and the role of plants in food webs.
Planets & Moons
Set off on a voyage to discover the Solar System. Students impersonate the planets to compare their sizes and realistic distances from the Sun (not what is pictured in text books!), recreate a solar and lunar eclipse, and become particles on a voyage into a planet's core.
Playing with Polymers
Students discover the chemical and physical properties of plastics. They explore the plethora of physics principles that play a role in our daily lives.
Radical Robots reinforces the concept that science and technology go hand in hand. Students see that robots are devices that operate automatically with humanlike skill, and have internal systems comparable to humans. Children move through activity stations to test and differentiate between robots, automatons, and remote control devices.
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. 75 minutes preferred $4 per child materials fee
Science of Magic
Natural curiosity leads the way to the ultimate in inquiry-based learning as children ask, “How did they do that?” They watch a series of magic tricks, and then try and unravel how each is done by asking questions. Many different science concepts are explored, but the main focus is on critical thinking.
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 learn some basic concepts of 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
Kids explore all five senses. They test their vision with optical illusions, experiment with their hearing, and try their hand at reading braille. Perfect for kindergartners!
This class demystifies one of the most beneficial molecules known to humankind…polymers! 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!
Kids investigate the science of sound in this hands-on introduction to the basics of vibration, frequency, and pitch. They will explore how sounds are created and transmitted through different materials.
Space Technology introduces some of the technologies used to explore space. 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.
In this class, students will learn about the propulsion systems employed for space travel. They will be introduced 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.
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.
Kids put on their lab coats and stick out their tongues, as they discover the delicious biology behind their taste buds.
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 vortex generators, hover pucks, and even a “magical” Viking ship.
Wacky Water introduces children to the properties of water - a remarkable substance. Children explore this fascinating fluid’s many facets including density, water as the universal solvent, water pollution, and wave motion.
Children conduct hands-on experiments to understand how and why weather occurs. They perform experiments to prove that air has mass and takes up space, and to see how strong moving air can be. Students try out meteorology measurement tools. Possible take home projects include a weather station or a pet tornado.
Children will 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. A Van de Graaff static electricity generator is used for many hair-raising demonstrations.
Where’s the Air?
This dynamic class explores the concepts of air pressure and buoyancy through hands-on experimentation and thought-provoking demonstrations.