Science Activities for the Whole Family

Explore the innovation process and learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math! Each activity includes a step-by-step guide and our expert staff is always on hand to help - no prior knowledge required! Science Studio is included in the cost of admission and activities change regularly.

Your health and safety is our top priority at this time. We've adapted our Science Studio activities to allow for social distancing and increased cleaning of surfaces between use. For more information on all of the ways we're keeping our visitors and staff safe, see our complete COVID-19 Guidelines and Preparedness Plan.

SUMMER SCIENCE STUDIO ACTIVITIES

August Theme: Space!

(August 8– September 4)

Space is equal parts mind-blowing and scientifically astounding. How do we communicate across the vast reaches of space? Can we mine resources from other celestial bodies, like meteors? What do shadows have to do with space? Discover the answers to all these questions and more in this month’s space-themed Science Studio!

ACTIVITIES

Asteroid Mining - Asteroids have been found to possess a number of different minerals which could be useful for humans to use on earth, or in space. What would be special about your asteroid mining gear, if you had some? Would your equipment have shovels for digging, wheels for moving around the asteroid, or perhaps protection from the sun? Create an original asteroid mining device and learn about the logistics of mining in outer space in this thought-provoking activity.

Bear’s Shadow - We are aware of our shadows from an early age, but how do they work? What position does the sun have to be in to cast a long or short shadow? What time of day makes the longest shadows? Your young child will be able to manipulate the sun and objects that cast shadows in this great developmental activity for partners.

Space Guess Quest - That’s a galaxy… this one is a star… and that one is a… quasar? Test your memory and space knowledge skills with this drawing guessing game.

Orbiting Objects - An orbit is the path of an object around a particular point in space, for example the path the Moon takes around the Earth. Orbits are determined by gravity, and are often 'elliptical', the shape of an oval. In this activity, you can toss marbles into orbit and see the different paths they can create.


September Theme: Structural Engineering!

 (September 5-September 27)

Structural Engineering is the study of ensuring structures stay… well, constructed! There are many factors structural engineers have to account for, like gravity, load bearing capability, and factors like weather resistance and public use. Is your structure up to the task?

ACTIVITIES

Scrape the Sky - Steel changed the landscape of structural design when it emerged as a construction material in the late nineteenth century. For the first time, engineers could use soaring vertical beams to make their buildings crane far up into the sky. Using only rigid K’nex pieces, see if you can make a sky scraper AT LEAST as tall as you!

Bridge the gap - Beam, arch, suspension, cantilever, truss, cable-stayed… This may seem like a random collection of engineering terms, but these are all different types of bridges. While an arched bridge might be appropriate for one scenario, another may call for a cantilever bridge. In this challenge, you will be tasked with bridging the gap between two surfaces. Can you go the distance without letting your bridge collapse?

Dome Dominion - A “geodesic dome” is a thin-shell structure based on a geodesic polyhedron (it looks like a sphere). The triangular elements of the dome are rigid, and distribute the structural stress throughout the structure, making geodesic domes able to withstand very heavy loads for their size. Using only triangular magnetic pieces, create a geodesic dome with at least 6 sides.

Spin a Spiderweb - Spiders don't go to grocery stores or fast food chains to get their food -- they set up traps and wait for their food to come to them! In this project, we'll explore spider science with a fun look at these webs. While they might seem flimsy to humans, spiderwebs are actually incredibly strong for their size and materials. See if you can weave a web that stops any fly from getting away!

© 2020 The Bakken Museum — All Rights Reserved