April - Be an Environmental Scientist
Apr
10
10:00 AM10:00

April - Be an Environmental Scientist

Careers in Environmental Science
We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.  --Margaret Mead

Career Expert
11:00, 12:00, 1:00

 This month, Corey Batson, Executive Director of Urban Interface, joins us! He will share what it’s like to work with wildlife in educational and conservation settings, including his experience in wildlife rehabilitation and environmental interpretation.

Mr. Batson is also bringing a couple special guests: a great horned owl and a peregrine falcon! Together, we will examine how they interact with their handlers and the public for educational purposes.

The Urban Interface was founded in 2013 and is dedicated to providing continuing education and conservation of wildlife and nature.

Hands-on Activities

Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

Urban Interface
Urban Interface will be here with birds of prey! You will get to meet friends like Valkyrie the Peregrine Falcon, Hermes the Great Horned Owl, and possibly a Swainsons Hawk or Red Tailed Hawk.


Bird Beak Buffet
Step up to the buffet table and choose a tool that representing a type of bird beak! See how much “food” you can collect in 20 seconds.  Is the “beak” you chose better suited for eating certain types of food?


Water Cycle Bracelet
Come play the Incredible Journey! You will be a drop of water and each roll of the dice shows where you are traveling in the water cycle (clouds, river, lake, plants, soil, ocean, groundwater, glacier, animals). As you travel this incredible journey through the water cycle, you will collect a colored bead at each location. String all of your beads together on twine to make a bracelet representing your personal journey through the water cycle!

Learning Labs and Pricing:
$5 for non-members
$4.50 for members
Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

 K-2 - Gettin’ Buggy With It, 10:30am, lasts 45 minutes: Come learn how scientists classify living things!  Observe and classify a set of specimen blocks in different ways. Then make your own classification criteria, sort your specimen blocks and graph your new data!

3-5 - Nature Sound Mapping, 11:30am, lasts one hour: Have you ever made a sound map? Join us as we venture into the LBJ Settlement to experience the nature all around us, and use our “fox” ears to really listen to the sounds that nature makes! Create your very own sound map as we immerse ourselves into the environment that surrounds us.

6-8 - GPS Scavenger Hunt, 1pm, lasts one hour: Come learn the basics of using a Garmin GPS to mark waypoints. Then explore nature at the LBJ Settlement as you participate in an environmental science scavenger hunt. Read clues, find your locations, and mark waypoints along the way as you learn about several different careers in this science field. Once you complete the scavenger hunt, use your GPS waypoints to make a map of your adventure and highlight nature you experienced along the way!


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March - Be a Biologist
Mar
7
10:00 AM10:00

March - Be a Biologist

Careers in Biology

If the brain was so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t .  -Lyall Watson

 Career Expert: Robert P. Elde, Ph.D.

The human brain may be the most complicated thing in the Universe. How can we use our own brains to understand brains? Can we study something simpler, and learn how more complex brains work?

At this month’s Homeschool Day, our very own Science Director, Robert P. Elde, Ph.D., will present “How to Learn About the Brain by Studying a Critter That Doesn’t Have One.”

Now, that sounds like a can’t-miss discussion!

Bob is the former dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences. Over his career, he was author or co-author of more than 240 scientific publications in cellular and molecular neuroscience research.

Hands-on Activities

Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

Neurons

Examine our neuron model to see how electrical signals travel down axons and release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Take this knowledge home with you when you make your own fuzzy stick neuron model!

Thaumatropes

Thaumatropes are optical illusion toys that were popular WAY back in the 19th century!  You’ll discover how to use the phenomenon of persistence of vision to create illusions of motion when you design and create a thaumatrope.

Side Dominant Science

Participate in a series of short activities that will determine your “sidedness.”  Figure out whether you generally prefer to do most activities with one side of your body through activities that test your hands, feet, eyes, and ears!

Learning Labs and Pricing

$5 for non-members

$4.50 for members

Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

This month’s labs are all about neurology, with engaging, age-appropriate activities that delve into the science of our brains!

K-2: Build A Brain, 10:30am, lasts 45 minutes

Build a model of one hemisphere of the brain and learn what the what each of the four brain lobes, cerebellum and brain stem control. Does the right side of your brain control the right side of your body?

3-5: Make Your Point, 11:30am, lasts one hour

Make a set of touch testers to measure someone’s ability to detect pressure. Then use the touch testers on your lab partners to test their detection threshold on their fingers, hands, arms, neck, legs & feet. Is your detection threshold the same on all parts of your body?

6-8: One Point-Two Point, 1pm, lasts one hour

Make a one-point-two point tester to investigate whether or not your lab partners feel one or two pressure points on their fingers, palm, forearm, cheek, lip, nose, forehead and more. Learn how skin receptors send pressure signals to the nervous system. Do you think these receptors are distributed evenly around your body?

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February - Be an Engineer
Feb
13
10:00 AM10:00

February - Be an Engineer

Careers in Engineering

Science is about knowing; engineering is about doing.  --Henry Petroski

Career Speaker
11am & 1pm

Our guest speaker this month is Grammy Award-winning recording engineer Justin Douglas, owner of King Electric Recording in Austin. Join us to find out about the engineering principles behind making musical artists sound amazing!

Justin is a graduate of Berklee School of Music. He has 15 years of experience working on hundreds of recordings, including multi-platinum and Grammy-winning albums and feature films. At this month’s Homeschool Day, Justin will tell us all about his career path, and how he turned his passion for music into an exciting career. 

Hands-on Activities

Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

Strawbees Creations

Use the Strawbees system to engineer your own creation. These amazingly simple tools promote curiosity and encourage playful learning. What will you dream up? A pet, a dinosaur, a helpful machine or something that’s never before been seen?

Make a Mountain Rescue Litter

Litters are used for rescues in hard to reach places, like mountainous terrain. Be a biomedical engineer when you design and build your own mountain rescue litter to evacuate an injured potato person from the backcountry! Consider principles of weight, stability, portability and ease of assembly when you create your litter.

Mystery Bag Challenge

Grab a mystery bag and make a Pom Pom Launcher! Everyone gets a bag of materials that can be used to manufacture a working launching system. Get creative with your materials to see what you can engineer!

Learning Labs and Pricing:

$5 for non-members

$4.50 for members

Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

 

K-2 - Zippity Doo Dah, 10:30am, lasts 45 minutes: Be an engineer and make a zipline car that safely - but quickly - moves your Lego passenger down ziplines.

3-5 - Crazy Contraptions, 11:30am, lasts one hour: Use building materials to engineer a contraption that moves marbles from the top of a peg board to the bottom.

6-8 - Roller Coaster Tycoon, 1pm, lasts one hour: Design and build a foam roller coaster, complete with loops and jumps, that will successfully deliver different sizes of marbles from beginning to end.

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January - Be a Mathematician
Jan
10
10:00 AM10:00

January - Be a Mathematician

The Intersection of Art and Math: Putting the A & M in STEAM

January is about discovering why art and math make a great pair!

Career Expert: Susan Oliver Heard, GG, GJ, AJA

11am, Noon, 1pm

Join us for one of Susan Oliver Heard’s presentations during this month’s Homeschool Day! Her artistically guided and civic-minded odyssey creates a can’t-miss compelling story of a career built out of a love for both math and the arts.

Susan is the founder and director of Cinnabar Gallery and a Master Jeweler. She is joining us for Homeschool Day this month to artfully connect the dots between math and the humanities. Susan will share her journey from childhood in San Antonio, around the world, and back home again. She’ll tell us how math has been threaded throughout her life’s work in custom jewelry design, art consulting, gallery management, music performance, and civic service. 

From her beginnings in downtown San Antonio, Susan’s studies and career path then led her to Bali to study music, London to study art and drama, and Vienna to study art and piano performance, and to some stops in the States, too. She has BAs in Classics, History, and Political Theory, along with three certifications in jewelry design, fabrication, and graduate gemology from the Gemological Institute of America. Susan, an award-winning jewelry designer, managed art galleries and jewelry stores before returning home to San Antonio where she opened her own gallery, Cinnabar, in 2013. Susan also serves on the City of San Antonio’s zoning commission and the Public Art Committee for San Pedro Creek. 

Hands-on Activities- Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

  • Pi Skyline: Create a cityscape by graphing the numbers in Pi! This colorful project starts with the pythagorean theorem and ends with a beautiful art piece.

  • Pythagorean Snail: Discover how mathematical relationships show up in nature when triangles turn into snail shells!

  • Tessellation:  Create a colorful repeating pattern using just one shape!

  • Mobius Strip: Math is beautifully one-sided when it comes to mobius strips! Make your own to take home.

Learning Labs:

$5 for non-members, $4.50 for members, Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

 K-2 Pattern Palooza, 10:30, lasts 45 minutes: Play with pattern blocks to learn how different shapes fit together to make patterns. Then use pattern blocks to make your own picture and create a tessellation.

3-5 Shapeshifter City, 11:30am, lasts one hour: Learn how architects use math, shapes, and patterns when designing and building. Try out your new skill with Magformers when you put shapes together to form 2D patterns. Snap your patterns together and watch them transform into a 3D figure!

6-8  Dive In!, 1pm, lasts one hour: Explore what it would be like to work for a bungee jumping company, and learn about the math involved in creating this type of thrill ride. Can you design a bungee that will give Ken & Barbie a thrilling but safe bungee jump experience?

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December - Be an Inventor
Dec
12
10:00 AM10:00

December - Be an Inventor

Join us in December to turn all kinds of junk into all kinds of fun! We’ll focus on careers that allow you to make something out of nothing. Let your imagination run the show this month!

Career Expert: Information coming soon! Watch this space for details.

Hands-on Activities

Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

Marble Maze

Design and create a one-of-a-kind marble run! You choose the twists and turns that will take your marble from start to finish.

Instruments

We’ll use everyday materials to create musical instruments! Do you have materials that you think could make a great musical sound or would be a good instrument starter? Bring them along and the Science Mill staff will help you build your sound machine. (We’ll have materials on hand, too!) Some ideas for materials that could become sound makers: straws, rubber bands, paper plates, yarn, jingle bells, beads, plastic cups, balloons, bobby pins, recyclables and MORE!

Invent a Creature

Use your imagination and our materials to invent and build a creature! Science Mill staff will help you make your creation move and produce sounds.  

Learning Labs

Pricing:

$5 for non-members

$4.50 for members

Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

K-2 Crazy Contraptions, 10:30, lasts 45 minutes: Use building materials to create a contraption that will move objects, like toy cars, marbles, and ping pong balls, from the top of a board to the bottom!   

3-5 Conductive Creatures, 11:30am, lasts one hour: Create a little buddy using conductive and insulative dough and LEDs. Complete a circuit and watch part of your new friend light up!

6-8  Makey-Makey, 1pm, lasts one hour: Design and create an interactive soundboard using a Makey Makey.  Then ramp up your creativity to turn your soundboard into a modern noise-making toy using different conductive materials!


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November - Be a Technologist
Nov
8
10:00 AM10:00

November - Be a Technologist

Technology Trends: Transporting Us to the Future

November’s Homeschool Day will focus on careers in technology! We’ll explore augmented reality, create 3D drawings, and have coding-focused Learning Labs.

Guest Speaker

Suzanne A. Pierce, PhD, Founder and Lead Scientist, Pixel Profundo

Suzanne A. Pierce, PhD, studies integrated watershed systems and designs technologies to help people interact with earth and environmental information. As a founder and lead scientist for the educational technology company, Pixel Profundo, Dr. Pierce and her partners are creating augmented and immersive reality applications based on the local species that make Central Texas unique. Her work has received awards at  local and international levels for innovation and engagement. Most recently, she launched Creek Quest AR, a new Science Augmented! card game.

About Pixel Profundo

Pixel Profundo is focused on the creation of technologies and products that educate and inform, such as interactive gaming, augmented reality, artificial intelligence applications, decision support systems, and 3D tangibles based on scientific themes critical to sustainable futures, conflict resolution and understanding how natural systems work.


Hands-on Activities- Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

Color With Quiver

Bring coloring pages to life with an augmented reality app!

Take Your Drawings to a New Dimension

It’s like holding a 3D printer in your hand when you doodle with this amazing pen!

Learning Labs ($5 for non-members, $4.50 for members, Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars)

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.


K-2 Botley Coding, 10:30am, lasts 45 minutes

Learn basic principles of coding through a series of challenges with your Botley Robot!

3-5 mBots, 11:30am, lasts 60 minutes

Use logical and critical thinking to create a program that directs your mBot through an obstacle course!   

6-8 MicroPet, 1pm, lasts 60 minutes

Create your own pet! Code your MicroBit to light up with different shapes and faces, and to play music in response to different actions.

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October - Be an Earth Scientist
Oct
10
10:00 AM10:00

October - Be an Earth Scientist

Earth’s Weather:

Red sky in the morning, a sailor’s warning. Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight.

What does all that red sky stuff mean, anyway? Find out when you join us for October Homeschool Day! We’ll spend the day focused on careers in Earth Science.

Guest Speaker Presentations- 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm

Our special guest, Paul Yura, is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Austin-San Antonio. Weather is not only a great science, but very challenging with meteorologists trying to guess what Mother Nature will do next.  He will describe the day in a life of a meteorologist from the education that it takes, the challenges of working the weather events, and the frustrations of being wrong all the time.

Hands-on Activities- Stations run continuously from 11am-2pm

Wind Tube

Make your own flying object and see how it travels through the wind tube. Can you adjust the weight of your flying object to make it hover inside the tube?

 Water Cycle in a Bag & Acid Rain

Draw the water cycle on a baggie, add colored water, and tape it to the windows of the Science Mill to absorb heat. Come back after participating in other activities and check your water cycle. Will you have condensation and precipitation in your baggie?

We will also have an acid rain demonstration at this station. Learn about what makes acid rain and see how it affects the environment!

Topographic Maps Kit

We’ll create a hands-on illustration of the relationship between a topographic map and the shape of the land.

iGlobe

Visit our iGlobe exhibit any time during Homeschool Day for a special weather presentation!                                                                                                             

 

Learning Labs:

$5 for non-members, $4.50 for members, Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars

Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

K-2: Wind Currents, 10:30am, lasts 45 minutes

Explore wind and how it affects object movement.

3-5: DIY Weather Station, 11:30am, lasts 1 hour

Design your own wind vane, anemometer and thermometer.

6-8: Microbit - Weatherbit, 1:00pm, lasts 1 hour

Code your Microbit to collect weather data, and then take the lab outside to check your coding skills.

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September - Be a Chemist
Sep
13
10:00 AM10:00

September - Be a Chemist

September Homeschool Day: Concoctions of Chemical Conundrums

This month we focus on careers in chemistry. Come mix it up with us and get some STEM-azing reactions! Guest speaker to be announce soon!

Hands-On Activities

Solid or Liquid? 11am-2pm

Experiment with oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid, and see what happens when the oobleck is exposed to sound waves. Hint: that innocent box of cornstarch in your pantry may contain monsters!

Chemical Concoctions- 11am, Noon, 1pm, 2pm (Show lasts 30 minutes)

Catch the Rainbow Chemistry Game Show! See a colorful reaction demonstration followed by a test of your acids and bases knowledge. Once you’ve conquered the game show, use your knowledge to make some Foam Gnomes.

Learning Labs

Pricing: $5 for non-members/$4.50 for members. Learning Labs are included for STEM Scholars. Due to the popularity of Learning Labs, reservations are strongly encouraged. Space is limited! Email fieldtrips@sciencemill.org to reserve your child's spot.

10:30am- K-2nd grades: Ziploc Omelet- Explore protein reactions when you whip up a tasty concoction! 45 minutes

11:30am- 3rd-5th grades: Bouncing Bonds- Design your own bouncy ball! 60 minutes

1:00pm- 6th-8th grades: Blast Off!- Experiment with chemical reactions and create working engines! 60 minutes

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Game Development
Dec
13
10:00 AM10:00

Game Development

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 - GAME DEVELOPMENT

Do your kids spend their days dreaming up the next big video game or imagining the creatures in their sketchbooks coming to life? Pros from Game Worlds show kids how to build on their imagination by connecting their interest in art, coding and gaming with the world of video game development.

Building Games from the Ideas Up Discover what goes into making a game! It takes artists, programmers, graphic designers, story tellers, and audio designers. Game developers guide kids through the game development process from the next great idea through storyboarding and coding. 10:30 a.m.

Bringing Games to Life Artists and audio designers bring games to life with fun characters and stunning sounds. Hear about the career paths of real-world game developers. Did they excel at science and math or just love to draw or make music? Discover all the talents and skills it takes to bring a game to life. 11:30 a.m.

 

 

Hands-on Game Play: 11am- 2pm

Game Worlds will also be showcasing student-built games for all to play from 10am-2pm! Join in the video game playing extravaganza!

 

LEARNING LABS

Coding with Color (K-2nd grades, 10:30)

Learn how to write code to make robots move using color! Watch as the Ozobot recognizes and follows color pattern commands. Explore the basics of coding and programming to inspire a life-long fascination with technology. $4, 45 minutes

Oh My Ozobots (3rd-5th grades, 11:30)

Discover basic principles of coding, programming and robotics in this colorful, game-based technology lab. Create code for an Ozobot, then watch it complete challenges you devised. $4, 45 minutes

Ozobot Olympics (6th-12th grades, 1:00)

Command your Ozobot to complete a challenge-based routine in the Ozobot Olympics! Using BOTH game-based, visual block style programming and your own colorful marker codes, design a coded choreography for your Ozobot to perform spins, zig-zags, color changes and much more. $4, 45 minutes

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Earth Science
Nov
9
10:00 AM10:00

Earth Science

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9- EARTH SCIENCE

Join soil scientist Max Sherard, Science Mill staff and friends for a day full of exciting earth science demos and hands-on activities!

The Hidden World Beneath Your Feet  What do healthy crops, landslides and floods have in common? SOIL! Join soil scientist Max Sherard and get your hands dirty learning about soil health. Work in teams using scientific tools to explore soil moisture and color to determine its health. Is it a dark, rich brown, full of microbes and bacteria, or is it dry and dusty? Learn how the health of the soil determines how much water it can absorb and how that impacts farming and flooding. Take home materials to test the soil in your backyard! 10:30am & 12:30pm

Go With The Flow  We've learned how different soils behave in flooding conditions. Now, learn how topography affects flooding. Join soil scientist Max Sherard as he shows us how to make a simple tool using sticks and string to determine the slope and direction of the creek in the Science Mill's backyard. Then, land surveyor Steven Goeken demonstrates how he uses high-tech tools, such as GPS mapping, to do this work on nearby ranches. 11:30am & 1:30pm

 

Hands-on Earth Science Activities: 11am- 2pm

Crayon Rock Cycle Modeling

Ever wonder why the Earth has so many different types of rocks? Experience how heat and pressure transform sedimentary rocks into metamorphic and igneous rocks in a fun, colorful, hands-on activity. Bring the rock cycle to life using crayon shavings: compact them, heat them up, melt them, and see how they change shape and hardness to simulate different types of rocks.

Mineralogy

Minerals are super cool. They're different from rocks because they're crystals. But like rocks, they're everywhere: silver and gold are minerals, as is the marble in a kitchen countertop. Learn simple tests to identify the properties of various minerals and discover how they're used in common products we use every day.

 

LEARNING LABS

Fossil Formation! (K-2nd grades, 10:30am)

Everyone loves dinosaurs! Discover the exciting world of paleontology, the science of fossils, in this fun, learning adventure. Find out how fossils are made and make your own dinosaur fossil using plaster and Playdoh. $4, 45 minutes

Zip Away (with a soil science twist!) (3rd-5th grades, 11:30am)

Discover how geology, topography and soil science come into play as you plan your zip line business. Rider safety is a top concern, so what type of soil makes your zip line stable? Complete your zip line by creating a gondola and engineering a secure ride to keep your ping pong ball passenger safe. Use the engineering design process to solve challenges, re-imagine and improve your zip line structure and gondola. $4, 45 minutes

Robot Mechanics: Rover Edition (6th- 12th grades, 1:00pm)

Have you heard of mBots? They're programmable robots with interchangeable parts. Building on the day's study of soil science, design and code mBots for challenging types of terrain. The goal is safe explorations of unsafe lands! First, use iPads and learn how to direct a robot to move, play music, put on a light show and more. After discovering what the robot can do, your team creates drawings for specialized mBots that can travel specified types of terrain. Then, put your skills to the test in a culminating performance event.  $6, 75 minutes

 

3D Movie: Dinosaurs Alive!

 

Follow scientists around the world as they uncover fossils and imagine life when dinosaurs roamed the Earth—all in stunning 3D! Be a part of real scientific discovery and learn how archeologists use science to uncover the secrets of the daily lives of the dinosaurs. Showings at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

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Chemistry
Oct
11
10:00 AM10:00

Chemistry

We're starting the school year off right with a completely redesigned Homeschool Day program! Join us each month as we highlight different careers in STEM with presentations by real life professionals and hands-on activities. This month, we're featuring the exciting world of Chemistry! Explore the role emulsion plays in creating the personal care products we use everyday, like shampoo! Participate in explosive demos and discover the gassy side of chemistry. Admission includes all Science Mill exhibits, a 3D movie and the unique offerings listed above. The cost is $6 per student (includes one free educator). Grade-based Learning Labs are $4-6. No reservations required. Check out our full lineup for the year here and mark your calendar! 

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Biomedical Careers
Sep
14
10:00 AM10:00

Biomedical Careers

Physical Therapist Mindy Eckert, PT, DPT and Registered Dietician Chelsea Edwards, MDS, RDN, LD will join us from 1-4pm with a interactive presentations on physical therapy and diet, as well as food modeling activities. Explore the microscopic world and become biologists by creating your own slides, specimens, and taking photos of what you see with portable, digital microscopes (11am-1pm). And don’t miss Meet the Zebrafish talks in the BioLab throughout the day. Learn why these amazing fish so helpful in biomedical research!

LEARNING LABS

Get Buggy With It (K-2nd grades, 10:30am)

Get up close and personal with preserved specimens and investigate their physical features to determine which organisms fit together and why. Use your powers of deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills to develop your own system of organizing and categorizing specimens. $4, 30 minutes

Bacteria Detectives (11:30am, 3rd-5th grades)

Discover the important role of bacteria in our world, while also investigating what types of bacteria surround us on everyday objects. Students will swab for bacteria and observe growth on petri dishes in your classroom! $4, 45 minutes

Cheesey Chemistry (6th- 12th grades, 1pm)

Discover the secrets behind the chemistry of making cheese! Experiment with different "recipes" to see what curdles your fancy and use your own body temperature to incubate the cheese making process.  $6, 60 minutes

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