Discovery Day Camp
Dec
21
9:00 AM09:00

Discovery Day Camp

Explore the Land of Misfit Toys

Inspect-a-Gadget. Are you curious about how mechanical toys, gadgets and gizmos work? Detect, inspect and dissect toys and discover their inner workings. Reveal the hidden secrets that make them ring, buzz, move, talk, light up and come alive. Come play in a whole new way. 

Toy Transformation. Become a toy designer or artist! Create something completely new from dissected toys and gizmo guts. What will you make? An original toy or work of art?

Visions of Visionaries. Now that you have an original creation, imagine yourself as the Chief Innovation Officer of your own company! Write a company profile, design a logo, develop packaging and marketing materials for your innovative design. Plus, shoot a stop-motion animation commercial!

Register Here!

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Discovery Day Camp
Dec
22
9:00 AM09:00

Discovery Day Camp

 

Bring 3D Creations to Life

3D Digital Design Studio. Have you heard about creating cool stuff with 3D printing and want to try it? Let your imagination be your guide and harness your inner designer using Tinkercad software to create printable 3D designs.

Doodle your Dreams. Take your two-dimensional sketches and doodle them using 3D Pens! Your artistry and skill take your design to the next level and develop a unique, 3D doodle.  

Devise Electronic Devices. Now make your creations move, buzz and light up! Use creative electronic blocks, called littleBits, to explore 3D invention design.

Register Here!

 

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Discovery Day Camp
Dec
28
9:00 AM09:00

Discovery Day Camp

Explore the Land of Misfit Toys

Inspect-a-Gadget. Are you curious about how mechanical toys, gadgets and gizmos work? Detect, inspect and dissect toys and discover their inner workings. Reveal the hidden secrets that make them ring, buzz, move, talk, light up and come alive. Come play in a whole new way. 

Toy Transformation. Become a toy designer or artist! Create something completely new from dissected toys and gizmo guts. What will you make? An original toy or work of art?

Visions of Visionaries. Now that you have an original creation, imagine yourself as the Chief Innovation Officer of your own company! Write a company profile, design a logo, develop packaging and marketing materials for your innovative design. Plus, shoot a stop-motion animation commercial!

Register Here!

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Discovery Day Camp
Dec
29
9:00 AM09:00

Discovery Day Camp

Bring 3D Creations to Life

3D Digital Design Studio. Have you heard about creating cool stuff with 3D printing and want to try it? Let your imagination be your guide and harness your inner designer using Tinkercad software to create printable 3D designs.

Doodle your Dreams. Take your two-dimensional sketches and doodle them using 3D Pens! Your artistry and skill take your design to the next level and develop a unique, 3D doodle.  

Devise Electronic Devices. Now make your creations move, buzz and light up! Use creative electronic blocks, called littleBits, to explore 3D invention design.

Register Here!

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Homeschool Day - Game Development
Dec
13
10:00 AM10:00

Homeschool Day - 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.

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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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Taking Flight
Dec
2
10:00 AM10:00

Taking Flight

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Demos at 10am and 1pm
Workshop at 11am and 2pm

Paper airplanes reveal the mysteries of flight. Discover the many ways paper can fly, from simple folded sheets to elaborate cut, folded, and glued flying models. It's part art project, part science!

The same forces that let an eagle soar or a huge 777 Dreamliner lift off the ground also act on a paper airplane. Learn about flight and the forces acting on your paper airplane as it glides through the air.

Paper airplane expert John Brooks joins us all the way from Maine to lead the demos and workshops! John Brooks designs and builds boats by day and designs, makes, flies and thinks paper planes most of the rest of the time. Starting with a childhood love of planes and origami (the art of paper folding) John let his love of flying and paper planes balloon with his kids, buying many books, visiting many websites, and eventually turning to designing and flying Papercraft models.

In the 1 hour workshop, dive deep into the world of flight! Create a folded paper airplane and learn how to make it fly high, go a certain direction, go far, or stay in the air over a long distance.

Demos and workshops are free with admission. Workshop space is limited- arrive early to get a spot!

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Lights Spectacular
Nov
25
10:00 AM10:00

Lights Spectacular

Kick off the holidays in Johnson City, starting with a visit to the Science Mill! Check out our 40+ exhibits and photo booth, where you can make a holiday card with a festive background of your choice. On Friday, stay for the lighting of the Blanco County Courthouse and fireworks. On Saturday, stay for the Lighted Hooves and Wheels parade. On Friday and Saturday, enjoy the Chuckwagon Food Court and a hay wagon ride to the see the lights at the PEC headquarters, a few blocks away, then tour the Boyhood Home of President Lyndon Johnson. Click here for details.

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Lights Spectacular
Nov
24
10:00 AM10:00

Lights Spectacular

Kick off the holidays in Johnson City, starting with a visit to the Science Mill! Check out our 40+ exhibits and photo booth, where you can make a holiday card with a festive background of your choice. On Friday, stay for the lighting of the Blanco County Courthouse and fireworks. On Saturday, stay for the Lighted Hooves and Wheels parade. On Friday and Saturday, enjoy the Chuckwagon Food Court and a hay wagon ride to the see the lights at the PEC headquarters, a few blocks away, then tour the Boyhood Home of President Lyndon Johnson. Click here for details.

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Discovery Day Camp
Nov
20
9:00 AM09:00

Discovery Day Camp

What do turkeys, slime and gourds have in common? They're all a part of our CREATIVE, FESTIVE and FUN Discovery Day Camps for grades 3-5! 

Spend the morning making PUMPKIN SLIME recipes - let your favorite gooey concoction be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table!

Light up your holidays with GLOWING GOURDS! Harness the power of circuitry, LEDs and your imagination to create an electrified gourd to play a lead role in a short, stop-motion animated film.

Finish strong with TURKEY TALK!  Design your own talking turkey using the power of programming, custom sounds and creative crafts.  Create a personalized Thanksgiving symphony of sounds. 

Kids will have a blast while learning about chemistry, electricity, stop-motion animation, building circuits, and Scratch programming.

Lunch, snacks, and free explore of exhibits are included. For more information and to register, click here.

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Spineless Book Talk
Nov
18
2:00 PM14:00

Spineless Book Talk

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Get your hands in a bucket of earth worms. Explore the world of spineless creatures and test your knowledge with Invertebrate Trivia!

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Join the Science Mill and author Juli Berwald for a discussion of her new book, Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone. 

Berwald, a former ocean scientist, went in pursuit of the slippery story of jellyfish, rediscovering her passion for marine science and the sea’s imperiled ecosystems.

Jellyfish are an enigma. They have no centralized brain, but they see and feel and react to their environment in complex ways. They look simple, yet their propulsion systems are so advanced that engineers are just learning how to mimic them. They produce some of the deadliest toxins on the planet and still remain undeniably alluring. Long ignored by science, they may be a key to ecosystem stability.

 

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Juli Berwald’s journey into the world of jellyfish is a personal one. More than a decade ago, she left the sea and her scientific career behind to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas. Increasingly dire headlines drew her back to jellies, as unprecedented jellyfish blooms toppled ecosystems and collapsed the world’s most productive fisheries. What was unclear was whether these incidents were symptoms of a changing planet or part of a natural cycle.

Berwald’s desire to understand jellyfish takes her on a scientific odyssey. She travels the globe to meet the scientists who devote their careers to jellies; hitches rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild; raises jellyfish in her dining room; and throughout it all marvels at the complexity of these fascinating and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless reveals that jellyfish are a bellwether for the damage we’re inflicting on the climate and the oceans and a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share.

A 30-minute discussion of the book will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Dr. Robert Elde, the Science Mill's Science Director and Vice Chair of the Board, and former Dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences.

This discussion will take place in the Science Mill's theater. Copies of the book will be for sale and author signing after the discussion.

Bring the kids from 11am-2pm and discover the spineless marvels of the insect world: arachnids, centipedes and earthworms! Get your hands in a bucket of earth worms or play Invertebrate Trivia!

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Homeschool Day - Earth Science
Nov
9
10:00 AM10:00

Homeschool Day - 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!

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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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Game Day
Nov
4
11:00 AM11:00

Game Day

Use everyday objects and the human body’s ability to conduct small amounts of electricity to build your own video game controller. Become Mario in the greatest game of all time! Run and jump your way through the Mushroom Kingdom in this live-action game. Will you be the first to rescue Princess Toad? Try our version of Simon Says and experience the Banana Piano! Fun for all ages and free with admission from 11am to 2pm.

Looking to dive deeper into the world of video game development? Register for "Make Your Own Video Game," a workshop hosted by Game Worlds for kids ages 8- 18. Learn coding, game development and software design from real game developers. Workshop cost is $60 per participant and includes admission to the Science Mill. Computers available for those who do not bring their own laptops. 11am to 3pm in the classrooms. Click here to register.

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Fly High, Dream Big
Oct
14
4:00 PM16:00

Fly High, Dream Big

Join us for the first-ever 4D flying experience in Central Texas at our 4th Annual Benefit! Let your curiosity soar at this adults-only event! Sip on cocktails and enjoy the iconic tastes of New York as you explore our interactive exhibits and get exclusive access to this once-in-a-lifetime 4D flying experience. More Information

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Homeschool Day - Chemistry!
Oct
11
10:00 AM10:00

Homeschool Day - 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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Building a Better Tomorrow: Engineering Day
Sep
30
10:00 AM10:00

Building a Better Tomorrow: Engineering Day

Discover the world of engineering through the eyes of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Design and build with a host of hands-on activities led by real life professionals! Can you design a gumdrop dome that holds it's shape? How will your paper tower weather gusts of wind? What's the key to building a skyscraper that doesn't topple? Find out the answer to these questions and so much more at this interactive day at the Mill. Learn tricks of the trade, basic principles of engineering and what a day in the life of a civil engineer actually looks like. Plus, the American Society of Civil Engineers- Austin Branch will have a special surprise when you arrive. Event is included with admission and the first 75 visitors get in free!

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Homeschool Day
Sep
14
10:00 AM10:00

Homeschool Day

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

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, 1:00pm)

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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Closed for Maintenance
Sep
5
to Sep 12

Closed for Maintenance

After the busy school year and summer season, the Science Mill will close for a week to allow us to perform maintenance on the building and exhibits. We'll re-open on September 13 and be ready to go for the new school year! See you then!

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Hurricane Harvey - HMNS Family Relief Fund Donation
Sep
4
10:00 AM10:00

Hurricane Harvey - HMNS Family Relief Fund Donation

Our hearts are with everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flooding. We’re just a small museum in the Hill Country, but we want to help where we can. We reached out to our colleagues at the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see if we could provide any assistance as they faced the floodwaters in Houston earlier this week. While the museum was largely spared, many of their employees (possibly 100+) were impacted, including several dozen whose homes, cars, etc. were entirely flooded.

They have created the Houston Museum of Natural Science Employee Relief Fund to help those in the HMNS family who are facing critical and immediate needs, and the Science Mill will donate 10% of all admission/Science Store sales on Monday (Labor Day) to this fund. We will also encourage our staff and our visitors to contribute to the fund, and we’ll make sure any additional contributions that come in on Monday are directed to HMNS.

We are encouraged and inspired by the generosity and resilience we’ve seen demonstrated across the state in this time of great need. Thank you for your support.

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Scavenger Hunt
Sep
2
to Sep 4

Scavenger Hunt

Gather Clues. Crack Codes. Find Treasure!
September 2-4

Round up your team and grab a smartphone as you set off on the ultimate scavenger hunt! Explore the Mill's newest exhibits, like the Incredible Ball machine, Fossil Dig and Axolotl, to gather clues. Then, decide what is fact vs. fiction. Only the right choice will lead you to treasure! Will you succeed? Free with admission.

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