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Homeschool Day - 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.


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.



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.

Earlier Event: November 4
Game Day
Later Event: November 18
Spineless Book Talk