What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher? An artist? A mathematician? A race car driver? What about a scientist? Not just any scientist, though! How about an Ornithologist, a Chemist, a Meteorologist, an Entomologist . . . the list of possibilities is endless!
Join us for “Try Science,” our family science career series where children (and grown-ups!) can “Try On” science! Each month we will conduct fun experiments, examine live organisms up close, and learn all about different science careers in an interactive laboratory designed to inspire children of all ages to become confident science learners.
See below for a complete list of Try Science workshops. What will YOU try?
All programs during normal hours are free with admission, unless otherwise specified.
Made possible, in part, by DuPont and Dow Chemical
Saturday & Sunday, July 11 & 12, 2015
“Be an Ornithologist” (11am-12pm & 1-2pm)
With summer well underway, birds are all around us. Get to know more about our feathered friends through a variety of hands-on activities. Use common household items to simulate how different birds eat; investigate a variety of different nests, eggs, and feathers; and learn some tips to help protect the birds in your community. Finish the class by learning to recognize the sounds of birds you might hear every day and use binoculars to scan for them along the *Riverwalk. (*weather permitting)
Saturday & Sunday, August 8 & 9, 2015
“Be an Ecologist” (11am-12pm & 1-2pm)
If plants, animals, and the outdoors is your thing, join us for a fun exploration of ecology at the DCM! Identify some common herbs, shrubs, and flowers; make a plant impression in clay to take home; learn how animals get water (important for all living things) in some surprising ways; plant seeds; and make a wind chime out of common household materials.
Saturday & Sunday, September 12 & 13, 2015
“Be a Food Scientist” (11am-12pm & 1-2pm)
Would you like to design food for astronauts, study different kinds of soil, or learn more about insects? A food scientist’s job can include all these things and more! Join us for a food science adventure as we perform some kitchen experiments such as extracting iron from breakfast cereal; exploring the reaction between water and various kinds of candy; and learning how to turn milk into plastic!
Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 2015
“Be a Geologist” (11am-12pm & 1-2pm)
Calling all rock hounds! If you have a rock collection at home, come home with rocks in your pocket, or are curious about the different types of rocks you find at the beach or on the playground, this class is for you! Activities include viewing rock samples under the microscope to observe their different structures; choosing your own rock and performing different tests to learn more about it; and exploring our giant cardboard box rock cave to see what you can discover inside. Round out the class by creating a group demonstration of the rock cycle; classifying different rock samples into igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic groups; and exploding a baking soda and vinegar volcano!
Saturday, November 14, 2015
“Be a Meteorologist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Explore the science behind weather and discover the wild world of meteorological elements from rain to thunder, sunshine to snow, and everything in between. Become meteorology experts in this electrifying program! Activities include interpreting the weekend’s weather forecast and making your own tornado tube; measuring precipitation (weather permitting) and seeing the water cycle first hand; and discovering what causes thunder and lightning by creating an experiment right in the classroom!
Saturday, December 12, 2015
“Be a Chemist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Create radical reactions and explore how chemistry affects our everyday lives in this explosive program! Try your hand at a variety of experiments including testing household items for their acidity using red cabbage as an indicator; creating some foamy elephant toothpaste; making some marvelous mixtures with cornstarch (oobleck is just the beginning); and taking a closer look at bubbles, from frozen, to dry ice, to soap.
Special guest chemist, Dr. Carol VanZoeren, will be joining us for the weekend.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
“Be an Physiologist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Did you know that your body is an amazing machine, with many parts working together to keep it running? Become a junior doctor or nurse as you take a hands-on and entertaining look at the organs and systems inside a very unusual patient, our incredible 7-foot doll, Stuffee. Through Stuffee, you will learn how your own body functions and what you need to do to stay happy and healthy. Exercise your mind with a variety of brain games and craft a model brain out of playdoh. Learn more about how your heart and lungs function through hands-on experiments, and get plenty of exercise along the way to keep them healthy, too!
This weekend we will be joined by special guest, Nurse Joanne Callahan.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
“Be a Space Scientist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm, 3pm-4pm)
Sun, moon, planets, asteroids . . . space is filled with fascinating things to observe and discover. Join us as we take a closer look at the work of astronauts and space scientists at DCM Mission Control. Sample astronaut ice cream and learn how astronauts eat, drink, cry, and even use the bathroom in space; conduct experiments to learn the difference between meteors, meteoroids, and meteorites; use our special measuring tape to experience the distance between planets; and use science to blast off your own rocket.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
“Be a Biologist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Explore the fascinating world of biology by experimenting with microscopes and getting a magnified look at the world around us. Activities include working with common household items to extract DNA from a strawberry; discovering what plants need to survive and learning about capillary action by creating your own colorful carnation; and dissecting and investigating the contents of owl pellets.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
“Be an Audiologist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm)
Can you hear me now? Explore the science behind how our ears work by engaging in a variety of hands-on activities. Learn how the ear traps sound by testing out our ear cone and try out a model eardrum by making salt “dance.” Next, take a walk on the balance beams or bounce on the Bosu ball for some active experience with your ears’ role in keeping you balanced. Lastly, play a tune on the water glass scale, give the gumdrop sound wave a tap, and experiment with the stereo hanger at our vibration station.
This weekend we’ll be joined by special guest and Nemours Audiologist, Shanda Brashears.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
“Be a Physicist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Become a junior physicist for the day as you experiment with matter and energy and the interactions between the two. Learn about Bernoulli’s Principle by designing some unique aircraft; explore potential energy using a ramp, cars, and shaving cream in “collision events;” design your own marble roller coaster; and guide a ping-pong ball toward a target with a stomp-launcher in “Punkin Chunkin.”
This weekend we will be joined by special guests from the University of Delaware K-12 Engineering Outreach program, providers of the “Collision Events” and “Punkin Chunkin” activities.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
“Be a Marine Biologist” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Come make a splash as you explore the virtual ocean in our classroom with plenty of hands-on activities! Learn more about the ocean habitat such as how waves are formed and what makes the water salty; uncover the kinds of animals that live in the different zones of the ocean; and explore the various jobs of a marine biologist. Finally, make a stop at the DCM’s own Touch Tank Aquarium to explore and find out more about the animals living there.
Join us for our brand-new, monthly “Junior Engineers” workshop series designed to spark interests in different engineering careers. Together we’ll explore the many different types of engineers from civil, to mechanical, to chemical, and more!
Each workshop is filled with fun, hands-on activities, experiments, and demonstrations that the whole family will enjoy. Are you ready to become a junior engineer? See below for a complete list of Junior Engineer workshops. What will YOU try?
All programs during normal hours are free with admission, unless otherwise specified.
Made possible, in part, by InterDigital
Saturday & Sunday, September 26 & 27, 2015
“Be an Aeronautical Engineer” (11am-12pm & 1-2pm)
“Look! Up in the sky…it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…something designed by an aeronautical engineer!” Join us as we design and test several different kinds of aircraft, discover some of the different jobs an aeronautical engineer might perform, and explore the principles that allow different flying objects such as hang gliders, blimps, and helicopters to stay airborne.
Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25, 2015
“Be a Mechanical Engineer” (11am-12pm & 1-2pm)
Do you like to build things? From tiny sensors to car engines, from rocket ships to headphones, mechanical engineers work in many different fields to improve the products we use every day. Practice the engineering design process as you imagine, plan, create, test, and improve a marble roller coaster, learn more about simple machines and try them out, and use common household materials to create your own model vehicle.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
“Be a Biomedical Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Engineers love to solve problems and make good things even better! Come learn about some of the many mysteries of the human body with hands on activities and discover how engineers work to help keep our body functioning at its best. Projects include creating a model hand to learn more about how our joints function, and discovering how we can use the ancient art of Gyotaku (fish printing) to illustrate the development of osteoarthritis.
This weekend we will be joined by special guests from the University of Delaware K-12 Engineering Outreach program, providers of the STEAM-focused Gyotaku activity.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
“Be a Civil Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Bridges, roads, and skyscrapers—civil engineers build big things! Join us as we explore what civil engineers do with hands-on activities and experiments. Try your hand at designing large structures in a safe and stable way; create bridges out of craft sticks and see how much weight they will hold; and work with a team of your fellow junior engineers to construct a giant geodesic dome out of everyday materials.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
“Be a Materials Science Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Join us for an exciting and tasty exploration of materials science! Engineers must know the properties of different materials in order to design and create useful products and equipment; you wouldn’t wear winter gloves made of tin foil or play soccer with a bowling ball, would you? This weekend, we’ll experiment with common household materials to find the best way of keeping water warm, sharpen our sense of touch by identifying various items with our eyes closed, test and record the bounciness of different types of balls, and use chocolate to explore how materials function in our world.
This weekend, we will be joined by special guests from the University of Delaware K-12 Engineering Outreach Program, providers of the “Chocolate Composites” activity.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
“Be an Acoustical Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Can you hear me now? Acoustics is the study of sound, and acoustical engineers design spaces to reflect and absorb sound appropriately. Explore properties of sound waves with hands-on activities such as the gumdrop sound wave, dancing salt, and the stereo hanger, learn about noise-canceling headphones and design your own with recycled supplies, and test various materials to determine the difference in sound quality in different types of buildings.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
“Be a Chemical Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
When was the last time you had a cool drink of water, rode in a gas-powered vehicle, put lotion on your hands, or used a post-it note? All of these things and many more are created or improved by chemical engineers. Join us as we create a water filter, learn how to turn salt water into fresh water, and explore how to create and separate different mixtures and solutions.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
“Be an Electrical Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
What does an electrical engineer do? What is electricity and how does it work? Come join us as we explore these questions with hands on demonstrations and activities. Create simple circuits, help make a light bulb, learn how a plasma globe works, and make your own magic wand to take home!
This weekend, we will be joined by special guests from the University of Delaware K-12 Engineering Outreach Program, providers of the magic wand activity.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
“Be an Aerospace Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
3-2-1 Blast off! Learn how astronauts prepare for time in space and some of the many tasks they perform while there. Discover more about space suit technology with sample materials and equipment from Delaware-based ILC Dover, maker of space suits for NASA since project Apollo. Then, create your own space capsule from recycled materials. Make sure it keeps your marshmallow astronauts safe as you perform test flights from various heights and make adjustments to create the best prototype possible.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
“Explore Robotics” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Join us for hands-on demonstrations and activities provided by FIRST FTC robotics team 8528 Rhyme Know Reason as we learn about what it takes to be a robotics engineer. Meet the team’s student-designed robot and learn how it performs in competition, make a “bristle bot” out of a two different kinds of brushes, use a robot to create some artwork, and design your own recycled robot friend!
Saturday, July 23, 2016
“Be a Sustainable Design/Environmental Engineer” (11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
Did you know that Velcro was inspired by a plant called the cocklebur? Or that glow sticks were modeled after the firefly? Learn more about these and other types of biomimicry as we study sustainable design engineering. Discover the importance of protecting our renewable resources such as water, wind, and sun as we create and analyze a simple air pollution detector, experiment with cleaning the air, and perform an oil spill clean up simulation.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
“Be an Optical Engineer”(11am-12pm, 1-2pm & 3pm-4pm)
What is optical engineering? How does your eye work, and how do engineers focus and control the power of light to create products and technologies we use every day? Discuss what diverse items like plants, CDs, cameras and microscopes all have in common as we experiment with light refraction by making a sunlight box (weather permitting), learn how light travels with some hands-on activities, and experiment with lenses to learn how they bend light.
What is Informal Learning?
It’s when children learn through their own exploration and activity, as they follow their personal interests and grasp concepts naturally. Also referred to as “playful learning,” it’s what kids do best.
Leave your family legacy at DCM!
Help support the DCM by leaving a lasting mark on our future. With a donation of $250, you can permanently display your child’s name, age, and handprint on the DCM’s new “Hands of the Future” wall. Located down a prominent and highly-trafficked hallway near the Museum’s entrance, this one-of-a-kind donation supports the DCM’s mission and ongoing operations while also creating a lasting legacy for your family at the DCM for years to come. Be part of our future with a “Hands of the Future” donation today!
Community Access Programs
The DCM is proud to offer Community Access Programs (CAPs), generously supported through our Breaking Barriers Campaign. CAPs are designed to make sure that as many families as possible are able to experience the playful learning opportunities that the Museum provides, by eliminating any access barriers that keep children and their families away from the Museum.
Children’s museums are popping up all over the country.
Here are some facts that show how everyone benefits:
- Children’s museums are the youngest and fastest growing museums in the country and world.
- Children museums serve as “town squares” and build social capital.
- Children museums complement and supplement traditional educational resources.
- Children’s museums contribute to local economies.