Squirrely cases: Adventures in urban ecology through natural history museum collections
Nature Museum, Chicago Academy of Sciences
Why would a museum care about squirrels?? Learn to identify fox versus gray squirrels using museum specimens as teaching tools. Make observations about squirrel specimens and have a conversation about why museums maintain scientific collections.
Beauty and a (heart) beat
Elizabeth Schroeder & Jessica Longworth
Do you want to learn what your body is capable of?! Come explore how your heart rules your body for everything you do! In this workshop you will learn how to measure your heart rate with the mindset of a woman in kinesiology (exercise science) and discover how your heart responds to different types of physical activity!
Art Institute of Chicago
Remix HTML tags and images to tell a story through the web! In this workshop, you will learn basic HTML code and search for reusable images to create your own web page comic.
Saving species with feces
Stacy Rosenbaum & Jill Mateo
University of Chicago
How do you learn about the health of animals you can’t touch, or sometimes even see? Join us and learn how scientists who study hormones and behavior monitor the health and stress of wild animals, from ground squirrels to gorillas. We’ll extract ‘hormones’ from poop (just fake poop) to learn more about how animals respond to changes like global warming and habitat disturbance.
Engineers: Real Life Superheroes
Jenny Terrill & Kathryn Bailey
Perhaps they will never be mistaken for a bird or a plane, but when there is an issue creating havoc in your city, know that there will probably be an engineer at the core of the solution. In this workshop, we will attempt to use some serious problem solving to engineer a solution to the “toxic” popcorn that has contaminated our fair classroom.
Building the City of the Future
Wight & Company
What will life be like in the year 3016? Where will our food come from? Will we still go to school? We are building a city of the future! Choose your own plot of land and design a building to go on top of it. Your ideas will be conveyed through drawings and 3D models. Get help from a structural engineer, a sustainability specialist, and architects to create your own piece of the city.
Solar panels and wind turbines will help save the environment by preserving energy sources. You will learn how to use the energy from the Sun to power a Solar house using boxes, batteries, LED lights, switches, and motor wheels. A structural engineer will help you connect your house with other students houses to form a Solar Town!
Become a Natural with Natural Products!
While walking along the beach with your friend, you find three freshwater sponges. They look the same on the outside, but are they the same on the inside? The chemical compounds inside are examples of what we call natural products, which can be used to as medicines to help you feel better when you are sick. In our workshop, you will explore the compounds inside sponges and go on a natural products hunt!
CSI: Coding Edition
CSI: Coding Edition is centered around two activities, both of which we will code. One will involve cleaning a blurry picture to detect image features previously invisible. The second activity will involve sending secret messages embedded in a picture. This is a field known as “Digital Steganography”. Both activities will be programmed in the Wolfram Language using Mathematica.
Peeling off banana DNA
What makes roses beautiful, cockroaches creepy, bananas yellow, or you the way you are? A simple answer is “DNA”, the blueprint that cells use to build everything they need. Learn how to extract DNA from banana cells. Not only will you get the feeling of working in a research lab, but you will also learn how scientists use DNA to find new treatments for diseases, to catch criminals, and to find out whom our great-great-grandparents were.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Particle physicists study what the universe is made of and how it is structured. But the particles that make up the universe are even smaller than atoms, and we cannot see them by eye or even with microscopes. in this workshop, you will learn how we gather clues with giant particle detectors and you will use the same techniques to collect clues that will help you “see” things in our experimental test stations.
Make Cool Stuff!
Chicago Innovation Exchange
Learn how designers create the stuff you use every day. Use cardboard, bubble wrap, wire, and other simple materials to build and test your ideas. You’ll also learn about people use their designs to start businesses.
Amel Alqadah & Seema Sheoran
We know that vegetables and fruits can give us energy to work and play, but can they also be used as batteries? Find out how you can use energy stored in vegetables to power a clock in this workshop!
Coding with Scratch!
Argonne National Laboratory
Learn what makes computers work. In this interactive workshop you will use basic programming like algorithms, conditionals, and loops to create your own interactive animation!
The power of atoms and molecules!
Polina Navotnaya & Julia Zinkus
Chemistry can be beautiful! It is not just white solids or clear solutions. There are colorful processes that happen in nature and in the laboratory. In this workshop we will explore differences between chemical and physical processes in a fun way involving solution making and observing! Learn about chemical reactions and physical processes with hands-on experiments.
Enzymes: Unraveling Proteins
Alicia Case & Mallory Havens
Abott Molecular & Lewis University
Come and learn about enzymes: the tiny protein machines that make life possible. In this workshop, you’ll learn what enzymes are, how they can affect human health, and test an enzyme in a hands-on activity.
Intro to Fieldwork
Heather Skeen & Sophia Carryl
UChicago Evolutionary Biology
Do you want to learn how to explore the outdoors like a biologist? Join us in this hand on workshop as we use real bird specimens from The Field Museum to collect information used to understand wildlife.
Math in Dance
Math is not just about memorizing formulas and doing calculations! Did you know that you can use math in dance? Join us for a fun workshop, where we will explore shapes and movements, learn about scales and symmetries. And then we will mix it all together in our exciting hands-on dancing activity!
Rooting into your Future
Ayse Pogue and Heather Sherwood
Chicago Botanic Garden
You want to clone plants? Come discover the wonderful world of plant propagation with horticulturists from The Chicago Botanic Garden. Propagating plants from seeds, cuttings, or divisions is one of the most gratifying of the horticultural skills. You will pot up and take home your very own little trumpet jade flower!
Baking is Sweet Science
Aarti Venkat and Lora Picton
University of Chicago
Learn how to design and interpret scientific experiments in a very fun way – through baking cupcakes! Every ingredient that goes into the cupcake recipe has a definite role in influencing the flavor and texture of cupcakes. We will taste test pre-made cupcakes with different missing ingredients to test our hypotheses about each ingredient.
The Case of Darwin’s Finches
Erica Zahnle and Shannon Hackett
Field Museum of Natural History
Are Darwin’s finches really finches? Use actual data to investigate the true identity of Darwin’s famous birds. You will explore the Galapagos landscape as you use DNA sequences, museum specimens, and skeletal anatomy to solve the case.