Paper Plane Croquet

Participants build a paper airplane that they will use to complete different challenges in the ‘croquet’ course that has been set up using assorted items available.


Visitors will challenge their creativity and dexterity to build tiny robot-esque creations using small, recycled materials.
Limiting materials to a few repetitive parts forces visitors to think laterally about material use (“if all I have are screws and capacitors, how can I transform them into all the different parts that I need?” Rather than, “this part already looks like an arm, so I’ll use it as an arm” ) while restricting the size of the creations encourages visitors to invest extra thought and care into detailed objects they can hold in one hand. Up close and personal = detailed and intimate!

Toy Mash-Up

Participants take apart toys to create a new character. They do this by cutting, dissembling and putting pieces together with added embellishments such as buttons, beads, jewels, ribbons, etc. Participants then display their creations for everyone to enjoy.

Paper Rockets

Participants will use the engineering design process to create paper rockets. Then, they will use compressed air launchers to send the rocket through one of two large rings, suspended from the ceiling.
Encourage guest to build paper rockets that will eventually fly through the rings that are suspended from the ceiling. Fin/nosecone design can greatly influence the flight of a rocket; encourage guests to try different designs.

Cupcake Delivery

In this hands­on activity, participants create wind­powered land yachts to deliver 3D­printed cupcakes to hungry beachgoers. This activity is a great introduction.
Guests will engineer land yachts, vehicles which use a combination of wheels and wind power to move around.
Yacht designs must include some sort of receptacle for the cupcake to sit in. Once assembled, guests test their creations on the fan­powered “beach” track.

Dowels and Rubber Bands II

Participants will use the engineering design process to create structures made of 3’ dowel rods and rubber bands.Encourage guest to build a structure with dowel rods and rubber bands. The design is determined by the guests, as is the method for attaching dowel rods together. Facilitators may use prompts to direct the design process: i.e. can you build a structure within which you can stand?


Bobsled racing combines science and engineering to design the most efficient sled. Participants will explore friction, gravity, and air resistance and their impact on acceleration.
Working individually or in small groups, visitors use recycled materials to design, build, and test their bobsled on our 8-foot long bobsled track. Get a first-hand experience of the design process that scientists and engineers undergo by conceptualizing the problem, designing and testing a prototype, and making modifications as necessary to optimize the solution.
The goal of this challenge is to create a miniature bobsled that is either as fast or as slow as possible. Start with one bobsled base – ours are the trays used to package pipette tips; if you’re going to try this at home, you could use soap dishes.


Can you and your class or group survive on a deserted island?
Working in small teams, students design, build, and test solutions to survive on a deserted island.

Ready Set Fly

Inspired by Flugtag, the human-powered flying machine event, we turned our Hands-On Science Workshop into a flying machine shop where you’ll get to learn all about the forces of flight, build your own flying machines, and test them out on our human-powered launcher.


Inflatables is an open-ended design activity that focuses on 3D spatial reasoning. In this activity, learners use recycled materials and simple tools to create inflatable creatures or sculptures. This activity is adaptable for a wide range of age. For example, older learners can make and test complex creations, while younger learners are happy with decorating a small bag and then launching it off the fan.