Curiosity Labs will continue this summer at the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) as part of their ongoing science programming, making science accessible and fun for children and families. Curiosity Labs take place once per month on Saturdays and change focus each time.
On Saturday, June 17, visitors can take part in DNA extraction. In this Curiosity Lab, kids and families will get hands on with DNA from fruit. Using a lab setting, beakers and pipets, kids will isolate DNA to visualize the cellular structure.
July’s Curiosity Labs will focus on Mystery Solving Science, and will take place on Saturday, July 22. Participants can help the Museum solve mysteries using science! Learn to think like a scientist and conduct two hands on experiments. In this lab, kids will search clues to find out who stole a missing artifact from the Museum’s Collections, using hands-on scientific techniques.
On August 12, visitors can learn more about food in the What’s in My Garden? Lab. Are you interested in the food we eat and where it comes from? In this Curiosity Lab, kids will be hands-on learning about gardens, from how to care and harvest, down to what is in the soil that helps plants grow. Kids will prepare their own snack using some of the vegetables from the Museum’s urban garden. This lab will partially take place outside, weather permitting.
Labs take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on their scheduled date. Labs are designed for children to work alone or to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. It is recommended children 8 and under have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets can be purchased at grpm.org/science or by clicking on the “Events and Programs” button on the homepage.
“This is a great way for kids and families to learn together about science!” said Dr. Stephanie Ogren, the Museum’s Science Director. “These special lab experiences were designed after our successful weekly ongoing science programs, Science Tuesdays. At the Museum our goal is to make science accessible to all learners.”
Additional Summer Family Programming at the GRPM
Additional experiences at the Grand Rapids Public Museum this summer include Camp Curious summer camps that explore the wonders of science, history, culture, art and fun. For 9 weeks this summer, kids age 4-14 can use the Museum as a learning lab in a variety of camp themes.
Camp Curious runs from June 19 through August 14 with various sessions available depending on age and interest. Discounts are available for enrollment in multiple camps and by registering multiple campers. Additionally, Museum members receive discounts off each camp.
Camp Curious offers sessions with a focus on a variety of themes from space exploration to building with Legos®, and from fossils to exploring what it was like to grow up in the Victorian Era. Camp options vary for each age group and are suited to their interest. Age groupings are 4-5 years old, 6-8 years old, 9-11 years old and 12-14 years old. To register and to learn more about Camp Curious, visit grpm.org/CampCurious or call616.929.1700.
Special Exhibits –Creatures of Light & Mindbender Mansion
In Creatures of Light visitors will move through a series of luminous environments, from the familiar mushrooms on land to the extreme in the deepest parts of the ocean, to explore the diversity of organisms that glow and how they do it. Visitors will discover the ways in which light is used to attract a mate, lure unsuspecting prey and defend against a predator, and to learn how, where and why scientists study this amazing natural phenomenon. Creatures of Light is open through July 9.
In Mindbender Mansion, families will enjoy exercising their minds as they try to master each of the 40 individual brain teasers and the 5 group activities in this fun and unconventional new exhibit. Visitors to Mindbender Mansion will be greeted by the wacky Mr. E., master brainteaser and puzzler extraordinaire to explain the mysteries of Mindbender Mansion, then will set out to gather hidden clues and secret passwords. Upon completing each of the select brainteasers and group challenges, visitors will see if they gathered the necessary clues and passwords to become a member of the Mindbender Society and add their portrait to the “Wall of Fame.” Mindbender Mansion is open through September 3.
For more information, please visit grpm.org.
Maker Faire Grand Rapids
The fourth annual Grand Rapids Maker Faire is coming August 19 & 20! Maker Faire combines the traditional science fair with innovation and engineering capitalizing on the Maker movement for something entirely new. Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the Grand Rapids Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, unique hand-made crafts, local food, and more!
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. For information on showcasing your work at the Faire, or to purchase tickets, please visit GrandRapids.MakerFaire.com/.
Science Tuesdays is an ongoing educational experience, offering science programming based on changing themes each month. Science Tuesdays take place throughout the day every Tuesday at the Museum and include a variety of activities and interactive displays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
June will be themed around physics and will offer demonstrations that will surprise and teach participants about core physics concepts such as gravity and momentum. July will focus on amazing explosions, and will teach about the minerals responsible for the fantastic colors in firework displays. Participants will learn about exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions through demonstrations and quick experiments.
August Science Tuesdays will focus on food. Learn about where the food we eat comes from. Visitors can discuss large scale agricultural science as well as community gardening. Museum artifacts will feature historical food-making devices and utensils to emphasize the relationship between food and culture.
For more information on Museum programming and exhibits, please visit grpm.org.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting the Norton Indian Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit www.grpm.org.