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Today's Family Magazine

Great Lakes Science Center brings the fun outside this summer for Science Under the Sun

Great Lakes Science Center heads outside for summer as we introduce our newest STEM adventure, Science Under the Sun!  Tents overlooking North Coast Harbor will house large-scale tinkering, take-apart, and design challenges with rotating STEM themes.

On any given day, guests can put their imaginations and engineering skills to work building structures, creating original stop-motion animations, and testing out their design solutions to fun challenges.  A growing, community-built LEGO wall will showcase visitors’ creativity.  Meanwhile, a large scale data model invites guests to respond to rotating prompts using colorful lengths of string.

Other daily activities will vary throughout the summer as each month focuses on a different STEM theme.  Our youngest guests will be offered STEM story-time activities that complement these rotating themes.

In June’s Robotics Month sponsored by Rockwell Automation, guests can explore reverse engineering through Tabletop Tech Dissections.  Using real tools, visitors will dismantle household machines ranging from radios and television remotes to calculators and gaming consoles to investigate their inner workings.  The nuts, bolts, springs, and other components harvested can then be used to create unique Scrap Sculptures and Loose Parts Portraits.

July welcomes a Space and NASA- themed month.  Guests can show off their engineering skills with our Zip Line Challenges and Aquapod Launchers, and use their creativity to design an astronaut habitat with the Mars Habitat Challenge Cart.

August is Machines Month, sponsored by CollegeAdvantage.  Guests will be able to join a community build activity featuring a very large Rube Goldberg machine that they will add on to with their contraption designs.  We will have a brand new batch of Tech Dissections for everyone to take-apart and see how familiar household electronics get the job done.

For September, Science Under the Sun wraps up with Flight and Aeronautics Month.  We will have obstacle courses set up alongside our paper airplane launchers so guests can design and iterate their planes to run the course.  Once you’ve mastered paper airplanes, you can control our mini drones through the obstacle course!  We will also be highlighting giant bubbles in a beautifully messy hands-on experiment. 

 On several occasions throughout the summer, we also look forward to hosting special, large-scale “take-apart” activities!  Items will vary, but may include cars, boats, planes and motorcycles that guests can use real tools to disassemble and explore. Parts-and-whole thinking, reverse engineering, and the complexities of material science will all be on display as visitors systematically unscrew and unbolt moving parts.  We will also investigate the importance of maintenance, diagnostics, and repairs over replacement in this unique entry into DIY problem-solving.

Visit for info.