camera obscura room

What is a camera obscura? While it might have “camera” in its name, a camera obscura is actually more like a projector. It is a device used by using a dark room or box and adding a small hole in one wall which will let light in. The light that travels through the aperture (the…

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DNA photographer Rosalind Franklin

DNA Photographer: Spotlight Scientist Rosalind Franklin was born in London in 1920, and decided by age 15 that she wanted to be a scientist. Rosalind was known for her logic, intellectual debate, and keen sense of humor. She studied at Newnham College, one of two schools for women at Cambridge University. Even during World War…

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engineering willie klassen headshot

Engineers design and make many of the objects around us. Willie Klassen is an engineer who works at Schilling Robotics. Learn more about how Willie became an engineer, some of his favorite things about engineering, and what you can do if you are interested in a career in engineering. Underwater Robotic Submarines Willie helps build…

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mae jemison photo from National Archives

Meet Mae Jemison Mae Jemison is today’s featured scientist in the spotlight. Mae Jemison was born in Alabama in 1956, and grew up in Illinois. She became interested in science as a young student, and excelled in school. She started college when she was just 16 years old, and earned degrees in chemical engineering and…

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Diddey Bow Activity

DIY Diddley-Bow Objective: To build a basic diddley-bow in this do it yourself activity. The diddley-bow is an instrument much older than a viol, harp, or lute- it is a modification of a stringed instrument from West Africa. Difficulty Level: Easy (8-14 year olds) Easy with help (6-8 year olds) Kids younger than 6 can…

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spectroscope example photo

Objective: Would you like to hold a rainbow in your hand? With a spectroscope, you can! You can make this device from simple materials you have at home. Then you can use it to learn more about light emitted around you. Difficulty Level: Easy (ages 8-14)/Easy with help (ages 3-8) Safety Note: Never look directly…

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astronauts nasa spacex crew

Astronauts have not launched from the United States since 2011, and tomorrow’s mission is the beginning of a new era of space travel. NASA and SpaceX will launch two astronauts on a mission to join the crew of the International Space Station. As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley…

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DIY Drawing Machine Objective: Create a drawing machine to make complex mathematical patterns. Explore the science on how gears move. Have you ever played with a Spirograph? These drawing devices can create beautiful patterns and are fun to tinker with. If you have patience and some time, you can build your own drawing machine just…

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Make your own droid arm

Build a Droid Arm Objective: Can you make a droid arm that could pick up a cup? In the Star Wars universe, Droids are machines, but so much more! Droids do many functions that are too dangerous for organic beings to do, from being exposed to the conditions of deep space to serving in battles.…

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Make a Speeder Bike Hoop Glider

Speeder Bike/Hoop Glider Objective: Make a glider and learn about the physics of flight. Difficulty Level: Easy (ages 8-14) / Medium (ages 6-8) Download (PDF): Speeder Bike Hoop Glider Instruction Page Video Instructions: Between two Breakers Materials: 2 Straws Black permanent marker Clear tape Scissors Pencil Brown cardstock or construction paper Template Have you ever…

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