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The Tech Science Labs

Give your students a deeper learning experience as they explore different science topics in our interactive, 90-minute hands-on labs. Our lab instructors provide an engaging science experience with Design Challenge Learning, captivating your students through an open-ended design process. Students work together to find creative solutions to real-world science and engineering challenges, while reinforcing science concepts and developing 21st century skills and habits of mind of Silicon Valley innovators.  All labs meet California Science Content Standards.

Visit our galleries along with your lab and see Lab and Gallery Connections to create a strategic path through the museum for your students. All labs and galleries are inspired by the innovative science & technology of Silicon Valley, and designed to spark fascination for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).


"I LOVE the hands-on experience!  Great materials to take back to the classroom as well!  This was extremely valuable, educational & fun.  Thank you!!"

—5th grade teacher, Del Mar Elementary School
 

Science Labs for 2013-2014

We currently offer 8 different lab topics. Short descriptions of each lab are below, along with Lab Summaries including suggested preparation and follow-up activities.

 

Galactic Forces of Magnetism 

Grades 4-8
 
Your students will experience an exploration of our solar system and an experiment with electro magnetic forces that engineers are working with to create futuristic vehicles for travel.  The lab will utilize a design challenge using electro magnets.

Please note: This lab expands on some of the science concepts presented in the exhibition Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.  It does not have any direct relation or affiliation to the Star Wars movies or the exhibition Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.
 
California Content Science Standards: Grade 4: 1.b-f; 6.a, 6.c-d; Grade 5: 1.c; 5.a-c; 6.a-c, 6.h; Grade 6: 3.a, 3.c; 4.b, 4.d; 7.a-b, 7.d-e; Grade 7: 7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 4.a-b, 4.e; 9.a-b

Galactic Forces of Magnetism Pre-Visit Vocabulary


Galactic Forces of Magnetism Lesson Plan

Galactic Forces of Magnetism Post-Visit Activity: Make Your Own Compass

Physics of Roller Coasters

Grades 2-8 (Adaptable for high school students)
Students design their own roller coasters to learn how engineers prototype and build machines. They also explore kinetic and potential energy, friction and Newton's 1st and 2nd Laws of Motion.

California Science Content Standards: Grade 2: 1.a-e; 4.a, 4.g; Grade 3: 1.c-d; 5.a-e; Grade 4: 6.a, 6.c-d; Grade 5: 6.b-d, 6.h; Grade 6: 3.a, 7.a-b, 7.d-e; Grade 7: 7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 1.a-e; 2.a-f; 9.a-c, 9.f; Grade 9-12: Physics 1.a-g; 2.a-f; Investigation & Experimentation 1.a-d, 1.g

Physics of Roller Coasters Pre-Visit Vocabulary

Physics of Roller Coasters Lab Lesson Plan

Physics of Roller Coasters Post-Visit Activity: Balloon Hovercrafts

Chemicals of Innovation

Grades 5-8
Students explore chemical properties and bring the periodic table right into their hands as they experiment with chemical reactions to discover dramatic results and see how chemicals work in Silicon Valley inventions.

California Science Content Standards: Grade 5: 1.a-d, 1.f; 6.a-f, 6.h; Grade 6: 7.a, 7.c, 7.e; Grade 8: 3.a-b, 3.f; 5.a-c; 7.a-c; 9.a-c

Chemicals of Innovation Pre-Visit Vocabulary

Chemicals of Innovation Lab Lesson Plan

Chemicals of Innovation Post-Visit Activity: Getting Warmer or Getting Cooler?

Engineering for Earthquakes

Grades 5-8 (Adaptable for High School Students)
Students learn about earthquakes and engineering principles, then design and construct seismically sound buildings that they put to the test on a shake table simulating seismic waves.

California Science Content Standards: Grade 5: 6.b-d, 6.f, 6.h; Grade 6: 1.a-g; 2.d; 4.c-d; 7.a-b, 7.d; Grade 7: 7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 9.a-c; Grades 9-12: Earth Sciences: 3.a-d; 9.b, 9.d; Investigation and Experimentation: 1.a-d, 1.f-h

Engineering for Earthquakes Pre-Visit Vocabulary

Engineering for Earthquakes Lab Lesson Plan

E
ngineering for Earthquakes Post-Visit Activity: Earthquake in a Box

DNA and Genetics

Grades 5-8
Created with Stanford's Genetics Department. Students examine their own cheek cells, spool DNA from animal cells, and explore how genes shape traits.

California Science Content Standards: Grade 5: 2.a; 6.a, 6.h; Grade 6: 7.b, 7.d, 7.e; Grade 7: 1.a-c, 1.e; 2.b-e; 5.a; 7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 6.c; 9.a-b; Grades 9-12: Biology and Life Sciences: 1.a; 2.d-g

DNA and Genetics Pre-Visit Vocabulary

DNA and Genetics Lab Lesson Plan

DNA and Genetics Post-Visit Activity: Who Has the Gene? (Teacher sheet)

DNA and Genetics Post-Visit Activity: Who Has the Gene? (Student worksheet)

Green by Design

Grades 3-8
To discover how to harness renewable energy, students learn about circuit design, solar panels, and wind turbines.  They then plan and prototype a green energy powered city.
 

California Science Content Standards: Grade 3: 1.a-d,1.f; 2.a-b; 3.d, 3.e; 5.a-e; Grade 4: 1.a,1.g; 6.a, 6.c-d; Grade 5: 6.b-c, 6.f, 6.h; Grade 6: 4.a-b; 6.a-b; 7.a-b, 7.d-e; Grade 7:  7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 9.a-b

Green by Design Pre-Visit Vocabulary 


Green by Design Lab Lesson Plan

Green by Design Post-Visit Activity: Which Direction Wind Vane
 

Simplicity of Electricity

Grades 4-8
Students will explore properties of static and current electricity.  They learn about circuits as they tinker with electricity to light up the world and make some noise.

California Science Content Standards: Grade 4: 1.a, 1.g; 6.a-f; Grade 5: 1.c; 6.a-c; Grade 6: 3.a, 3.c; 7.a-b, 7.d-e; Grade 7: 7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 3.a; 9.a-b

Simplicity of Electricity Pre-Visit Vocabulary

Simplicity of Electricity Lab Lesson Plan

Simplicity of Electricity Post-Visit Activity: Electric Zapper
 

Power the Future

Grades 4-8
Students learn about electricity and magnetism, and how they relate to each other. They construct an electronic circuit and an electromagnet, and then combine the two technologies together!

California Science Content Standards:   Grade 4: 1.a-g; 6.a, 6.c-f; Grade 5: 1.c; 6.a-c. 6.f, 6.h; Grade 6:  7.a-b, 7.d-e; Grade 7: 7.a, 7.c-e; Grade 8: 9.a-b

Power the Future Pre-Visit Vocabulary

Power the Future Lab Lesson Plan

P
ower the Future Post-Visit Activity: Make Your Own Compass