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 MagnetismGrades 4-8
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.
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
Chemicals of Innovation
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
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
DNA and Genetics
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
Green by Design
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
Simplicity of Electricity
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
Power the Future
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