The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
The Tech Museum of Innovation 2015 © All rights reserved.
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a registered 501 (c)(3).
Federal ID # 94-2864660
Give your students a deeper learning experience as they explore different science and engineering 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.
Visit our galleries along with your lab and see Lab and Gallery Connections (found in the Teacher Resource Guide) 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).
We currently offer 7 different lab topics. Short descriptions of each lab are below, along with Teacher Resource Guides and Post-Lab Activities that expand on topics covered in the lab.
If you are a Title 1 school and have been granted a fee-waived lab, you are required to implement one of the provided pre-lab activities (journal writing and/or vocabulary) and post-lab activites (journal writing and/or activity) in your classroom. All pre-lab activities can be found in the Teacher Resource Guides below.
Below you will find charts that show all state and national standards connections to the labs by grade level. All of our labs support Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Language Arts, and California Science Content Standards.
Second Grade Standards Connections 
Third Grade Standards Connections 
Fourth Grade Standards Connections 
Fifth Grade Standards Connections 
Middle School Standards Connections (Grades 6-8) 
High School Standards Connections (Grades 9-12) 
Each lab has an associated Teacher Resource Guide filled with pre-lab information and resources to help teachers prepare students for the lab experience and connect the lab experience to the classroom. Teacher Resource Guides include a brief summary of the lab, state and national standard connections, related internet links and games, Tech Museum Gallery and Exhibit connections, writing prompts, and pre-lab vocabulary terms, graphic organizers, and activities.
Writing Prompts and Lab Journals
Keeping a lab journal is an essential part of any scientist’s or engineer’s job. A lab journal serves as an ongoing collection of ideas, prototypes, drawings, data, calculations, failures, successes, and conclusions. We have designed a simple lab journal to be used by your young engineers and scientists in the Tech Science Labs in hopes that they too will document their hard work from the classroom to the lab and beyond.
Post-lab activities generally require some additional materials and time to prepare. Please download and review before coming to the lab so you have time to properly prepare and ask questions if necessary. All documents will be found below with each corresponding lab topic.
Grades 2-8 (Adaptable for high school students)
Discover the science and engineering behind thrill rides! Students explore kinetic and potential energy, friction, and the engineering process by designing and prototyping their own roller coasters.
Teacher Resource Guide 
Balloon Hovercrafts 
Rubber Band Fling 
Potential Energy-Kinetic Energy Red Light Green Light (Grades 2-3)
R ubber Band Cars 
Investigate chemical properties and bring the periodic table to life by experimenting with chemical reactions and exploring real-life applications and innovations featuring the elements of life.
Grades 5-8 (Adaptable for High School Students)
Construct seismically sound structures to survive "The Big One." Students work as teams to practice the structural design and engineering process as they learn about one of California's greatest natural threats: earthquakes.
Students will investigate the wonders of DNA and genetics by examining their own cheek cells, spooling DNA from animal cells, and discovering some of their hidden genetic traits. This lab was created in partnership with the Stanford Genetics Department.
Teacher Resource Guide 
Who Has the Gene? (Teacher sheet) -PTC Tasting papers will be provided in the lab for take-home activity
Who Has the Gene? (Student worksheet) 
More post-lab activities coming soon...
Harness the power of wind and sun! Students work as teams to investigate the power of solar cells and create solar-powered cities. They then build their own wind turbines.
Teacher Resource Guide 
Which Direction Wind Va ne 
G reenhouse Effect in a Bag 
Explore properties of static and current electricity with everyday objects. Students investigate conductors and insulators as they tinker with electricity through the creation of circuits.