The Science Factory’s educational programs offer children the chance to experience hands-on learning, creative problem solving and discovery in a stimulating and fun environment. Sign up for one or many. Complete the registration form and mail or fax to our offices.
First Friday of the month
9 AM 12 Noon
Ages 5 and under only
Drop-in/No pre-registration required.
A casual “drop-in” program just for you and your preschooler to discover science together! The first Friday of the month, we set up activities and interactive learning stations designed to create an experience between you and your child that will ignite your child’s curiosity and interest in science. First Friday Discovery Days are where our youngest visitors can enjoy Science Factory activities “big-kid-free!”
Limited to children ages 5 and under only who are accompanied by parent or guardian. Siblings who are not the appropriate age for these activities will not be allowed into the activity areas at this time. A named member musst be present to receive membership benefits, and non-member adult guests will pay regular fees.
Non-members: $10 per parent/child combo.
Additional children $2 each.
Registration not required.
Planes, Trains, Cars and Cranes
Friday, January 3
Let your little engineer can tinker with the world of machines that move. On this Tot Discovery Day, check out the awesome model railroad that volunteers from the Willamette Cascade Model Railroad Club will set up in our Exhibit Hall, then practice using magnets to move a car, experiment with ways to fly a paper airplane, make a tire-track painting with toy cars, and much more.
Friday, February 7
Explore the magical world of science and learn some really cool tricks. Kids can conjure up levitating magnets, make marbles disappear in water, and have some hair-raising fun with our static electricity generator. Every little magician will love this Tot Day.
Under the Sea
Toddlers discover the underwater world of the ocean. Budding marine biologists can explore shells in our tide pool, carefully feel the sharp edges of real shark teeth, and make their own fish-print paintings.
See! Feel! Hear! Touch!
Friday, April 4
Come explore the senses that let you explore the world. Kids will play a variety of musical instruments to hear what they sound like, make textured art that can be seen and felt, and examine what objects look like up close under a video microscope.
2014 Girls' Science Adventures schedule
These Saturday workshops allow girls ages 10-12 to meet women scientists from the University of Oregon while participating in hands-on activities. The girls will tour the University laboratories where the scientists do their research. They will be able to experience the scientific process while getting an exciting behind the scenes peek at research in psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, geography, and computer science. The program is run in conjunction with the University of Oregon Women in Graduate Sciences.
Unless otherwise specified, pick up and drop off for each program will be at a location on the UO campus. After you register, check your confirmation for details.
Saturday, January 11
The human body is an amazing and complex machine! Work with members of the Biology Department to find out how the systems and parts of the body work together to keep you healthy and moving.
Saturday, February 8
Can the science of materials lead us to a sustainable future? Meet members of the Chemistry Department who are creating new environmentally friendly materials and surfaces, and see for yourself how these materials are made.
Saturday, March 8
Join us as we partner with Thinkersmith for an exploration of computational thinking. We’ll find out some of the methods that make computers so good at sorting and processing information. We’ll also try our hands at computer programming using Blockly, an innovative programming language that lets users solve computing problems with just a few mouse clicks. Note: This program will take place at the Science Factory.
Saturday, April 12
Join us for a fun-filled morning of experiments with SPICE at the Oregon Center for Optics. Do you think you can drop an egg from a fourth-story balcony without breaking it? Put your engineering skills to the test while learning about materials and forces.
Saturday, April 26
In this Girls’ Science Adventure, we’re studying the science of our place on the Earth. Learn how to use GPS to navigate, plus investigate the role that trees play in shaping the land and water around them.
Mark your calendars! Full descriptions of future programs are coming soon to our web site:
March 24 - 28, 2014
9 AM – 12 Noon, 1 PM – 4 PM
Ages 6 – 8 (best for grades 1 – 3; must be able to read and write)
Members: $17 per half day program; Register for all ten: $155
Non-members: $20 per half day program; Register for all ten: $190
Lunch supervision is available each day from Noon – 1 pm for $3 per day.
Advance registration required.
Download a Registration Form
Even though your children are on vacation, their inquisitive minds don't have to be. These half-day camps offered during spring break allow your 6 – 8 year olds to explore a variety of fun science topics while participating in exciting hands-on activities. Kids can trick their brains while having fun with optical illusions, experiment with bubbles, take a virtual trip under the ocean, or do all of them!
Crazy Chemistry: We'll see what kind of crazy chemical reactions we can create using basic household items. Learn the difference between a physical and chemical change, and test to see whether chemical reactions have taken place.
Color Play: Did you know that with paints you mix red, blue and yellow togethr to make other colors, but with light filters you mix red, blue and green? We will play with paints and light filters, and even have a color demo in our Exploration Dome to learn about the science of color.
Cats & Dogs: Our domestic pets (and their wild ancestors) are amazing animals! Learn some of the ways that cats and dogs are similar and different, and get tips on how to take care of your own furry friends at home.
Flying Machines: Try your hand at airplane engineering! We'll make balsa wood planes and experiment on how best to position wings for optimum flying. Everyone will take their plane for a test flight to see whose flies the fastest and whose flies the straightest.
Meet Your Brain: We'll try games and activities to see how easy it is to fool our brains. Find out how optical illusions work, play games to test your memory, and see how easy it can be to hide in plain sight.
Volcanoes: Learn all about lava. We'll try different experiments to see what happens when rocks melt and lava cools to form a variety of rocks. We'll even try an experiment to see what happens when lava comes in contact with water.
Make Some Noise: Learn about sound and sound waves. We'll make sound waves with air cannons to see if we can use the waves to push ping pong balls. We'll also make our own musical instruments!
Big Time Bubbles: Have fun with bubbles! We'll blow bubbles using special polymers that allow them to last for days. See if you can make a bubble that is bigger than you!
Sea Creatures: Participate in games and activities to learn about symbiotic relationships between ocean animals. We will learn about how sea anemones help clownfish to survive, how giant sponges can act as forts for fish, and how coral reefs can be "fish-cleaning stations" where large fish line up to have their teeth cleaned by tiny fish.
Jolts & Volts: Each camper will build a windmill out of PVC pipe that will generate enough electricity to power a small motor. Test blade designs to see if you can design the most powerful and efficient windmills!
Who: Grades 1 - 6
When: On no-school days from 9 am to 4 pm (Drop-off from 8:45 - 9:00 am)
Cost: $40 per session; $35 for Science Factory members. Morning snack provided. Students must bring their lunch.
Register: Advance registration required. To register your child please download and complete the registration form. You may mail, fax, email, or drop off your completed form. For any registration related questions, call the Science Factory at 682-7888.
On selected no-school-days, kids can put their creative minds to work solving challenging problems in engineering and robotics. In these all-day workshops, kids will work in teams to brainstorm ideas, build prototypes, tinker, test, revise, repeat, and finally present their completed projects for everyone to see and enjoy.
Monday, February 17: Climbing Challenge
Grades 1 - 6
Grades 1 & 2: What does it take to drive up a hill? It's not as easy as it sounds! We'll examine such forces such as friction and gravity at work on vehicles, and how engineers overcome them.
Grades 3- 6: Build a robot that can scale a steep hill, and learn about friction, torque, power, and other physics concepts.
Fridays, March 14 & 21: Inputs & Outputs
Grades 1 - 6
Grades 1 & 2: Sometimes we tell computers what to do... and sometimes, they tell us what to do! Learn about the different ways that we can interact with computers, including ways that computers can affect our senses and train our muscles to move.
Grades 3- 6: What's the best way to tell a computer what to do? How can we design computer controllers that feel as natural to our hands as throwing a ball or flipping through a book? We'll examine the world of interfaces, and how smarter controls can make smarter computers.
Educational Programs Information
Class size: Classes are limited. Register early.
Payment: Fees are due prior to the start of the program series. Your spot will be confirmed upon receipt of payment.
Cancellation Policy: Cancellations made at least three days prior to the start of a program are eligible for a full refund or credit, minus a $5 cancellation fee. Cancellations after that are eligible for a 50% refund or credit. No refund or credit will be given if a cancellation is made on the day of the program or later.