The University of Nebraska State Museum will host science labs investigating science and natural history topics through activities and research, through a monthly event called InvestiGate Second Saturday Science Lab.
The event, which will be held on the second Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon, will teach participants about different sciences ranging from gravity to math and music. The labs are made to be understandable for everyone.
According to Sarah Feit, the volunteer coordinator for InvestiGate Second Saturday Science Lab, the labs are aimed for children ages 5-10. The first lab will take place Saturday, Jan. 13.
“It is a drop in style program,” Feit said. “A museum visitor can come in anytime between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and take advantage of the activities.
The first lab, called “What Goes Up Must Come Down: Gravity,” will include three different stations with volunteers talking about topics related to gravity. The topics will include center of balance, gravity and space and a game.
“We will have a tiny teacup and a larger teacup and we will see what happens when try to pour water out of both,” Feit said.
Karl Ahrendsen, a graduate physics student at University of Nebraska-Lincoln will host a station discussing how the earth orbits around the sun. Ahrendsen said his station will be used to teach the kids about space, gravity and the way it all works together.
According to Feit, the game at the event is called gravity versus surface tension. She said the game should be fun and the kids will enjoy it.
Throughout the event participants will receive prizes for attending events. After the first three events, participants will receive the title of “Science Intern” and receive a notebook and pencil. After attending six events, participants move up to an “Assistant Investigator” and receive a sticker sheet and museum water bottle. Participants are awarded the title of “Lead Investigator” after nine visits and will receive a dinosaur plush.
Future events will focus on math and music, Nebraska’s plants, Nebraska geology and more, continuing until the second Saturday of December.
The last lab will be about “The Original Innovator: Nature,” as the calendar calls it. The last lab will tell the participants about nature and how it has changed as the world has.
Depending on the topic of the month, there may be more than just three stations and more volunteers to learn from.
Feit said the event is free with regular admission and although the event is geared toward children, all visitors can participate. University students are welcome to attend and participate in the events, and if they are in sciences they may be able to volunteer at or lead an event.
“Kids come with their families, so we have adults, siblings and students,” she said. “Any museum visitor is welcome.”