Are you looking to immerse your kids in the wonderful world of scientific discovery? Science is all around you and the benefits of getting kids hooked on it early are plentiful.
In Michigan, there are plenty of science-themed activities and venues to choose from. Here, learn about the MSU Science Festival, and all of the fun opportunities to teach kids about science it offers this April, along with two other Michigan science opportunities.
Science in our backyard
Have you heard of the MSU Science Festival? Now in its sixth year, this Michigan-wide celebration runs April 5-20, taking STEAM mainstream for 16 days. And while many of the 250-plus activities await at Michigan State University’s Lansing campus (definitely road-trip worthy!), there’s family fun nearby, too.
“Science is accessible at this event, for the very young to the very seasoned,” says Roxanne Truhn, coordinator of what happens to be the state’s largest free science fest. “The festival schedule is designed to give everyone a chance to enjoy and learn about the wonders of scientific exploration and discovery.”
That includes a romp in Belle Isle, Detroit’s own natural playground on Sunday, April 14.
At Detroit Expo Day, take your pick from 40 hands-on activities, demos and talks targeted at sparking kiddos’ curiosity.
Not-to-miss highlights include Launch into Engineering, which offers kids ages 8-plus the chance to design, build and test a catapult, and The Secret Life of Trees – an all ages educational session about local trees and what they do for the environment.
Also in Detroit, explore meteorology at the WDIV local TV studio (April 6 and 20), astronomy at Wayne State University’s planetarium (April 12), aviation and aerospace science at the Tuskegee Airman National Museum – even the science of beer-making at an all-ages tour of Atwater Brewery (April 14).
Learning in Lansing
MSU’s campus offers around 30 out-of-this-world tours for kid scientists on Saturday, April 13. Like the Cyclotron, where atoms are smashed. Or the Dairy Teaching and Research Center, which will teach kids about cows, their milk and the dairy industry.
You can also explore evolution and the DNA that links humans to the great apes. After that, get back to earth learning about butterflies at the 4-H Children’s Garden and about the human body at the Neuroscience Fair, where kids make a neuron, control a pal’s nervous system and hold a real human brain.
From the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Bay City State Park to the Wayne State University Planetarium and the Michigan Science Center, observatories and other locales are taking part in the Statewide Astronomy Night (SWAN) on Friday, April 12.
“See and explore planets, stars and galaxies that are light-years away from us,” MSU Science Festival coordinator Roxanne Truhn says. “All planetariums and observatories will have hands-on activities and observing.”
This post was originally published in 2018 and is updated regularly.