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September Home School Descriptions

Enrichment Programs:

All About Herpetology (Ages 6-8)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Meet live reptiles and amphibians and learn about what makes them all herps. Observe their natural history, their similarities and differences, and where they live around the world.

Blue Plate Special (Ages 8-12)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Dig into our blue ‘plate’ special and discover what causes phenomena such as volcanoes and earthquakes. Explore how humans around the world adapt to these events, and then put your knowledge to the test as you work with a team to construct an earthquake-proof building.

Bug Bonanza (Ages 3-5)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Learn all about a day in the life of some popular bugs. How do they move, what do they eat, where do they go, and how do they grow? Meet some of the science center’s multi-legged critters and take home your very own bug craft.

Cornstarch Concoctions (Ages 6-8)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Get ready to discover the squishy, sticky science of cornstarch. Explore the unique properties of oobleck, experiment with cornstarch packing peanuts, and use your engineering skills to build a structure you can take with you.

Crater Puzzle (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Search images of the Moon for craters to compare how different they can be and how they were created. Make your own craters on a simulated Moon surface. Discover where you can find craters on Earth and explore the latest NASA images of planets and moons to see how craters reveal the history of these distant worlds.

Crazy Chemistry (Ages 3-5)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Can preschoolers do chemistry? Of course! Explore what happens when you mix things together to make something new. Color changes, fizzes, bubbles, and foam will get your mind moving. Warning: young scientists may get messy.

Fizzy Bubbly Science (Ages 7-9)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Explore the fizzy, bubbly world of chemical reactions with carbon dioxide. See surprising ways that CO2 affects soap bubbles and popcorn kernels.

Friction For the Fun of It (Ages 10-14)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Friction can help, hinder or change the movement of an object. Investigate the force of friction. Then, think like an engineer to create a novelty toy that utilizes friction…for the fun of it!

Get Ready for the Lunar Eclipse (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Find out about the upcoming total eclipse of the Moon. Learn about the Moon’s phases, why they occur, how to predict them, and their connection to solar and lunar eclipses. Make a Moon phase wheel you can take home to help your lunar observing.

Green Thumb (Ages 8-13)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
You don’t need a green thumb to dig this class. Discover the high-tech side of growing crops, learn how we modify the foods you eat, and then get dirty as you plant some seeds to take home.

Handy Hydraulics (Ages 9-14)
Capacity: 15 students
Length: 45 minutes
If there’s heavy lifting to be done, hydraulics might be the answer. Investigate the hydraulic systems used in elevators and other machinery. Build a simple hydraulic gadget to take home.

Healthy Habits (Ages 3-5)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Wash, wash, wash your hands until they’re nice and clean. Make sure you reach all those tough spots when brushing your teeth. Fill your plates with foods that are good for you. Learn how these healthy habits protect our bodies and keep out grimy germs.

I Need Some Space (Ages 10-13)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Take a journey out of this world as you explore celestial bodies near and far. Learn what causes seasons, why the moon has phases, how stars are born, and what happens when they die! See what would happen if you fall into a black hole as you discover just how small you are compared to the universe.

Inertia Matters (Ages 7-9)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
What does it take to make a still object move? What makes moving objects change their movement or stop moving altogether? Experiment with the property of inertia and how it affects us and everything around us.

Investigating Icy Worlds (Ages 10-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Simulate how the New Horizons spacecraft investigated Pluto last July by observing with various wavelengths of light. Find out how parts of the electromagnetic spectrum reveal faraway features on Pluto’s surface.

It’s Alive!…Or Is It? (Ages 2-4)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 30 minutes
Participate in hands-on activities in order to distinguish between living and non-living things. Conduct observations using science tools to discover the characteristics of real living things.

Jam and Flow (Ages 8-13)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
What do beaches, ball pits, and Saturn’s rings have in common? Experiment with sand and rice to discover the unique properties of granular materials. Find out why you need wet sand for a sandcastle, why you don’t sink into the beach, and why the ground can liquefy during an earthquake.

Light It Up with LEDs (Ages 8-14)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
This make-and-take class will review the basics of simple circuits and switches as participants create their own clip-on LED light.

Lunar Landers (Ages 8-14)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 90 minutes (Double Session)
Learn about the challenges of putting astronauts on the moon. Use the engineering design process to create and build a model lunar lander made from everyday materials. Test your lander and make improvements in order to create the best possible design.

Make a Telescope (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 90 minutes (Double Session)
Find out about the first telescope Galileo used to observe the sky and what discoveries he made. Discover how different types of telescopes work, including the Hubble Space Telescope. Make your own telescope to take home and perform your own observations.

Motorcraft (Ages 10-16)
Capacity: 15 students
Length: 90 minutes (Double Session)
What is a motor and how do they work? Investigate the science behind motors and create your own motorized gadget to take home.

Mouse Dissection (Ages 14-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Work together in small groups to dissect a preserved mouse specimen and explore mammalian anatomy. The dissection will concentrate on identifying and examining organs, but muscles and bones will also be uncovered.

Nanotechnology (Ages 12-16)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Model tools used to study and make tiny things and explore technologies that use nanoscale science and engineering. Observe how chemical reactions and physical properties differ between large and small scales.

Particles in the Mist (Ages 11-15)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Watch subatomic particles in action. Conduct tests on rays and particles and discover how different sciences use radioactive materials. If you’re lucky, you might even see a cosmic ray fly by!

Problem Solving Relay (Ages 10-14)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 90 minutes (Double Session)
Work with a team to solve a series of quick challenges. Build contraptions, crack puzzles, and engineer solutions to become a problem solving champion.

Sample Science (Ages 9-11)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
How many stars are in the sky and how many fish are in the sea? Mix science with math to find answers to life’s most uncountable questions.

Seed You Later, Alligator (Ages 6-8)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Seeds must travel far from their parents for a baby plant to have enough food, water, and room to grow. Explore some amazing seed-spreading adaptations found in the plant kingdom. Design your own modifications to a seed to see if you can make it go the distance.

Seeing Sound (Ages 10-14)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Learn how scientists visualize sound and create real-time spectrograms of your own voice. Explore how these visualizations are useful in a variety of scientific research areas, from animals to earthquakes.

Slippery Situation (Ages 8-11)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Learn how oil spills affect the environment and why they are so difficult to clean up. Experiment with a variety of materials to see which works best to clean up these slippery situations.

Soap Bubble Math (Ages 7-10)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Participate in a mathematical problem-based learning experience. Design a question and procedure to determine measurable information about soap bubbles. Gather and share data through group participation.

Solar System by Request (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 30 minutes
This freeform program includes full global displays on Science on a Sphere, of the Sun, planets, and moons as requested by participants. The instructor will explain features and highlights of interest for each object including new views of Pluto from New Horizons’ recent fly-by encounter.

Spaced Out (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
How long does it take to travel to the Moon or Mars – or even Pluto? Make your own scale model of the solar system and discover how big the solar system is. Explore the size of our Milky Way galaxy to find out how long it would take to travel to other stars.

Squirrel Aerodynamics (Ages 5-8)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Read the book Those Darn Squirrels Fly South and explore aerodynamics and flight. Build an aircraft to help the squirrels travel south and see if it can fly. Take home projects to build other flying machines.

Strange New Pluto (Ages 9-14)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Rediscover Pluto while comparing surface detail observed from Earth versus the recent New Horizons fly-by mission. Explore how orbiting spacecraft and lander missions improve our knowledge about solar system objects.

Tinkering Tots (Ages 3-5)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Get the gears in your mind rolling as you use real tools to solve real problems. Bring your brain and we will supply the rest of the tools to assemble a flashlight to see a hidden picture, build complicated contraptions with nuts and bolts, and create a tool to retrieve a faraway item.

True Blue Photography (Ages 11-13)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Harness the power of chemistry and UV light to create unique photographic prints called cyanotypes. Follow this historic, and slightly messy, photographic process from beginning to end and leave class with a beautiful blue print of your very own.

Two Cool For School (Ages 10-18)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Dive into the world of cryogenics as you explore two super-cold substances: dry ice and liquid nitrogen. Have a close-up freezing, boiling, crunching, and munching experience to find out what makes science cool.

The Way We Play (Ages 13-15)
Capacity: 15 students
Length: 45 minutes
Explore how scientists use games to learn about the way children’s brains work. Examine games based on child development research, discuss the studies behind well-known cognitive theories, and investigate current studies being conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers. Once you have experimented, make a game that you can take home to show your family and friends what you learned.

Whale of a Problem (Ages 8-12)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Examine the causes and effects of whale entanglements and explore how technologies can inform whale disentanglement efforts. Engineer and test a specialized tool to use in a model disentanglement scenario. (This program complements the IMAX film Humpback Whales 3D.)

What’s in the Water? (Ages 8-13)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Grab your waders and get ready to take a walk through the watershed. Follow the flow downstream and find out what happens to water as it travels to the Chesapeake Bay.

Wonderful Weather (Ages 6-8)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Do you wonder what makes a tornado spin or how fast a hurricane wind can blow? Investigate extreme weather and make your own thermometer.

Worm Wigglers (Ages 7-9)
Capacity: 15 students
Length: 45 minutes
Learn about different types of worms and their jobs as natural recyclers. Examine red wigglers up close, identify different parts of a worm, and dig through compost samples.

You’ve Got Potential…Energy (Ages 7-9)
Capacity: 20 students
Length: 45 minutes
Watch science on the move as you learn about the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Create a gadget to take home that converts stored energy into motion.

Observatory Program:

Our Star, the Sun (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 25 people
Length: 40 minutes
Weather permitting, get a safe view of the Sun and solar features of the day. Find out how solar features like sunspots and solar storms are related. Discover what makes September’s Autumnal Equinox a special date.

Planetarium:

Live Planetarium Shows

Beyond Your Backyard Sky (Ages 9-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 45 minutes
Begin with a backyard exploration of current sky highlights before launching through the space around Earth, the solar system, and the Milky Way galaxy.

Discover the Planets and Pluto (Ages 10-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 45 minutes
Unfold the mystery of how ancient observers distinguished the planets among the stars. Discover planets visible in the current sky and the constellations they shine among. This program includes dwarf planet Pluto and recent results from the New Horizons mission fly-by.

Eclipsing the Moon (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 45 minutes
Get ready for a Total Lunar Eclipse on Sept 27th. Investigate phases of the Moon to understand how and when eclipses happen. You’ll observe the monthly cycle of phases and chart how the Moon appears to change.

Meet the Solar System (Ages 4-7)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
This introduction to our family of the Sun features crayon likenesses of the Sun, Moon, and planets. In this friendly first encounter of our solar system’s primary members, you’ll practice planet names and learn what makes them special.

Recorded Planetarium Programs

Back to the Moon for Good (Ages 9-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Review Moon missions of the past while looking ahead to future lunar explorations through competition and collaboration. Learn about teams around the world competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE to land and navigate a robotic spacecraft on the Moon.

Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown (Ages 12-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Consider a place where time stands still and the unimaginable becomes reality. Welcome to the world of black holes.

One World One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure (Ages 2-7)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Follow Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street.

Solar Quest (Ages 10-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Solar Quest explores the Sun, space weather, and how the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect all life on Earth.

Solar System Odyssey (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Take a futuristic journey through our solar system on a mission to discover a new home to colonize.

To Space and Back (Ages 9-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Realize your relationship with technology and how every day, we benefit from technology developed for space.

We Are Aliens (Ages 8-18)
Capacity: 140 people
Length: 35 minutes
Explore how our understanding of life on Earth guides the hunt for alien life elsewhere in the Universe.

IMAX Shows:

Beavers (Ages 4 and up)
Capacity: 390 people
Length: 35 minutes
It’s a timeless tale of action and adventure following the life and rich aquatic habitat of one of nature’s greatest engineers set against the broad canvas of the majestic Canadian Rockies. Trek through the Canadian Rockies with a family of beavers as they fell trees, construct their lodge, evade the forest’s predators and transform their environment.

Everest (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 390 people
Length: 40 minutes
See the first IMAX footage brought back from Mt. Everest and follow an international team of climbers in an ascent of the world’s tallest mountain. Climbers cross creaking ice falls, quaking chasms and up dangerous, towering cliffs through one of nature’s most dramatic landscapes. The film tells how Everest formed and continues to evolve and how high-altitude challenges a climber’s physical and mental abilities.

Flight of the Butterflies 3D (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 330 people
Length: 45 minutes
Follow the migration of the monarch butterfly from Mexico to Canada and a determined scientist’s decades-long search to find their hidden overwintering sites. Watch their amazing transformation from pupa to adult monarch. See hundreds of millions of migrating monarchs in the remote mountains of central Mexico.

Forces of Nature (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 390 people
Length: 40 minutes
Witness the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes, and severe storms as you follow scientists on their quests to understand how these natural disasters are triggered. Watch first hand as volcanoes erupt, earthquakes tremble and tornadoes lash the sky, and explore the origins and effects of these fascinating natural forces. A National Geographic production.

The Human Body (Ages 10 and up)
Capacity: 390 people
Length: 45 minutes
Witness the many hidden miracles that happen every day inside the male and female body. The Human Body features remarkable inner body photography to explore the biological processes that go on without our control and often without our notice.

Humpback Whales 3D (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 330 people
Length: 40 minutes
Discover how humpback whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Found in every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago but today are making a slow but remarkable recovery. Listen to humpbacks sing their haunting songs and learn why they migrate up to 10,000 miles every year. Set in the waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D (Ages 6 and up)
Capacity: 330 people
Length: 40 minutes
Travel to the remote and lush land of Madagascar. Lemurs arrived millions of years ago here as castaways and have evolved into hundreds of various and beautiful forms. Follow the adventure of these playful explorers, now highly endangered.

Journey Into Amazing Caves (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 390 people
Length: 40 minutes
Explore the mysterious world of the world’s most remote, unexplored caves. Follow two female cavers as they search for extreme living organisms in the ice caves of Greenland, the underwater caves of the Yucatan Peninsula, and the earth caves of the Little Grand Canyon. Features footage from unique and forbidding ice caves, underwater caves, and terrestrial caves.

Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 390 people
Length: 25 minutes
Watch the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore and discover how it led to the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. See Mary Pickersgill sew one of the largest American flags ever made and one that signaled victory at the Fort. Live action footage shot at the Fort combined with computer graphics imagery bring the battle and its historic significance to life on the IMAX screen.

Titans of the Ice Age 3D (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 330 people
Length: 40 minutes
Journey back in time, 10,000 years before modern civilization, to the prehistoric frozen landscapes of North America, Europe and Asia. Realistic computer generated imagery brings long-lost creatures such as the saber-toothed cats and woolly mammoths to life on the giant screen. Discover how mammoths and humans confronted the changing climate and what lessons we might learn from their struggles.

Tornado Alley 3D (Ages 8 and up)
Capacity: 330 people
Length: 40 minutes
Scientists, storm chasers and a fleet of vehicles armed with the most advanced weather instruments ever created probe the origins and evolution of tornadoes. See the power of gale force winds, torrential rains and unrelenting hail and experience a tornado’s destructive power. Experience the beauty and the power of some of our planet’s most extreme – and least understood – weather.