Student Workshops

Workshops for Students and Groups
Education - Workshops

HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS FOR STUDENTS

Sign up for fun science and social studies workshops designed for single classes. Please allow 20-30 mintues between multiple workshops. Registration and a $3/student, or minimum $45 fee is required.

Weather and Climate
Kindergarten
30 minutes
Students explore local weather conditions and use related data to create charts and describe patterns.

Space Systems: Patterns and Cycles
1st Grade
30 minutes
The planetarium will be used to observe the sun, moon, and stars at different times of the year to describe patterns that can be predicted. Please note: Cannot be done at the same time as a planetarium show.

Earth's Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth
2nd Grade
30 minutes
Science on a Sphere® is used to discover where fresh water is found on Earth, including the Great Lakes and Great Lakes Basin.

Weather and Climate
3rd Grade
50 minutes
Students obtain and analyze weather condition data to investigate the relationship between weather and climate.

Fur Trade
Grades 1-3
50 minutes
With artifacts, images, and discussion, students will learn about the economic and cultural interactions between European Americans and Native Americans in the years prior to Michigan statehood.

Pioneer Life
Grades 1- 4
50 minutes
Students can see and try their hands at some of the everyday work of pioneers.  Learn to spin, churn butter or try your hand with a flint and steel (can you make a spark?).

Three Fires Native Americans
Grades 1 - 3
50 minutes
Students learn about the history and culture of Michigan's first people through discussion and examination of artifacts. We recommend scheduling this class with the planetarium show Sky Legends of the Three Fires.

Newton’s Laws
Grades 4-6
50 minutes
Investigate Newton’s three laws of motion through demonstrations and tabletop experiments. Topics include mass, force, velocity, momentum, and acceleration. At the completion of this workshop, students will be able to describe the three laws of motion in their own terms.

Archaeology Lab
Grades 5-8
50 minutes
Students will learn the basic recording techniques archaeologists use to catalogue and describe objects and will use these techniques to record important information about an artifact. We’ll look at some fragments of pottery, and students will work together in groups to draw, weigh, measure, describe, and answer questions about their ceramic fragment.

Ancient Observatories: You be the Architect Workshop
Grades 4-8
50 minutes
This workshop links some of our planetarium shows to the field of archaeology.  Students will learn how ancient cultures have understood the phenomena in the sky and how those understandings were incorporated into their practices.  They will work in teams to model solutions to the ancients’ questions about the sky.

Earth's Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth
4th Grade
50 minutes
Maps are used to investigate patterns of Earth's features, including mountains, volcanoes, tectonic plates, and the ocean.

Earth's Systems
5th Grade
50 minutes
Science on a Sphere® is used to discover how Earth's geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere interact.

Space Systems
Grades 6 - 8
50 minutes
Explore the Earth-sun-moon system in this interactive workshop that examines the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.

Seismic Cities
Grade 4 and up
90-120 minutes
How can we make buildings taller and safer?  Students design and test buildings that can withstand earthquakes.  Using slow motion video and a shake table, students will be able to gather and analyze data related to their design, identify weaknesses, and find solutions.  In this activity, students will explore engineering challenges of lateral force and weight distribution.

Laker Racer
Grade 4 and up
90-120 minutes
Students design and build their own boats modeled after the freighters that sail on the Great Lakes, known as “lakers.” Engineering challenges include buoyancy and propulsion; students must design a boat that can float, carry weight, and be propelled in still or moving water. (Lab fee of $10/class applies)

Rube Goldberg Machine
Grade 4 and up
90-120 minutes
Students experiment with cause and effect, potential and kinetic energy, and building structures that will achieve the goal of transferring energy from one side of the room to the other.  Slow motion video will allow students to identify weaknesses in their design and find solutions.