children in the museum
Education - Workshops


Teachers can choose from among the following workshops that are offered in the Innovation Lab.  These workshops have been designed with Michigan’s science standards for k-12 in mind.  In each of these workshops, students will work in teams to identify possible design solutions to a challenge.  They will design, build, test, observe, and evaluate.  These workshops are recommended for 4th grade and up, though younger and older students will benefit from the teamwork and problem solving as well.
All lab workshops are $3/student; Laker Racer also has a $10 additional materials fee.

Seismic Cities
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
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
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.