Skip to content.
Spark, Slime and Speed

Celebrating Engineers Week
Sunday, February 16, 2014
1-4 p.m. - Discovery Hall

The Science Museum of Minnesota is delighted to work with the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers for our 8th annual kick-off to National Engineers Week (February 16 – 22, 2014).

This year, engineers from around the twin cities and volunteers from the Science Museum will help young visitors with up to 5 experiments. Youth can earn a certificate of completion if they complete all the experiments provided in addition to taking home most of the things they make.

Spark (Electrical Engineering) - Steady Hands

steady handsYoung visitors will explore the fundamentals of electricity. They build an electrical circuit that includes an energy source, resistance, a light and a switch. The completed assembly is also a steady hand game that they will have fun playing and demonstrating to family and friends.

Slime (Chemical Engineering) – Slime

slimeIs it a solid? Is it a liquid? Just what is this slimy, stringy, rubbery stuff? This polymer is unique because it has qualities of both a solid and a liquid. It can take the shape of its containers like a liquid does, yet you can hold it in your hand and pick it up like a solid. As you might know, solid molecules are tight together, liquid molecules spread out and break apart (drops) polymer molecules chain themselves together (they can stretch and bend like chains) and that makes them special.

Speed (Mechanical Engineering) – Cotton Ball Catapults

cotton ball catapultsCatapults use projectile motion to move objects across distances. Several factors can affect the distance an object can be launched, such as the mass of the object, and the amount of force used to move the object. This activity exposes students to concepts of simple machines, forces, and projectile motion within the context of the scientific method.

Additional Experiment (Environmental and Chemical Engineering)– Oil Spill

oil spillThe earth has many sources of energy; from renewable sources like the sun and the wind, to non-renewable ones like coal and oil. Young visitors will create their own model of an ocean, river, or lake and allow an oil spill to occur. They will investigate many different materials and attempt to contain and clean up the spill. In the end they will have first hand thoughts about oil and the environment.

Additional Experiment – Kalimba (Thumb Piano)

Young visitors will explore the fundamentals of sound through the vibration of metal and wood. Each visitor builds their own thumb piano and has the opportunity to discover the concepts of vibration, frequency and pitch.


Spark, Slime and Speed is a partnership with:

Society of Women Engineers


Sponsored by:

General Dynamics