Winter 2019 Learning Lab

Winter 2019

Learning Lab Classes

February 2 – March 9

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Download and print the Winter 2019 Learning Lab application
Download and print the Winter 2019 Learning Lab Brochure

9:30-11:00
Down on the Farm with STEAM!
Ages: 3-4
Roll up your sleeves and be ready to explore animal and plant life on the farm. Sprout corn seeds; can we grow them upside down? Wash and card raw wool. Why do horses sometimes wear shoes, and why do pigs roll in the mud? How do insects help out at the farm? Make butter and whipped cream. What do root vegetables look like when they are growing, and why do eggs have two different parts inside? How do duck feathers repel water? STEAM concepts with fun, hands-on activities!
Instructor: Kristin Soifer

Transported through Time
Ages: 4-5
Take a ticket to tons of fun and hands-on learning as we explore the world of transportation through experiments and activities. We’ll transport ourselves through time as we discover the marvelous inventions people have developed to get from one place to another, from the horse and buggy to modern space vehicles. Along the way we’ll experiment with foil boats and buoyancy, test the impact of friction on land travel, and attempt various ways to make paper airplanes and helicopters. We’ll create a funicular train that uses cable traction for movement on steep inclined slopes. Our journey includes science, math, history, crafts, songs, movement and games! Come along for the ride.
Instructor: Mary Edstrohm

Simple Science Experiments
Ages: 5-6
Roll up your sleeves and prepare to dig into some hands-on science fun! Perform experiments designed to demonstrate and explain basic scientific principles. Launch balloons across the room as we learn about Mr. Newton’s Third Law of Motion. How is this concept used to send rockets into outer space? Make a flashlight, use magnets for levitation, and bend water. Make bubble snakes; how do the polar ends of a soap molecule help you create a snake? Scientific inquiry combines with concepts such as static electricity, magnetic force, energy (and more): Loads of experiments, some resulting in take-home creations!
Instructor: Beth Crites

Using Simple Machines to ‘Explore’ Egypt
Grades: K-1
‘Travel’ with us to ancient Egypt where we will use the six simple machines (levers, wheels and axles, inclined planes, wedges, pulleys, and screws) to learn about everyday life and to create art! Make ‘papyrus’ using levers; build a ‘Galimoto’ push toy using wheel and axle; and much more. Create pyramid blocks and construct a pyramid using an inclined plane. How did they build the real pyramids? Explore the tools ancient Egyptians used and create hands-on projects that fit the times!
Instructor: Lisa Bader

Scientific Exploration of Oceans
Grades: 1-2
Explore the layers of the ocean, from the trenches to the surface, and discover the animals that live there. How are ocean currents generated? How do gravity, density, and anatomy allow animals to float? Simulate an oil spill and test clean-up methods. What is the impact of an oil spill on marine animals and their habitats? Develop your hypothesis and test what might happen
if an octopus had a skeleton made of bone or cartilage like their predators. Experiments, activities, the scientific method.
Instructor: Kara Viviano

Creative Winter Activities with STEAM
Grades: 1-2
Use the winter season for inspiration as we combine creativity with some experiments to design fun seasonal projects. Consider states of matter and expansion of water to solid and create an ice lantern. Bring together math, art and engineering concepts to create a spinning wheel. Grow your own crystals and use bits of nature to create acrylic nature rubbings. Use pencils, paint and chalk to design a winter scene. Many more winter activities for imaginative creators!
Instructor: Chandria Howard

Be a LEGO® WeDo Programmer!
Grades: 1-2
Take your LEGO fun on the ‘road’ as we code and program LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits to pull, push, tug and turn. Use your design and problem-solving skills to build robots. Then put your robots to work, studying forces of motion and testing solutions to real problems, like polluted oceans and safe road crossings for wildlife. Meet Milo, the planetary rover; how would you get Milo into space? It’s LEGO fun! Returning students will be challenged at a higher level.
Instructor: Chuck Baker

Engineering Process in Action
Grades: 2-3
Design, make, and repair bridges, energy systems, machines, robots, and more in our ‘engineering academy.’ Design a car and determine how gears help it run. Make paper circuits, create and test a water wheel, and investigate materials and shapes to determine the best fit for different tasks. Use the engineering process: Design and build, then experiment with your results each week in different areas of engineering: mechanical, aerospace, robotics, energy, civil, and materials science.
Instructor: Vicki Mikow

Geology Rocks! …And Other Earth Science
Grades: 2-3
How is soil actually made? What are the natural consequences of plate tectonics shifting too fast? Join us to rock our geological world and ‘explore’ caves, model plate tectonics and create landforms. How does weathering and erosion shape our earth? Experiment to see how rock changes from one type to another (igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic). Examine the difference between crystals and gems, and explore rocks that are local to Missouri. Open geodes and do scratch tests on different rocks. Use the scientific process as you dig into this rock-solid topic.
Instructor: Becky Spellmeyer

Novel Engineering: Enjoying Books & Problem Solving!
Grades: 3-4
Have you ever thought what you would do if you were a character in a book you’ve read? How could you help the main character get out of a jam? Apply the engineering design process and determine how you can re-orchestrate the outcomes of some favorite stories! Identify the problems faced by the characters, design realistic solutions, and create tools that could alter the adventure. Whether you like literature or designing tools, machines and more: engineering design process + literature = novel engineering and fun! Books include “A Long Walk to
Water” by Linda Sue Park, “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” by Beverly Cleary, and “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires.
Instructor: Kate Cox

Rainforests of the World
Grades: 3-4
Become an expert rainforest biologist and explore the diversity of more than half of the world’s plant and animal species! Build a terrarium model of the rainforest, considering the differences between temperate and tropical rainforests. Discover which plants and animals live in the four different layers of the rainforest: emergent, canopy, understory, and the forest floor. Develop creative solutions for conserving the rainforest, considering the many products that come from there. Experience the impact of deforestation through the rainforest survival activity: Could you survive, as you encounter exotic animals, poisonous plants and unknown weather? Immerse yourself in art and science projects to bring the rainforest to life!
Instructor: Emily Timpe

Wacky Machines: Engineering Process Gone Wild
Grades: 3-4
Could you build a machine that actually turns the pages of the book you are reading? Or one that feeds the dog for you? The crazier the idea, the better, for a Rube Goldberg machine! Start with the six simple machines (lever, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, pulley, or screw). We’ll sketch designs, build various machines, and review machines used in cartoons and in everyday life. How many compound machines can you use to create a Rube Goldberg machine? We’ll make one and find out. Design, sketch, construct, test weekly: a really fun way to use the engineering process!
Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

Legends, Castles and Mythology
Grades: 3-6
Live through some of the liveliest legends and myths, as we explore truths and exaggerations over time. Are there connections between the Epic of Gilgamesh and King Arthur? What if the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses went head to head in battle? Does the story of the flood from ancient Sumeria remind you of anyone else from ancient times? Are the activities of the Egyptian gods similar to those of the famous Greeks and Romans? Write your way through history as you attempt cuneiform, hieroglyphs and calligraphy in copperplate style. A ‘gastronomic event’ brings these cultures and stories together as we feast for fun!
Instructor: Art Koenig

Energy in Chemistry
Grades: 4-5
Investigate what happens by the release of chemical energy! Make a battery with pennies and an LED, play with non-Newtonian fluids, split water, build a model of an atom, and discuss hydrogen-powered cars. What can a hot/cold pack tell you about chemical energy? How do green plants transform solar energy to chemical energy? What is the chemical reaction that causes baking soda and vinegar to explode like a volcano? Experiment with household chemicals and much more! Consider chemical reactions, green energy, atomic structure, thermodynamic laws and electricity in this highly energized class!
Instructor: Morgan Moody

Magic 201
Grades: 4-5
Your skill as a magician starts with the basics of misdirection and sleight of hand. In this class, we’ll move on to tricks that can be done for an audience (close-up and parlor magic). Our focus this class: Demonstrate incredible mental abilities in front of your audience! Learn to read minds and calculate at lightning speed. Spectators today know too much: They like magic but they know they are seeing a trick. Mentalism however helps to convince your audience that you really do have extraordinary mental abilities! Join us and put your gifted skills to use learning memory feats, rapid mathematics and more.
Instructor: Robert Linnenbom

(Scientific) Detectives of History’s Mysteries
Grades: 5-6
Use a scientific approach and original source materials to find potential answers to some of the greatest mysteries in history. What caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 to spread so fast? Review grids of neighborhoods affected by the fire and weather conditions of the day. Where would you have sent fire engines, considering fire-response technology of the period? Why did the Titanic sink in only hours? Examine the rationale of the ship’s designers, as well as naval architecture of the time. What role did human nature play in these disasters? Apply an inquisitive mind and the scientific process to these and other historical mysteries in our scientific detective agency!
Instructor: Andy Mills

Creative Writing Expanded
Grades 5-8
Calling all budding authors! Delve into multiple genres of writing, as we explore aspects of the writing process. Create a graphic novel, develop your own science fiction world, and even try different types of poetry. Consider character development, narrative point of view, dialogue and plot, as you create your own voice. If you are itching to let your creative juices flow, this class is for you! What will motivate you in writing your stories? Will you cross the boundaries of reality in any of your works? Final project: a class book with a collection of stories from class authors.
Instructor: Megan Mills

Experimenting with Ecology
Grades: 5-8
Explore a different ecological concept each week through hands-on experiments! How does photosynthesis help regulate our climate: Experiment with plants and their chloroplast organelles. Simulate the radioactive decay that takes place in the West Lake Landfill in St. Louis County; can we do anything about the problem of nuclear waste? Experiment with salinity and temperature in the ocean and the effect on marine creatures. Keep a personal lab journal of your hypothesis, observations and conclusions for each experiment. Concepts include pollution, the greenhouse effect, gases in Earth’s atmosphere, and more.
Instructor: Lisa Hummel

Make Your (Chess) Move!
Grades: 5-8
Join us in the challenging world of chess! Learn moves, tactics and strategies to be a contender in a match with your friends. Apply your chess problem-solving skills to school and home, as you learn to think before making a move! For novice players, tactics can make or break your game. Will you use pins and forks or skewers? We’ll look at strategies for your advanced skills, such as attacking on opposite wings and playing to reach a better ending. Good sports behavior and coping with the consequences of your decisions are natural byproducts of the game.
Instructor: Stephen Randoll

11:10 – 12:40
Transported through Time
Ages: 3-4
Take a ticket to tons of fun and hands-on learning as we explore the world of transportation through experiments and activities. We’ll transport ourselves through time as we discover the marvelous inventions people have developed to get from one place to another, from the horse and buggy to modern space vehicles. Along the way we’ll experiment with foil boats and buoyancy, test the impact of friction on land travel, and attempt various ways to make paper airplanes and helicopters. We’ll create a funicular train that uses cable traction for movement on steep inclined slopes. Our journey includes science, math, history, crafts, songs, movement and games! Come along for the ride.
Instructor: Mary Edstrohm

Down on the Farm with STEAM!
Ages: 4-5
Roll up your sleeves and be ready to explore animal and plant life on the farm. Sprout corn seeds; can we grow them upside down? Wash and card raw wool. Why do horses sometimes wear shoes, and why do pigs roll in the mud? How do insects help out at the farm? Make butter and whipped cream. What do root vegetables look like when they are growing, and why do eggs have two different parts inside? How do duck feathers repel water? STEAM concepts with fun, hands-on activities!
Instructor: Kristin Soifer

Simple Science Experiments
Grades: K-1
Roll up your sleeves and prepare to dig into some hands-on science fun! Perform experiments designed to demonstrate and explain basic scientific principles. Launch balloons across the room as we learn about Mr. Newton’s Third Law of Motion. How is this concept used to send rockets into outer space? Make a flashlight, use magnets for levitation, and bend water. Make bubble snakes; how do the polar ends of a soap molecule help you create a snake? Scientific inquiry combines with concepts such as static electricity, magnetic force, energy (and more): Loads of experiments, some resulting in take-home creations!
Instructor: Beth Crites

Scientific Exploration of Oceans
Grades: K-1
Explore the layers of the ocean, from the trenches to the surface, and discover the animals that live there. How are ocean currents generated? How do gravity, density, and anatomy allow animals to float? Simulate an oil spill and test clean-up methods. What is the impact of an oil spill on marine animals and their habitats? Develop your hypothesis and test what might happen if an octopus had a skeleton made of bone or cartilage like their predators. Experiments, activities, the scientific method.
Instructor: Kara Viviano

Engineering Process in Action
Grades: 1-2
Design, make, and repair bridges, energy systems, machines, robots, and more in our ‘engineering academy.’ Design a car and determine how gears help it run. Make paper circuits, create and test a water wheel, and investigate materials and shapes to determine the best fit for different tasks. Use the engineering process: Design and build, then experiment with your
results each week in different areas of engineering: mechanical, aerospace, robotics, energy, civil, and materials science.
Instructor: Vicki Mikow

Using Simple Machines to ‘Explore’ Egypt
Grades: 1-2
‘Travel’ with us to ancient Egypt where we will use the six simple machines (levers, wheels and axles, inclined planes, wedges, pulleys, and screws) to learn about everyday life and to create art! Make ‘papyrus’ using levers; build a ‘Galimoto’ push toy using wheel and axle; and much more. Create pyramid blocks and construct a pyramid using an inclined plane. How did they build the real pyramids? Explore the tools ancient Egyptians used and create hands-on projects that fit the times!
Instructor: Lisa Bader

Make Your (Chess) Move!
Grades: 1-4
Join us in the challenging world of chess! Learn moves, tactics and strategies to be a contender in a match with your friends. Apply your chess problem-solving skills to school and home, as you learn to think before making a move! For novice players, tactics can make or break your game. Will you use pins and forks or skewers? We’ll look at strategies for your advanced skills, such as attacking on opposite wings and playing to reach a better ending. Good sports behavior and coping with the consequences of your decisions are natural byproducts of the game.
Instructor: Stephen Randoll

Rainforests of the World
Grades: 2-3
Become an expert rainforest biologist and explore the diversity of more than half of the world’s plant and animal species! Build a terrarium model of the rainforest, considering the differences between temperate and tropical rainforests. Discover which plants and animals live in the four different layers of the rainforest: emergent, canopy, understory, and the forest floor. Develop creative solutions for conserving the rainforest, considering the many products that come from there. Experience the impact of deforestation through the rainforest survival activity: Could you survive, as you encounter exotic animals, poisonous plants and unknown weather? Immerse yourself in art and science projects to bring the rainforest to life!
Instructor: Emily Timpe

EV3 Robotics for Beginners Grades: 2-3
Programming basics using LEGO® MiNDSTORMS® EV3 Kits! Consider a real-world problem, create your hypothesis, program your solution and test your results! Build a rover-type robot to handle some basic tasks and experiment with other basic features of the kits. Work with a team and apply the engineering process to test solutions based on real-life robotics technology. Problem-solving skills and creativity will prove that the possibilities are endless! Note that we’ll do our work with iPads which limits us to basic programming functionality.
Instructor: Lisa Hummel

GRC Computational Detective Agency
Grades: 2-3
Calling all math detectives! The GRC Computational Detective Agency is recruiting inquisitive, problem-solving sleuths for the silliest cases in St. Louis! Begin your training each week with a (math) challenge. Then try your hand at cracking (and explaining) the latest case before finishing the day by creating your own math mystery! Cases may include logical reasoning,
probability, patterns, fractions and more! Optional: a “Figure This” problem to attempt with your family!
Instructor: Chuck Baker

Break Out: Even More ‘Escape’ Plans Needed!
Grades: 3-4
NOTE: Did you ‘break out’ with us before? Join us again for entirely new puzzles and challenges!
Do you like surprises and never knowing what is coming up next? Love to solve puzzles and use logic? Take a mystery from history, natural disaster, science or other puzzle story, follow clues laid out throughout the classroom and crack the codes that will open the breakout box. An escape room in a box! Each week, a different series of clues, stories and puzzles using math, science, literature, history and more. Find opportunities for collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and community, plus great ciphers, codes and puzzles to solve!
Instructor: Kate Cox

Energy in Chemistry
Grades: 3-4
Investigate what happens by the release of chemical energy! Make a battery with pennies and an LED, play with non-Newtonian fluids, split water, build a model of an atom, and discuss hydrogen-powered cars. What can a hot/cold pack tell you about chemical energy? How do green plants transform solar energy to chemical energy? What is the chemical reaction that causes baking soda and vinegar to explode like a volcano? Experiment with household chemicals and much more! Consider chemical reactions, green energy, atomic structure, thermodynamic laws and electricity in this highly energized class!
Instructor: Morgan Moody

Magic 201
Grades: 3-4
Your skill as a magician starts with the basics of misdirection and sleight of hand. In this class, we’ll move on to tricks that can be done for an audience (close-up and parlor magic). Our focus this class: Demonstrate incredible mental abilities in front of your audience! Learn to read minds and calculate at lightning speed. Spectators today know too much: They like magic but they know they are seeing a trick. Mentalism however helps to convince your audience that you really do have extraordinary mental abilities! Join us and put your gifted skills to use learning memory feats, rapid mathematics and more.
Instructor: Robert Linnenbom

Geology Rocks! …And Other Earth Science
Grades: 4-5
How is soil actually made? What are the natural consequences of plate tectonics shifting too fast? Join us to rock our geological world and ‘explore’ caves, model plate tectonics and create landforms. How does weathering and erosion shape our earth? Experiment to see how rock changes from one type to another (igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic). Examine the difference between crystals and gems, and explore rocks that are local to Missouri. Open geodes and do scratch tests on different rocks. Use the scientific process as you dig into this rock-solid topic.
Instructor: Becky Spellmeyer

(Scientific) Detectives of History’s Mysteries
Grades: 4-5
Use a scientific approach and original source materials to find potential answers to some of the greatest mysteries in history. What caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 to spread so fast? Review grids of neighborhoods affected by the fire and weather conditions of the day. Where would you have sent fire engines, considering fire-response technology of the period? Why did the Titanic sink in only hours? Examine the rationale of the ship’s designers, as well as naval architecture of the time. What role did human nature play in these disasters? Apply an inquisitive mind and the scientific process to these and other historical mysteries in our scientific detective agency!
Instructor: Andy Mills

Break Out: Even More ‘Escape’ Plans Needed!
Grades: 5-6
NOTE: Did you ‘break out’ with us before? Join us again for entirely new puzzles and challenges!
Do you like surprises and never knowing what is coming up next? Love to solve puzzles and use logic? Take a mystery from history, natural disaster, science or other puzzle story, follow clues laid out throughout the classroom and crack the codes that will open the breakout box. An escape room in a box! Each week, a different series of clues, stories and puzzles using math, science, literature, history and more. Find opportunities for collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and community, plus great ciphers, codes and puzzles to solve!
Instructor: Megan Mills

Wacky Machines: Engineering Process Gone Wild
Grades: 5-8
Could you build a machine that actually turns the pages of the book you are reading? Or one that feeds the dog for you? The crazier the idea, the better, for a Rube Goldberg machine! Start with the six simple machines (lever, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, pulley, or screw). We’ll sketch designs, build various machines, and review machines used in cartoons and in everyday life. How many compound machines can you use to create a Rube Goldberg machine? We’ll make one and find out. Design, sketch, construct, test weekly: a really fun way to use the engineering process!
Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

Science Fiction: “The Odyssey” to “Star Wars”
Grades: 5-8
Sci fi in ancient literature? Explore the earliest roots of the genre through Homer’s “The Odyssey”. Then encounter Sir John Mandeville, purported 14th century traveler who met with griffins, dog-headed people, cannibals and more. What does Jules Verne offer to the genre in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”? Reach skyward for more new worlds, through “Forbidden Planet”, “Star Trek”, and “Star Wars”. Encounter Circes and other witches and goddesses, monsters, griffins, Cyclops, unseen forces, cannibalistic Laestrygonians, other species, and highly developed artificial intelligence. ‘Visit’ the mythical city of Atlantis and other unknown worlds. Enjoy a feast that could only be eaten safely in a microgravity environment!
Instructor: Art Koenig