These age-appropriate labs were developed to help students learn integrated science, math and art concepts through open-ended exploration. The labs support curriculum and address Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards. The Learning Labs serve over 25,000 students a year in over 40 school districts. Let your classroom be next!

FOR RESERVATIONS, PLEASE CALL 630.637.8000 or request a reservation online.

Learning Labs at Your School

  • Patterns, Strategies, & Number Sense (Preschool)

    Build a patterned tower taller than you. Weave a collaborative class quilt. Take on the “hexagon challenge.” This Learning Lab puts a mathematical spin on familiar activities and sets out to send students searching for math in everyday life. The Patterns, Strategies & Number Sense Learning Lab offers an exciting and innovative opportunity for students to experience an interactive, hands-on program centered on developing concepts in patterning, sorting and classifying, geometry, and the language of mathematics. Students will be free to explore up to a dozen different exhibit stations designed to introduce non-numerical concepts that are essential for a true understanding of mathematics. Logical thinking is reinforced by cooperative play that encourages understanding and reflection on their experiences.

    • Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS):
      • Knowledge and sense of numbers
      • Describe common attributes, patterns, and relationships in objects
      • Concepts of geometry and spatial relations
    • Lab Time: 1 Hour – 1.5 Hours
  • Estimation Station (Grades PreK-5)

    How many is “many”? How much is “a lot”? Estimation Station is an innovative, hands-on, exhibit-based program designed to provide students with “real life” encounters with estimation. Students will be free to explore a variety of exhibit stations and estimate length, mass, volume, quantity, area, distance, and time. This Learning Lab is designed to introduce and reinforce the use of a referent as an estimation strategy. Students in the higher grades will track their estimates and actual measurements on data sheets. Estimation Station helps students to understand that mathematics involves more than being exact.

    • Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS):
      • Measurement of objects and quantities
      • Make predictions and collect date information
    • Addresses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
      • Counting and Cardinality
      • Measurement and Data
      • Number and Operations in Base Ten
    • Lab Time
      • PreK & Kindergarten: 1 Hour
      • Grades 1, 2 & 3: 1.5 Hours
  • Magnets (Grades PreK-4)

    Hunt for hidden treasures. Feel the force of magnetism. Discover how magnets do work and use magnets to have fun. The Magnet Exploration Learning Lab offers these learning experiences as well as many others for students in grades PreK-4. During this hour Learning Lab, PreK students will create a “magnetic” work of art, and students in grades K-4 will magnetize a needle and create a magnetic toy to take home. All students will learn that the Earth acts like a giant magnet and how compasses work. Students will make discoveries about the magnetic fields surrounding magnets when they play at hands-on exhibits designed to demonstrate pole patterns. Students will also engage in open-ended activities to learn about attraction and repulsion, discover the properties of objects that are attracted to magnets, and even use magnets to overcome gravity. This process learning is a powerful way to help students integrate concrete objects from the toy box to the toolbox with the abstract concept of magnetism.

    • Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS):
      • Use the practices of science and engineering to answer questions and solve problems
      • Concepts and information about the physical sciences
      • Connections and understanding in science and engineering
    • Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
      • Forces and Interactions
    • Lab Time
      • PreK: 1 Hour
      • Kindergarten: 1 – 1.5 Hours
      • Grades 1,2,3 & 4: 1.5 Hours
  • Math In Action (Grades K-1)

    Hop along the number line. Discover “how many” are in a group. Sort the animals. Math In Action is an interactive, hands-on program that allows students to practice counting, attribute recognition, place value, and more. By using everyday and familiar objects, students are more comfortable practicing the concepts that are so vital to their future math success. Over a dozen different activities, many of which require cooperative play, are available to reinforce these concepts as they have fun with math.

    • Addresses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
      • Counting and Cardinality
      • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
      • Number and Operations in Base Ten
      • Measurement and Date
      • Geometry
    • Lab Time
      • Kindergarten: 45 Minutes – 1 Hour
      • Grades 1: 1.5 Hours
  • GeoSpace (Grades K-5)

    Convert circles into cones and transform rectangles into prisms! Equipped with scissors, tape, glue, and a lot of imagination, students become “Paper Engineers.” This Learning Lab invites students into the world of geometry through three-dimensional paper constructions. The GeoSpace Lab Specialists will introduce a wide variety of paper engineering techniques that can be used to construct cones, cubes, cylinders, spheres, pyramids, and more! Then, your “Paper Engineers” will each create a geometric diorama inside and around a cardboard box—all in 3D!

    The GeoSpace program offers an exciting and innovative opportunity for students in grades K-5 to engage in geometry, a significant branch of mathematics most visible in the physical world. GeoSpace is an integrated Math/Art program designed to demonstrate to students the connection between two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional solids that define the world in which we live.

    • Addresses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
      • Geometry
    • Lab Time
      • Kindergarten: 1 – 1.5 Hour
      • Grades 1,2 & 3: 1.5 Hours
      • Grades 4 & 5: 2 Hours
  • Wheels, Levels, & Pulleys (Grade 1-5)

    Get a grip on the physics of simple machines. Give yourself a lift on a multiple pulley system. The Wheels, Levers & Pulleys Learning Lab offers students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on, interactive learning experience. Students will explore the force of friction, enjoy wheelchair bowling, experience the power of levers, experiment with gear ratios, and more!

    The DCM Lab Specialists will guide students through a lively and humorous study of seven simple machines. Students will discover how simple machines make work easier, faster, or both. The Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys Learning Lab makes special mention of the force of friction and its impact on machines. Students will work in cooperative groups at hands-on exhibit stations to draw conclusions from their observations of simple machines at work. This process learning is a powerful way to help students integrate concrete objects with the abstract concepts of force and work.

    • Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
      • Forces and Interactions
      • Provides a solid base for the understanding of the simple machines
    • Lab Time
      • Grades 1,2,3,4 & 5: 1.5 Hours
  • Kids Design Engineering (KDE) (Grades 2-4)

    Elephants fly through the air! Race cars seek a finish line! Birdhouses sail across the water! Guided by our Lab Specialists, students become capable inventors and successfully experience the design-build-test process as they problem-solve to meet their engineering challenge. The KDE Learning Lab is an innovative three-part program, designed for students in grades 2-4, that incorporates science, math, art and technology as students design and create engineering projects. Students discover pneumatic power – the power of air under pressure – and explore how this power is used to do work. Each student will take on the same challenge:

    Build an object or vehicle that will travel a distance of two feet on land, air, or water powered by air stored in a balloon.

    The solution to this challenge is up to the students, and the results are as unique as the children themselves.

    This process learning is a powerful way to help school-age children integrate concrete objects and tools with abstract concepts such as energy, air power, simple machines, and technology. In a risk-free, non-gender-biased environment, students use tools and technology to solve real world challenges. Kids Design Engineering provides a foundation for children to develop the abilities to tackle more complex science and math challenges in later school years.

    Session 1 – KDE Awareness (2 hours at your school)
    In this session, students will:

    • discuss energy, inventions, and engineering
    • research project design choices using DCM’s projects
    • use lung power to create a cover for their design journals make a pinwheel

    Session 2 – KDE Materials (2 hours to your school)
    In this session, students will:

    • practice with the tools and materials necessary to build their projects
    • explore material choices and project design
    • ride the DCM Hovercraft
    • sketch their designs

    Session 3 – KDE Build at DuPage Children’s Museum (2 hours to DCM)
    In this session, students will:

    • The design-build-test process at its best! The student engineers take the lead as they, with their design journals as a reference, gather their materials and use our tools to construct their project.
    • The Lab R.A.T.S. and other adults are there to lend a hand when needed, but the students are in control. Students build, test, modify, and retest to ensure that their project meets the engineering challenge.

    Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

    • Forces and Interactions
    • Engineering Design
  • Simple Machines in Action (Grades 3-5)

    The Simple Machines in Action Learning Lab offers students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on, interactive learning experience. Your class has been studying the simple machines; now it’s time to take a quantitative approach. Your students will be collecting data as they experience a more in-depth study of friction, wheels, pulleys, gears, inclined planes, wedges, and levers.

    Students will “do the math” as they continue to discover how simple machines make work easier, faster, or both. Students will work in cooperative groups at hands-on stations to observe, measure, and record their observations of simple machines at work. This process learning is a powerful way to help students integrate concrete objects with the abstract concepts of force and work.

    • Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
      • Forces and Interactions
    • Addresses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
      • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
      • Measurement and Date
    • Lab Time
      • Grades 3,4 & 5: 2 Hours
  • Tomorrow's Energy Today (Grade 2-5)

    Create carbon dioxide soap bubbles or explore an alternative energy house – just two of the many ways students will investigate the diverse field of energy! Young learners will explore alternative energy sources and discuss what forms of energy are renewable or nonrenewable. Students also get to act out an energy transfer chain, while exploring the two states in which energy occurs – potential (stored) and kinetic (movement). Hands – on exhibit stations will allow students to discover properties of carbon dioxide, experiment with various forms of energy, and explore what happens to an energy source when it is divided into multiple uses.

    • Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
      • Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
      • Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems
      • Earth’s Systems
    • Lab Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Forces At Work (Grades 2-5)

    Push, pull, friction, resistance, tension – let’s learn about forces at work! This exciting hands-on approach to studying forces and energy is a great way to enhance scientific and mathematical classroom curriculum.

    • Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
      • Forces and Interactions
      • Energy
      • Electricity
    • Lab Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Electricity (Grades 3-5)

    Why do some materials conduct electricity better than others? In this electrifying program, students will learn about ways to generate electricity and how magnetism and electricity are fundamentally linked. They will investigate what materials are strong and weak conductors and will build both series and parallel circuits at our unique exhibits stations.

    • Addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):
      • Forces and Interactions
      • Energy
      • Engineering Design
    • Lab Time
      • Grades 3,4 & 5: 1.5 Hours
One Session
Two Sessions
Three Sessions
Kid’s Design Engineering
GeoSpace Materials Fee
One Learning Lab
Same day, Same Learning Lab
Same day, Same Learning Lab
Per Student
Per Student
$225
$425
$610
$27
$2

Additional fee for outside the 20-miles radius may apply.

Questions about Learning Labs?
Contact Madalyn McLean | Education Bookings Coordinator
edbookings@dupagechildrensmuseum.org or call 630.637.8000 x6150