Mystery of the Suspicious Substance - DuPage Children's Museum

Wild Wonders  | Saturday, April 27

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Mystery of the Suspicious Substance

Students will plan and carry out an investigation using magnets to determine a solution to clean up a suspicious substance from DCM’s building. 


Student Challenge:

Make observations of a suspicious substance found on DCM’s building to identify its properties. Use those observations to plan and carry out various tests on the substance to figure out how scientists can clean it up without touching it or damaging the building. 


Learning Outcomes:

  • Observe what happens when magnets come in contact with other magnetic forces.
  • Plan and carry out an investigation to determine how magnets affect each other and other magnetic objects. 
  • Analyze data from an investigation of magnets to determine a solution to a problem. 


NGSS Connections:

Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI): PS2.B: Types of Interactions

Science and Engineering Practice (SEP): Planning and Carrying out Investigations

Crosscutting Concept (CCC): Cause and Effect


Cross-Curricular Connections:

  • Common Core Math: MD.A.1: Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
  • Social Emotional Learning: 2C: Use communication and social skills to interact effectively with others. 



DCM Educators will bring out vials of ferrofluid (suspicious substance) and various testing materials for students. Each student will also get a scientific notebook to plan their investigations and collect data.

More Information


1 session, 60 minutes


Additional Questions?   

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Cost per Classroom (up to 30 students)

  • At DCM* – $250
  • In Your Classroom – $350
    (additional cost for schools greater than 20 miles from DCM)

* Include a Field Trip with your Arts & STEM with DCM Lab!
  An additional $9.50 per student


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