Learning Labs

To add a lab to your field trip program, call us at 916 674-5000 or fill out our School Program Inquiry Form.

Life Sciences

Incredible Insects

Put on your entomologist cap and learn how scientists observe and study the diverse world of insects.

  • Grades: K–1
  • Capacity: 35 students

Put on your entomologist cap and learn how scientists observe and study the diverse world of insects. Your students will identify basic insect body parts, and see examples of real insects in all shapes and sizes from habitats around the world. They will ’ll explore the MOSAC’s “insect museum” as they use their observation and communication skills to ask questions and to get more information about the insects they may see every day.

Cellular Adventures

Students investigate plant cells and cell structure by extracting and preparing their own samples for microscope viewing.

  • Grades: 6–8
  • Capacity: 35 students

All living things are composed of cells. Students will investigate plant cells and cell structure by extracting and preparing their own samples for microscope viewing. Through observation, and by sketching and recording their findings, they’ll gain deeper appreciation for this building block of life. They’ll expand upon on this experience by comparing and contrasting between their plant slides and prepared animal cells.

DNA — Up Close and Personal

This fascinating lab provides students with the tools and knowledge to extract their own DNA.

  • Grades: 6–8
  • Capacity: 35 students

What does your DNA look like? This fascinating lab provides students with the tools and knowledge to extract their own DNA using cheek cells, then study the vital role DNA plays in the structure of cells. The lab culminates with students saving and taking away their own cellular DNA in a laboratory micro test tube.

Engineering

Engineering Extremes

Students discover first-hand how failure can be an important part of the problem-solving, iterative process and a positive way to learn.

  • Grades: 3–5
  • Capacity: 35 students

Build, test and rebuild! Your students are presented with a variety of engineering challenges, each with an extreme condition they must overcome to build a successful project. From budget limitations to natural disasters, student engineers will work in teams to design prototypes and models that meet the constraints of the challenge. Students discover firsthand how failure can be an important part of the problem-solving, iterative process and a positive way to learn.

Engineering Ecosystems

Students will learn about the interdependence of science, engineering and technology in living systems.

  • Grades: 3–5
  • Capacity: 35 students

Ecosystems that can be engineered? Absolutely, and your students will understand how that happens by learning about the interdependence of science, engineering and technology in living systems, as well as the principles of engineering processes for problem solving. From an introduction to ecosystems to lessons about the interdependent relationships that exist within them, your students will apply this knowledge while working in groups to engineer a sustainable man-made ecosystem — a biodome. (Grade 5 students will calculate energy flow in their biodome.)

Physical Sciences

Fossils — Life Long Ago

A focus on dinosaurs involves hands-on stations with real fossils and replicas for your students to explore.

  • Grades: 2–3
  • Capacity: 35 students

How old is our planet? Has it always been like it is now? Fossils give us evidence to understand the types of plants and animals that lived long ago. We’ll focus on dinosaurs and set up hands-on stations with real fossils and replicas for your students to explore. They’ll learn that fossils are either mineral replacements, preserved remains, or traces of organisms that lived in the past. Some of the real fossils include amber with insect inclusions, dinosaur stomach stones, coprolite, fern imprints, and triceratops bones. Students will also get to view replicas of dinosaur claws, teeth, eggs and many more!

Rocks Rock!

Your students will experience an exciting introduction to the three rock types that make up our entire planet.

  • Grades: 2–4
  • Capacity: 35 students

Bring on your budding geologists! Your students will experience an exciting introduction to the three rock types that make up our entire planet. With hands-on exploration and samples from MOSAC’s extensive collection of rocks and crystals, they’ll learn about rock formations and properties using the same tools geologists do.

Charge It Up

Students will receive a fun introduction to electricity as they work with devices that convert energy (safely!)

  • Grades: 3–5
  • Capacity: 35 students

What really happens when we flip on the light switch? Your students will receive a fun introduction to electricity as they work with devices that convert energy from one form to another. They’ll thenl get to participate in and complete a series of challenges using actual electrical circuits and equipment (safely!).

Energy Waves

Students will discover how the sound they hear and the waves they can see are connected by using tools like tuning forks.

  • Grades: 3–4
  • Capacity: 35 students

Waves are not only found in the ocean but also in the sound we hear and the light we see. Your students will discover how those sounds and waves are connected by using tools like tuning forks. They’ll design and test a variety of experiments to demonstrate how energy from sound waves can displace objects and materials like water or salt.

Green Energy

Students will work in groups to design and test the efficiency of an offshore energy farm made up of model wind turbines.

  • Grades: 3–5
  • Capacity: 35 students

Yes, we have challenges to overcome, but we also have skills and imagination to solve Earth’s problems. Your students will work in groups to design an offshore energy farm consisting of model wind turbines, and they’ll use the Engineering Design Process to test and determine the most efficient place to install their turbines while considering wave zones, whale migration patterns, shifting winds and a possibly unstable ocean floor. (Grade 5 students will calculate the energy output and cost based on the parts used in construction).