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Science From Home

Children working on a science experiment

Welcome to our Science From Home page! Here you'll find listings of our virtual programs as well as simple science activities to try at home with your family, coloring pages, outdoor activities to explore the nature around you, and more! We are constantly adding and changing the contents of this page, so check back often!

Paleo Playdates

A child sitting in a chair playing with dinosaur toys.

Wednesdays, 10–10:45 a.m.
Ages 3 to 6
Zoom

Calling curious kiddos! Grab your favorite plastic dinosaur, stuffed animal or toy bug and join us for a playful preschool party.

Have some fun with Academy experts and other young natural history fans for a very special science story time. Each week will feature new stories, new hands-on activities to try at home and room to move and explore. Everyone can chat, play and show off their knowledge, and you’ll meet a new special guest each week! Whether you’d like to learn more about dinosaurs or dioramas, or if you just dream of becoming a scientist, our experts will be ready to answer your questions and have some fun.

Paleo Playdates was developed for preschoolers and their families to enjoy together. We kindly ask that adults assist our young guests with participating in this virtual playdate.

Admission is pay-what-you-wish. Suggested Donation is $10 per child.

Early Summer Session 3: 


Summer Camp Registration is Now Open!

academy science camp girl with mask raising hand and leopard gecko

Spend your summer at the Academy with our fun educators, cool exhibits and wild science! Sign up for one week or sign up for them all; each day will feature hands-on activities, creative crafts and untold secrets of the museum. Learn about the naturally awesome science at the Academy, from fossils and dinosaurs to bugs, birds and botanicals! Get outside for lunch and to explore the urban environment around the Academy. Meet live animals, see rare specimens and explore the museum as you never have before.

This program features small group, socially distanced activities. New topics will be explored every day. Bring home useful make-and-takes and practice your science skills with experiments and projects. Chill out as you take in a socially distanced show or look alive when you meet our animal ambassadors. What will you discover about the world?

Click here to learn more about safety procedures, weekly themes and to register.


Ask the Scientists

ask the scientists 

Join Academy scientists and educators for a brand new virtual program where kids lead the conversation! Ask the Scientists! features a series of events about the world we are living in now. Each Zoom session lasts about 30 minutes. Free with registration. Recommended for ages 8–11 but all are welcome.

Ask the Scientists: Do April Showers Bring May Flowers?
Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m.

Zoom; free with registration
Recommended for families with children ages 8–11

Animals are not the only group impacted by climate change! As April showers have brought about May flowers, it's the perfect time to ask how flowering plants are weathering the more significant long-term effects of climate change. Join Academy scientists as they discuss how flowering plants are adapting to this new world, and find out what we can do here in Philadelphia to help them.

register button


Virtual Lessons

A graphic with three fish, a raindrop, a globe, and with a chemical bond with the text 'Virtual Lesson Activities'

Stay safe while learning and exploring the Academy with your class! Beginning in 2021, we are excited to offer new virtual classroom lessons for school students K-12! Each class is approximately 45 minutes and features live interactions with Academy educators.

Our lessons are developed in correlation with the key components of the Academy of Natural Sciences: water quality, climate science, evolution, and biodiversity and extinction. Each class meets certain PA Academic Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Each topic has its own teacher’s guide full of supportive curriculum and activities relative to the lesson. These will be available to teachers when registered for a virtual class. Our virtual lessons enhance classroom comprehension and operate as a science curriculum purpose.

We look forward to working with you again and virtually inspiring your students!

Click here to see our virtual offerings and more information.


Junior Scientist Virtual Workshop Series

Junior Scientist Workshop girl learning on laptop

Ages 8 to 11 (younger children are welcome to join with parental assistance)

Are you naturally curious about the world around you? Do you dream of digging up dinos, walking with penguins or diving with sharks? Are your pockets filled with rocks, shells and bugs?

If you answered yes to any of these, then you are a Junior Scientist!

Zoom on in for exclusive lessons taught by the Academy’s awesome scientists and savvy educators. Meet other kids who share your passion for science and natural history. Check out rare specimens and learn more about your favorite topics or discover something brand-new. Workshop themes change every month and feature natural science lessons led by real scientists. Get exclusive access to the Academy’s world-renowned research and collections, further enhanced by educator-led projects.

As this workshop is delivered virtually, hands-on activities are designed to be done at home with easy-to-find supplies. Zoom link and supply list will be emailed prior to the event. Space is limited to ensure a quality experience for every participant.

We can’t wait to meet the next generation of scientists!

Can a Turtle Change Its Shell?
Saturday, May 22

$45 child/$60 family ($40 member child/$55 member family) per workshop)

$10 off with Early-bird Discount (valid through May 9)

Space is limited; register here

We know that animals with backbones have lived all over the world for hundreds of millions of years, but how does the vertebrate skeleton contribute to their survival? From dinosaurs to deer to turtles to humans, skeletons give them a real framework for success! Discover all the things that vertebrates through time have in common, and get the scoop about how they adapted in unique and specific ways. Check out real specimens from the Academy’s famous collection, and meet a live turtle to find out how its shell is a specially adapted skeletal feature. Learn about the chemistry of calcium with some hands-on activities at home as you find out how strong bones give us an edge.

You’ll meet Jason Downs, PhD, a vertebrate paleontology specialist and ancient animal afficionado. The coolest vertebrate animal Jason has ever seen is a killer whale. His favorite dancer is Allison Holker, who definitely needed a limber skeleton to be an all-star on So You Think You Can Dance!

*Early Bird Discount! Save $10 when you register by May 9.*

Morning Session: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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Afternoon Session: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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Educator Resources

Child waving at a computer screen with Educator Resources logo.

The Academy is excited to offer lessons on water, climate, evolution, biodiversity and extinction for students in grades kindergarten through 12. We have included some of our most recent research with video segments in most lesson plans. 

Teachers, these lessons can enhance your classroom curriculum with activities and videos that you can share with your students, and all lessons follow Pennsylvania Academic State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Click here to explore our new educator resources.


Reading List: Taking Care of the Environment

compost stew 

You probably care deeply about keeping the environment clean. You likely take steps to be an environmental steward, perhaps rinsing and sorting your recycling, composting, conserving water, reusing items and more. You may even encourage members of your household to do the same. But have you considered how to explain the importance of these actions to your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or friends? How will you help to prepare the next generation to work hard to make the planet a more sustainable place?

Whether you’re seeking a starting point for conversation, you want to further your own knowledge or you’re looking to join a global movement, this reading list will help you find a place to start.


Paleopalooza

paleopalooza graphic with stegosaur 

Explore our October 2020 virtual Paleopalooza festival! Download new dinosaur activities and watch exclusive videos, tune in to talk with real scientists, learn about fossils from all over the world and see specimens from the Academy’s behind-the-scenes collections. 

Science From Home Activity Sheets

Click here to explore all of our virtual Paleopalooza activities.


Earth and Water Science Celebration

scientist samples water from stream

Practice stewardship of our natural resources with our Earth and Water Science Celebration. Download fun activities and find out how to conserve resources. Watch and learn about city and coastal environments and how they adapt to be greener and better managed. Meet Academy scientists and hear from them about how the world’s water is changing and what we can do to protect it. 

Science From Home Activities: Earth and Water Science

Learn about our natural world with these fun, interactive, hands-on activities that are easy to do with basic household materials or simple-to-find supplies. Get crafty and make a recycled magnet or DIY food wraps, learn how to set up your own rainwater collector and more!

Click here for more of Earth and Water Science Week.


New Activities

Educator teaching children

New activities just added! Grow a gourd, make a bird migration station, learn how to press plants and more!


Bug Fest

bug fest

All of our 2020 virtual Bug Fest activities are now online! 

Talk about web crawling… Bug Fest has gone digital for 2020! Join us on Zoom, Facebook and Instagram to celebrate all things creepy, crawly, sticky, prickly, wiggly, yucky, and kinda cute for our annual celebration of invertebrates. Download new activities and watch exclusive videos; tune in to talk with real scientists; learn about insects from all over the world, and see specimens from the Academy’s behind-the-scenes collections. Go ahead, get caught in our web! 

Click here to explore all of our 2020 virtual Bug Fest.


Totally Turtles Weekend

totally turtles 

Explore Totally Turtles Weekend, a digital festival celebrating everything turtle, tortoise and terrapin! Discover how this amazing order of hard-shelled survivors lived in the past and thrives in the present. From pizza-loving cartoon ninjas to real-life turtles that call the Academy home, learn all about these “heroes in a half shell” with activities and crafts you can try at home as well as live videos. Turtle power!

Turtle from Home!
Download crafts and activities to try at home.

Explore all of our virtual Totally Turtles Weekend activities. 


New Activities!

scientist with child

Just added! Try these fun, hands-on activities that are easy to do with materials you usually have at home. Show us your at home projects! Message us on Facebook, or find us on Twitter and Instagram at @acadnatsci.

  • dancing tissue
  • bowerbird building
  • rock candy
  • DIY Binoculars
  • lifting ice
  • homemade birdcall


Build Your Own Bird Feeder

bird feeder at home 

You can reuse many household materials to build a cute and useful bird feeder! Check out your recycling bin for a coffee can or milk carton. Then plan out and craft a bird feeder for your outdoor space.

Download our April Kids Club Activity Sheet for complete instructions.

Looking for even more ways to build homemade bird feeders? Click here for six more ideas you can try.


Color a Garden Bed

garden bed coloring page 

Gardening, whether in your yard, in pots on your windowsill or in your imagination, is a wonderful way to enjoy nature, especially when we’re stuck at home. On this printable activity sheet for kids, you can exercise your creativity and draw your very own garden bed. 

Click here to download.


Home Science Activities

kids doing science craft

Try these fun, interactive, hands-on activities that are easy to do with materials you usually have at home. Explore with your child and learn together while having fun. We hope you enjoy the activities listed here while you spend time with your child, sharing your knowledge and gaining new experiences as you explore the world of science together.

Happy Science Adventures!

Simple science activities to try at home:

  • Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • animal superhero strength test
  • balloon blowing bottle
  • splitting ink
  • shiny pennies
  • DIY Butter
  • magical moving milk


Color Our Collections

 

Coloring can have many benefits for people of all ages. It can help enhance motor skills and vision, reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus. 

Click here to download a PDF coloring book made of images from the Academy's Library and Archives. 


Get Outside Nature Hunt

child playing outside 

Listen for bird calls, smell a flower and hug a tree to complete this outdoor scavenger hunt! 

Click here to download the nature hunt!


Biodiversity Bug Talks

Learn about the biodiversity of bugs and meet some of the insects that live at the Academy with educator David Schloss in these three short videos:

Amblypygid and Vinergaroon

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Millipedes and Centipedes


Looking for more? Our Academy Kids Club Activity Sheets have lots of great science ideas you can try at home. Download the sheets below for hours of entertainment for your kids:

What is science, and how can parents help?

Science is the effort to discover and increase human understanding of how the physical and natural world works. It is amazing how science touches every aspect of our daily lives; from turning on the lights in the classroom to the snacks we eat daily. Science is about encouraging and asking questions, it is a process rather than a set of facts to memorize. As members of society, it is important that your child gains understanding of what science is and becomes familiar with the work and activities associated with science.

In all types of science, we use the same tools for investigation. We question, observe, study, experiment, and then discover and uncover new findings. As parents, we can model these activities with our children and, through hands-on activities, build and nurture their sense of curiosity. Young children are natural scientists. It is our role to encourage them to continue in their explorations.

Ten Good Reasons to use Science as a Vehicle for Learning
(via www.sciencestart.com)

  1. Science responds to children’s need to learn about the world around them.
  2. Children’s everyday experience is the foundation for science.
  3. Open-ended science activities involve children at a range of different developmental levels.
  4. Hands-on science activities permit teachers to observe and respond to children’s individual strengths and needs.
  5. The scientific approach of “trial and error” welcomes error and interprets it as valuable information, not as failure.
  6. Science strongly supports the development of language and literacy.
  7. Science helps children with limited language to participate in the classroom.
  8. The problem-solving skills of science easily generalize to social situations.
  9. Science demonstrations help children become comfortable in large group conversations.
  10. Science connects easily to other areas, including play, art, math, music, movement, and social studies.