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From Video Games to Satellites:
The Evolution of a Career and a CubeSat Program

Mini Constellation Maker

Get to know common constellations by making your own mini-star projector to shine a constellation into a dark room.

Moon Scavenger Hunt

The Moon is the best part of our solar system to observe because its rapid 29 ½ day orbit around Earth makes for a tremendous variety of observations in a single month. Over the course of the month you can observe all the phases of the moon as it rises an hour later every day. Enjoy heading outside in the daytime and nighttime to complete this month long lunar scavenger hunt.

In this virtual workshop for children ages 4–5 and an adult, we’ll be designing and testing vehicles all month long. From building our own toy cars to testing hot wheels under scientific conditions, we’ll bring out the mechanic and engineer in every kid!

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, February 1-17 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 9-9:30am (Session full)
  • Session 2: 10-10:30am (Session full)
  • Session 3: 10:45-11:15am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

Limited to 6 families/session
Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Celebrate 45 years of the Montshire Museum of Science with a year of events and activities that highlight diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) — from raising the voices of traditionally underrepresented groups in science to exploring multiple ways to engage with the world around us. 2021 offers opportunities to reflect on the past 45 years and to recognize the progress made in STEM, with a hopeful eye to the future.

This year’s programs and events will include:

  • A conversation series with a focus on women in STEM
  • Education programs that introduce young learners to a diverse range of voices in STEM
  • Opening of the Montshire’s new community space, redesigned to be a more accessible and inclusive experience
  • Summer of Dinosaurs, an exciting exhibition that explores the lives of dinosaurs, big and small — from dinosaur eggs and babies to massive dinosaur fossil specimens
  • Multiple opportunities for learning about the different voices in STEM, both online and on-site

This year’s initiatives aim to foster curiosity, share new perspectives, and offer opportunities for a meaningful exchange of ideas. The Museum believes in science as a means of connecting people, providing access to big ideas, and understanding the human condition.

The Montshire Museum of Science opened its doors on January 10, 1976, in the former Golfside Bowling Lanes in Hanover, New Hampshire. In 1989, the Museum moved to its current location in Norwich, Vermont, and has grown in size and the number of people it serves. The Museum was conceived as a warm and welcoming place, where all ages could discover the fun of “doing science”

The Montshire Museum of Science opened its doors on January 10, 1976, in the former Golfside Bowling Lanes in Hanover, New Hampshire. In 1989, the Museum moved to its current location in Norwich, Vermont, and has grown in size and the number of people it serves. The Museum was conceived as a warm and welcoming place, where all ages could discover the fun of “doing science” through interactive exhibits and hands-on programs. Over the years, the Montshire has become one of the defining institutions of the Upper Valley, and is recognized as one of the country’s leading science centers.

For the past 45 years, the Museum has connected the community to science in various ways. We strive to serve all corners of our two-state region, including people of all ages, genders, backgrounds, and ethnicities. These efforts include school outreach and the Montshire STEM Alliance Program, which support educators in Vermont and New Hampshire by providing high-quality science teaching and learning opportunities. Through the Museum’s Warm Welcome program, we ensure that the meaningful experiences we offer are accessible to disadvantaged children and families. More recently, we’ve worked with local organizations, such as Sensory UV and Special Needs Support Center, to provide a more welcoming experience for families affected by autism spectrum disorder.

Please join us this year as we celebrate science and innovation, and look forward to another 45 years of joyful scientific exploration. Check montshire.org for the most up-to-date schedule of exhibitions, programs, and events.

The Institute:

  • Provides a forum for discussions with local K-12 educators exploring how Institute programs might best serve their science education objectives;
  • Provides a forum for discussions among interested Dartmouth and Montshire faculty and staff exploring strategies for broad community science education outreach;
  • Coordinates the joint projects and initiatives of Dartmouth and the Montshire in a manner that ensures maximum cohesiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness;
  • Provides a coordinated approach for the two institutions to seek funding for collaborative efforts, which serve the regional audience and develop educational models of national significance.

Dartmouth-Montshire Institute Projects

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Connecting Classrooms and Community with the Health Sciences: An outreach program in rural New England schools (2009-2014)

In this five-year initiative, Montshire science educators and four Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) research teams will collaborate to create outreach programs for students in grades 5-8 located in rural Vermont and New Hampshire schools. Montshire educators will deliver programs reflecting topics of the DMS research teams.

Principal Investigator

  • Greg DeFrancis, P.I., Director of Education, Montshire Museum of Science

Scientific Advisors

  • Madeline Dalton
  • Meghan Longacre
  • James Sargent
  • Ardis Olsen
  • Ann-Christine Duhaime

Learn more about Connecting Classrooms and Community with the Health Sciences

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Developing a Community Collaboration Model for Teaching Research-based Nutrition Units in Middle Schools (2008-2009)

Childhood obesity represents one of the foremost public health concerns in the U.S. today. Few studies have been successful in modifying behaviors associated with risk for overweight, creating a need for innovative approaches toward engaging children and adolescents in risk prevention activities.

This project afforded Dartmouth Hood Center researchers the opportunity to translate findings from their observational studies of environmental risk factors for adolescent obesity to a community setting (i.e., middle schools) by utilizing the curriculum development expertise in science education provided by the Montshire Museum.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Meghan Longacre, Scientific Co-P.I., Hood Center for Children and Families, Dartmouth Medical School
  • Greg DeFrancis, Outreach Science Education Co-P.I., Montshire Museum of Science
  • Mike Fenzel, Curriculum Developer, Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about Developing a Community Collaboration Model for Teaching Research-based Nutrition Units in Middle Schools

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Looking Inside Exhibit: An exhibit illustrating non-invasive medical imaging technology (2006-2010)

The Dartmouth Medical School Department of Radiology and Montshire Museum exhibit designers have collaborated on an exhibition allowing visitors to learn about various non-invasive medical imaging technologies and what information they can reveal about the human body.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Peter Spiegel, Scientific P.I., Professor and Chair of Radiology, Dartmouth Medical School
  • Jennifer Krawitt, Resident, Department of Radiology, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Bob Raiselis, Exhibit Design, Department of Exhibits, Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about Looking Inside Exhibit

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Experimenting with Plants: Science Investigation Curriculum for Middle School Students (2006-2010)

This project creates a community outreach component to Dr. Schaller’s current research supported by the National Science Foundation. The project builds on another Dartmouth-Montshire Institute curriculum program, Environmental Detectives by expanding the repertoire of student investigations to include plant activities.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • G. Eric Schaller, Scientific P.I., Department of Biology, Dartmouth College
  • Greg DeFrancis, Outreach Science Education P.I., Director of Education, Montshire Museum of Science
  • Rachel Donegan, Program Manager, Science Educator, Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about Experimenting with Plants

Plus (click or tap to expand) + College Students as Science Mentors in K-5 Classrooms (2006-2010)

This four-year program trains and mentors Dartmouth students in techniques of science inquiry instruction and provides them with opportunities for teaching grades 3-5 in a rural school district. The project intent is to introduce Dartmouth students to methodologies of science instruction, improve their capacity and interest in science teaching, and expand the resources available for quality science education in local schools.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Roger Sloboda, Scientific P.I., Department of Biology, Dartmouth College
  • Greg DeFrancis, Outreach Science Education P.I., Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about College Students as Science Mentors in K-5 Classrooms

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Research on Visitor Conversations as Indicators of Learning in Science Exhibitions (2004-2006)

This research project, a component of a larger national exhibit design and fabrication project led by Montshire Museum, provided for research into how science exhibit design can enhance or inhibit visitor conversations and learning.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Kevin Dunbar, Scientific P.I., Professor of Psychology and Brain Science, Dartmouth College, Current: Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto at Scarbrough
  • David Goudy, Museum P.I., Director, Montshire Museum of Science
  • Leslie Atkins, Post-doctoral scholar, Dartmouth College, Current: Assistant Professor of Physics, California State University at Chico
  • Joan Waltermire, Exhibition Design, Curator of Exhibits, Montshire Museum of Science
  • Bob Raiselis, Exhibition Design, Exhibit Developer, Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about Research on Visitor Conversations as Indicators of Learning in Science Exhibitions

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Cascades: Programming in Rocketry Science (2003-2005)

This project provided outreach activities for the Cascades research project of the Lynch Rocket Lab, housed in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Dartmouth College. Outreach activities included teacher professional development (grades K-8), family activities, and development of a prototype exhibit.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Kristina Lynch, Scientific P.I., Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College
  • Greg DeFrancis, Outreach Science Education Programming, Montshire Museum of Science
  • Bob Raiselis, Exhibit Design, Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about Cascades

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Using Plants as Model Organisms: A Middle School Experimental Design Curriculum (2001-2002)

Project staff found that for certain teachers, the logistics and ethics of keeping live animals in their classrooms to use as experimental organisms, even aquatic invertebrates, proved to be a barrier to middle school students successfully designing, implementing, and finding measurable results in their own dose-response experiments. This project supported the successful introduction of using plants for a variety of toxicology experiments in which teachers and students develop bioassays such as radish seed germination under different conditions and others.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Mary Lou Guerinot, Scientific P.I., Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College
  • Greg DeFrancis, Outreach Science Education P.I., Director of Education, Montshire Museum of Science
  • Rachel Donegan, Educational Programming, Science Educator, Montshire Museum of Science
Learn more about Using Plants as Model Organisms

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Environmental Detectives: A Middle School Environmental Chemistry Curriculum (2000-2005)

This project engaged 6th-8th grade students with participatory experiences in environmental science with a concentration on the behavior of chemicals in the environment. Placed in the role of problem solving “detectives,” students developed an enthusiasm for environmental science and gained an appreciation for the complexity of understanding environmental issues.

Principal Investigators and Project Staff

  • Carol Folt, Scientific P.I., Dean of Faculty and Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College
  • Greg DeFrancis, Educational Programming P.I., Director of Education, Montshire Museum of Science
  • Rachel Donegan, Educational Programming, Science Educator, Montshire Museum of Science

Learn more about Environmental Detectives

The Montshire offers teacher workshops and curriculum coaching that provide the knowledge, skills, and curriculum resources to support K-8 science learning.

We work with you to strengthen the ecosystem of science learning through support and collaboration. Through our programs, specifically designed to meet the needs of students and educators, the Montshire aims to engage young minds and enhance the education experience.

STEM Alliance

Through the STEM Alliance Program, the Montshire supports local and regional teachers & schools in providing high quality science teaching and learning opportunities.

The Montshire Teacher Leader Certificate Program is designed to create and support a network of classroom teachers who have the tools, knowledge, and passion to become leaders for STEM education in their schools.

The Montshire STEM Alliance is a partnership program between the Montshire Museum of Science and regional schools, through which a network of educators work together to expand learning opportunities for high quality science teaching and learning for their students and school communities.

For the 2020-2021 school year, participating STEM Alliance Partnership schools, teachers and students receive the following professional development opportunities and resources:

  • Inquiry-Based STEM Professional Development Workshops
  • One on One Coaching with a Montshire Science Educator
  • Curriculum Materials & Resources
  • Student Science Workshops (Virtual, at the Montshire and/or in the Classroom)
  • Access to Montshire at Home Family Learning Resources
  • School-Wide Professional Development Workshops
  • Community Connection Webinars
  • Annual Museum Memberships
  • Alliance Newsletter
  • Leadership Check-Ins
  • Formative Evaluation & Reporting

If you or your school is interested in becoming a STEM Alliance Partnership member, please contact us at montshire.education@montshire.org

During the 2020/2021 school year, the Montshire has created new opportunities to engage teachers and students in hands-on science learning! Discover how the Montshire is working to support schools, teachers and students.

In accordance with the current guidance from the State of Vermont, the Montshire is currently not providing in-person outreach programs.

During the 2020/2021 school year, the Montshire has created new opportunities to engage teachers and students in hands-on science learning! Discover how the Montshire is working to support schools, teachers and students.

In accordance with the current guidance from the State of Vermont, the Montshire is currently not accepting group visit registrations.

During the 2020/2021 school year, the Montshire created new opportunities to engage teachers and students in hands-on science learning! Discover how the Montshire is working to support schools, teachers and students.

At Montshire Museum of Science, our mission is to awaken and encourage a lifelong interest in science through exhib­its and programming dedicated to hands-on discovery and learning.

Cultivating a love for science can happen anywhere. Through programs designed to meet the emergent needs of teachers and students, we strive to support and strengthen opportunities for science learning with schools & teachers throughout the region. Whether it’s through virtual science workshops with your students, professional development for teachers, family engagement, or opportunities to collaborate with fellow-science educators and experts, the Montshire is here to support you and your students this school year.

Join us for some mealtime fun as we feed the frogs and toads together. Meet the museum’s amphibians, learn how to tell them apart, and see who’s got the fastest tongue this side of the Connecticut River.

Wait — is that a stick or an insect? Meet the masters of camouflage as we examine the museum’s stick insects and their tricky disguises that hide them in plain sight.

Meet the most secretive resident of our large fish tanks. Get an up close look at our crawdad — both in the water and out — as we count claws, look for gills, and see what the crawdad likes for dinner.

Celebrate the first year of our leaf cutter ant queen and colony by visiting one of the Montshire’s favorite exhibits from home. Get an up close look at soldier ants, see workers cutting leaves, and take a peek at the ants’ fungus garden.

Meet the Montshire critters! Join us each month for an up close look at one of the Montshire’s live animals. Ask questions and share stories in this special live webinar series just for Montshire members.

​Every month we’ll feature a different Montshire animal. Come say hi to one or all of our museum friends.

These webinars are free for Montshire Members but registration is required. A Zoom link will be sent prior to the event.

Together, we’ll read the book The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins. Afterward, you can build your own contraption to test in the museum’s wind tube.

Explore the world of ice fishing in One Frozen Lake by Deborah Jo Larson, then try to extract your own fish from a block of ice.

A favorite for young museums families! We’ll read the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stole Walsh. Then, we’ll make our own rainbow of colors using mixing trays, pipettes, and primary colors.

We’ll explore what makes us feel safe as we read the book Parachute by Danny Parker and then make our own miniature parachute to launch off the museum balcony.

Explore what animals are up to in the winter while we read Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. Then, make your own winter track book to take home.

Learn about the parts of a moon rocket in Tony Mitton’s Roaring Rockets and then make your own stomp rocket to launch skyward.

Explore the museum’s volcanic rock collection after reading the beautiful book A Rock is Lively by Diane Hutts Aston.

Learn about the intricate beauty, anatomy, and adaptations of insects during this three week series as we meet the museum’s live insect collection up close on your screen, examine examples of different artists’ work, and best off all create your own insect art using a different medium each week from wire sculpting to felting. All the art supplies (minus those large live insects) are included in your science kit.

  • Thursdays, February 4-18 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 10-11:30am
  • Session 2: 3:30–5pm
  • Ages 9–12
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100
  • Limited to 6 participants

Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Learn about the intricate beauty, anatomy, and adaptations of insects during this three week series as we meet the museum’s live insect collection up close on your screen, examine examples of different artists’ work, and best off all create your own insect art using a different medium each week from wire sculpting to felting. All the art supplies (minus those large live insects) are included in your science kit.

  • Thursdays, February 4-18 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 10–11:30am
  • Session 2: 3:30-5pm
  • Ages 9-12
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100
  • Limited to 6 participants

Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

In this virtual workshop for children ages 6-8, we will mix, experiment and get messy with science. Each week we will focus on a different experiment, use a variety of ingredients to concoct all sorts of potions, mixtures and messes, and answer the wonderful question “What happens if …?”

  • Tuesdays, February 2-16 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 10-11:15am
  • Session 2: 3:30–4:45pm
  • Ages 6–8
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100
  • Limited to 6 participants

Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

In this virtual workshop for children ages 6-8, we will mix, experiment and get messy with science. Each week we will focus on a different experiment, use a variety of ingredients to concoct all sorts of potions, mixtures and messes, and answer the wonderful question “What happens if …?”

  • Tuesdays, February 2-16 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 10–11:15am
  • Session 2: 3:30-4:45pm
  • Ages 6-8
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100
  • Limited to 6 participants

Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

In this virtual workshop for children ages 4–5 and an adult, we’ll be designing and testing vehicles all month long. From building our own toy cars to testing hot wheels under scientific conditions, we’ll bring out the mechanic and engineer in every kid!

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, February 1-17 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 9-9:30am (session full)
  • Session 2: 10-10:30am (session full)
  • Session 3: 10:45-11:15am
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Fees: Members $85, non-members $100

Limited to 6 families/session
Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

In this virtual workshop for children ages 4–5 and an adult, we’ll be designing and testing vehicles all month long. From building our own toy cars to testing hot wheels under scientific conditions, we’ll bring out the mechanic and engineer in every kid!

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, February 1-17 (3-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 9-9:30am (Session full)
  • Session 2: 10-10:30am (Session full)
  • Session 3: 10:45-11:15am
  • Ages 4–5 + caregiver
  • Limited to 6 families/session

Partial scholarships available for Warm Welcome members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Spend the afternoon creating your own marble obstacle course and ball run in a race to be the last ball to drop! Full of problem solving, creativity, and hilarity you may lose your marbles as you create trap doors, jumps, shoots, and hoops to celebrate the New Year at home.

Materials Needed:

  • Marbles
  • 2’ x 2’ piece of cardboard
  • Scrap cardboard/cereal boxes
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Access to that random junk drawer for your own unique additions

Turn everyday objects and toys into beautifully balancing artworks! Play and science are perfect partners to help us explore balance and stability as we engineer kinetic sculptures.

You can make almost anything balance. Below are some suggested types of materials, yet we encourage you to bring some fun materials and your imaginations!

Materials Needed:

  • Pencil
  • Something heavy in/on which you can attach a pencil (e.g. pen in a jar of rice, half of a potato or apple, etc.)
  • Connectors like wire, tape, cardboard, binder clips buttons, corks, etc.
  • Objects of different weights and shapes like forks, spoons, washers, feathers, blocks, twigs, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Hole-making tool (e.g. hole punch, drill, nail, sharpened pencil)

Discover how to turn a flat piece of paper into a pop-up masterpiece. Learn several techniques for creating 3-dimensional shapes and structures, and use your creativity to construct cards or fun paper creations. Your friends and family will be so impressed when you send them a thank card that pops-up!

Materials Needed:

  • Assorted paper (copier and colored paper)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Ruler

Create a fantastical hat with upcycled materials like cardboard, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows! Fashion, engineering and sustainability meet in this workshop to reuse old materials, learn some useful techniques, and create something new!

Materials Needed:

  • Cardboard
  • Boxboard (like an empty cereal box)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Optional Extras: colorful paper, markers, ribbons.

Tessellations are beautiful mosaics of repeating images that fit together like puzzle pieces. Ranging from simple shapes to complex and creative figures, tessellations provide an accessible entry point into complex geometry. Design your own tessellations and use them to create beautiful patterns.

Materials Needed:

  • Box board (like an empty cereal box)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Optional Extras: Colorful markers, pencils or paint.

Experiment with density and buoyancy in this virtual workshop as we predict and test what will sink or float. As an engineering challenge, we will design boats and maybe even a life jacket or raft for a toy that would normally sink.

Materials Needed:

  • Water tub (e.g. large Tupperware or plastic bowl)
  • Towel for cleaning up drips
  • Assorted items for testing (make sure they are things that can get wet) — aluminum foil, pennies, a couple small zip-top or plastic bags, rubber bands, packing material such as small pieces of foam or bubble wrap, clear cup or small jar

Have you ever had more fun playing with a cardboard box than what came inside? Cardboard is one of the Montshire’s favorite construction materials. Join us as we reveal some of our secrets for working with cardboard, and help you turn your boxes into amazing mazes or awesome arcade games.

Materials Needed:

  • Cardboard (from boxes of different sizes)
  • Tape
  • Glue (and a brush to apply)
  • Hole-making tool (e.g. hole punch, drill, nail, sharpened pencil)
  • Scissors (or box knife)
  • Straight edge/ruler

Optional Extras: rubber bands, straws, dowels, nuts & bolts, balls.

Become a better observer of the natural world, using photography as your tool! Explore how changing your perspective and framing can alter what you notice and what you are able to encourage others to notice. Stretch yourself to capture new things and engage in supportive critique sessions to refine your practice! We will use photo-editing software to manipulate our art into something all-together new. Each student will be encouraged to choose a compelling theme, special item or place in nature to document through a series of photographs as a culminating project. Students will need the following:

  • A device to take pictures (e.g. digital camera, phone, or tablet)
  • A way to transfer photos to the computer being used to engage with the class for sharing and critique
  • Access to photo editing and altering program of choice (we are happy to help you identify the best free app or program to meet your technical needs and requirements)
  • Wednesdays, January 6-27 (4-week workshop)
  • 1-2:30pm
  • Ages 11-14
  • Limited to 6 participants

Use mirrors as a fun science tool to experiment with reflections, angles and symmetry. Together, we’ll create everything from kaleidoscopes to periscopes. In the dark we’ll see how we can bounce light off of mirrors, explore shadows, and create our own mirrored toys.


  • Thursdays, January 7-28 (4-week workshop)
  • 3:30-5:00pm
  • Ages 9-12
  • Limited to 6 participants

Reduced fee for Warm Welcome Members: $20

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Use mirrors as a fun science tool to experiment with reflections, angles and symmetry. Together, we’ll create everything from kaleidoscopes to periscopes. In the dark we’ll see how we can bounce light off of mirrors, explore shadows, and create our own mirrored toys.

  • Tuesdays, January 5-26 (4-week workshop)
  • 3:30-5pm
  • Ages 6-8
  • Limited to 6 participants

Reduced fee for Warm Welcome Members: $20

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Grow your understanding of circuits and make electricity work for you as we create switches, capacitors, and more! Design challenges will guide our investigations and develop our tinkering skills.

  • Tuesdays, January 5-26 (4-week workshop)
  • 10:00am-11:30am
  • Ages 9-12
  • Limited to 6 participants

Reduced fee for Warm Welcome Members: $20

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Explore circuits and uncover the basics of electricity through hands-on engineering. We’ll build simple-to-complex electrical components as we play with the power of the electron!

  • Thursdays, January 7-28 (4-week workshop)
  • 10-11:30am
  • Ages 6-8
  • Limited to 6 participants

Reduced fee for Warm Welcome members: $20

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

In this virtual program for children ages 4-5 and an adult, we will mix, experiment and get messy with science. Each week we will focus on a different experiment, use a variety of “ingredients” to concoct all sorts of potions, mixtures and messes, and answer the wonderful question “What happens if …?”

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, January 4-27 (4-week workshop)
  • Session 1: 9am-9:30am
  • Session 2: 10am-10:30am Session Full
  • Ages 4-5 + caregiver
  • Limit: 6 adult/child pairs

Reduced fee for Warm Welcome members: $20

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date. If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Open those kitchen cabinets and grab some supplies for a morning of family science. Together we’ll explore dissolving, density and evaporation with classic experiments from the Montshire as well as setting up some longer-term experiments to track over the entire winter vacation.

Materials: salt, food coloring, four clear cups, a clear cylinder (like a vase or other narrow container), pitcher of water, straws, spoon, paper and pencil.

Join Montshire Educators as you explore, construct, investigate and experiment together through a series of live virtual workshops designed to engage the whole family—both near and far!

Fill your winter vacation with the joy of science!

Take part in 90-minute family workshops for children 6-12 years old and their caregivers. Specific workshops are designed for older children. Even extended families in multiple locations can participate!

During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom. Each workshop will cover a unique science topic.

Build with Sugar

Turn your kitchen table into a math and engineering space by building 3D shapes out of candy and sticks. Download our activity sheet and watch Rebecca as she explains.

Turn Up the Heat on Sweets

Compare and contrast a variety of holiday sweets as they respond to changes in temperature. Grab an adult and a hot pad to do some kitchen science together. Rebecca goes over this experiment. And don’t forget to download the activity sheet!

Sweet Water Experiment

Compare and contrast how different sweets dissolve in water. How do the sugars, colorful dyes, gelatins, and waxes all respond when submerged over time? Rebecca explains. Follow along with our activity sheet.

Lighting Your Gingerbread House

Learn how to add lights to your gingerbread creation. Watch Mike as he explains the different ways to make your gingerbread house lit!

Discover the Joy of Science at Home!

There are numerous ways to enjoy the Montshire’s stellar science education programming from the comfort of your home.

Montshire at Home: Online Resources

Developed, hosted, and curated by the Montshire’s Education team, this online learning series consists of videos and resources that allow young learners to delve into a different topic using a variety of learning methods.

Learning opportunities include:

  • Teacher’s Guide for educators
  • DIY science projects for kids and parents to do at home
  • Downloadable activities, such as scavenger hunts and puzzles
  • Video explorations of science concepts

Montshire at Home: Virtual Workshop Series

M@H: Virtual Workshop Series is a multi-week virtual learning program, designed to engage learners in hands-on inquiry at home.

This online learning program features:

  • Weekly thematic STEM activities
  • Weekly live on-screen engagement with Montshire educators
  • A comprehensive kit of specially-selected materials and supplies
  • Extended learning opportunities for off-screen exploration
  • Weekly guides and checklists for kids and caregivers
  • Access to a private on-line community learning space

At the Montshire Museum of Science’s annual holiday shopping event, Shop, Save, Explore!, shoppers can enjoy a week of savings on merchandise and memberships at the Museum Store, from Wednesday, November 18 to Sunday, November 22.

During Shop, Save, Explore!, Museum Store visitors can shop a unique collection of science and nature-related products that include science kits, puzzles, games, ukuleles, art supplies, nature guides, art calendars, toys, books, journals, jewelry, and stocking stuffers.

Event savings and store specials include:

  • 25% savings on all Museum Store purchases for members and employees of Montshire Business Partnership member companies
  • 20% savings on all Museum Store purchases for non-members
  • $10 off every gift membership, new membership, or membership renewal
  • First 10 shoppers receive a gift, each day of the event
  • In-store raffle to win a stuffed moose

Shop, Save, Explore! will span one week and will include a virtual component. In conjunction with this event, the Montshire will host a virtual talk on Wednesday, November 11 at 4pm, with award-winning author and illustrator David Macaulay. Signed copies of his new book, Mammoth Science: The Big Ideas That Explain Our World, will be available for sale at the Museum Store.

The Montshire will host a virtual talk on Wednesday, November 11 at 4pm, with award-winning author and illustrator David Macaulay.

Macaulay takes complex scientific concepts and helps readers understand them through warmth, humor, and delightful illustrations. His books include The Way Things Work Now, How Machines Work: Zoo Break!, The Way We Work, and Black and White. He has received numerous awards, including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and the Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award.

During this virtual event, Marcos Stafne, the Montshire’s executive director, will interview Macaulay about his creative process, his love of science, and his new book. Questions are welcome from the attendees. Registration for this event is required. Event and registration details are available at www.montshire.org.

The Montshire Museum Store enhances and extends the museum experience by offering program-, exhibit-, and science-related merchandise, and by generating revenue to support the Montshire’s educational mission. In the interest of public health, new store policies have been implemented to ensure the safety of shoppers. This includes curbside pick-up and allowing two family groups to shop the store at one time. Admission is not required for the store, but applies for Museum visits. Advance reservations are encouraged. Shoppers should consult Vermont’s cross-state travel guidance.

Join us for a virtual conversation with award-winning author and illustrator David Macaulay.

Signed copies of his new book, Mammoth Science: The Big Ideas That Explain Our World, will be available for sale at the Museum Store’s annual savings event, Shop, Save, Explore.

Up, Up, and engineer your way through a variety of challenges!

Explore the science behind your favorite superhero or super-shero, build your own superhero action figures, and outfit them with the tools and gadgets to escape any situation! Each class, we’ll be presented with a new challenge to inspire our engineering solutions (and save our heros!).

Materials will be provided and the program will be conducted via Zoom.

  • Wednesdays, December 2, 9, and 16 (3-week session)
  • 10-11:30am
  • Ages 6–8
  • Limit 6 participants

Full scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date. If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Feel the force and uncover the cool math and patterns of STEM toys as we explore balance through engineering! Using playground science, simple machines, and a variety of unique materials, we will construct tools and toys to investigate physics and center of gravity.

  • Tuesdays, December 1, 8, and 15 (3-week session)
  • 1–2:30pm
  • Ages 9-12
  • Limit 6 participants

Full scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date.If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Each week, use a variety of special materials provided by the Montshire to experiment with a different force, such as gravity or magnetism. Discover how forces make things move!

We’ll use these concepts to create wacky toys and games for further exploration. This virtual class combines art and science, engaging the creative process. Materials will be provided and the program will be conducted via Zoom.

  • Wednesdays, December 2, 9, and 16 (3-week session)
  • 3–4:30pm
  • Ages 6–8
  • Limit 6 participants

Full scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date. If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

From stripes on a crosswalk to stripes on a zebra, we live in a world of patterns. In this three-part maker-based series, we will explore the science, beauty and utility of patterns. Projects include creating patterned paper with found objects, making origami structures with unique materials, and exploring the hidden patterns in our daily lives by collecting and displaying our own data in creative and visual ways. Materials will be provided and the workshop will be conducted via Zoom.

  • Tuesdays, December 1, 8, and 15 (3-week session)
  • 10–11:30am
  • Ages 6–8
  • Limit 6 participants

Full scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date. If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Join us in our Mini-Makers program all about the science of light and shadows, mirrors and reflections.

This three-part virtual program is for children ages 4-5 and an adult to explore and experiment together. Using a variety of special materials that we provide, each mini-maker will use their imagination to create everything from kaleidoscopes to shadow puppets. Materials will be provided and the program will be conducted via Zoom.

  • Workshop will meet Mondays & Wednesdays, November 30–December 16 (3-week session)
  • 9–9:30am
  • Ages 4–5 + caregiver
  • Limit 6 families

Full scholarships available for Warm Welcome Members

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Pre-registration at least 7 days in advance of program start-date.
  • Kits for pre-registered families will be available for pick up at the Museum Store of Montshire Museum of Science 7 days prior to the program start date. If you are unable to pick up your kit, we can mail kits for a $15 shipping and handling fee.
  • During the workshop, a Museum Educator will lead learners through activities via Zoom.
  • Zoom links will be sent to registered participants a few days prior to the workshop.

Explore the wonderful world of bugs! Meet a variety of live insects that can even inpire you as you create your own beautiful artwork to take home.

Schedule of Activities

Time Activity Capacity
10:30am Science Story Time – Are You a Dragonfly? A Program for 5 Families
11:30am Giant Cockroaches - Live Insects A Program for 5 Families
12:30pm Insect Symmetry A Program for 5 Families
1:30pm Beetles - Live Insects A Program for 5 Families
2:30pm Big Bug Art A Program for 5 Families
3:30pm Walking Sticks - Live Insects A Program for 5 Families

Toss parachutes from our balcony, launch rockets, and build a variety of flying, gliding, and floating projects as you explore the Montshire’s Air Works exhibition. It’s part engineering, part creativity, and all fun!

​Schedule of Activities

Time Activity Capacity
10–11:30am Hot Air Balloons A Drop in Activity for 2 Families at a Time
10:30am Science Story Time – Windblown A Program for 5 Families
11:30am Parachutes A Program for 5 Families
12:30pm Stomp Rockets A Program for 5 Families
1– 2:30pm Hot Air Balloons A Drop in Activity for 2 Families at a Time
1:30pm Wind Tube Contraptions A Program for 5 Families
2:30pm Parachutes A Program for 5 Families
3:30pm Stomp Rockets A Program for 5 Families

Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty features a kid that can never stop building and building! We’ll make our own towers with 100’s of cups and other oddities as we reach for the sky.

Build your own shadow puppets after getting inspired by all the animals found in Michael Bartalos’ Shadowville.

Explore the remarkable life cycle of dragonflies as we read the book Are You a Dragonfly? by Judy Allen. We’ll then make our own mechanical dragonflies to take home.

Build, test, and sink your own boat as we learn about balance and weight (along with the silly antics of some cute critters) in Pamela Allen’s Who Sank the Boat?

We’ll read the playful book Windblown by Edouard Manceau, then explore shapes and air as we build paper contraptions to blow in the wind.

Celebrate the end of fall as we play and get creative with leaves. To get inspired, we’ll read about the adventures of Leaf Man in Lois Ehlert’s colorful book of leaf collages.

Join Deborah Trickett to learn how to create lush container gardens that will be the envy of the neighborhood! Tune in for a ZOOM demonstration that shows you how to take your container gardens from “blah” to “ahh.”

Deborah will start with the basics of appropriate containers, soil mixes, and plant choices for different site conditions. Then, she’ll proceed to new and unusual plant material and uncommon container choices for exceptionally beautiful results.

Award-winning container garden designer Deborah Trickett has worked in the gardening industry for over 30 years, starting with her first job in a greenhouse at age 13 up to her present-day job as the owner of The Captured Garden. Deborah works with clients throughout New England, helping them transform their homes from typical to beautiful. By combining unusual plant material and creative design ideas, she creates containers that are truly one of a kind.

Deborah is a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist, Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional, and a frequent lecturer on creative container gardening. She has presented at the New England, Connecticut, Newport, and Philadelphia Flower Shows, and the Perennial Plant Association Annual Symposium. She teaches classes and workshops at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, and has been featured in The Boston Globe, The American Gardener, and other publications, as well as the TV show New England Dream Home. Her work can be viewed on The Captured Garden website.

This program will be conducted on Zoom.

Once you have registered, a link will be sent to you the day before the program.

Join Priscilla Clark and learn how to put together a floral arrangement to brighten your ongoing time at home. Create a lovely bouquet using supermarket flowers and a favorite container. You will be guided step by step through creating a bouquet in a vase of water.

Materials needed (please have these ready):

  • 1 or 2 bunches of mixed supermarket flowers (or 1 bunch of mixed flowers)
  • 3-6 stems of your favorites
  • 3-6 stems of additional foliage (if available).
  • Your vase, filled with water
  • Sharp scissors
  • Clear tape

This program will be conducted on Zoom.

Once you have registered, a link will be sent to you the day before the program.

Join a discussion with Russ Knowles, the regional retail account manager at Proven Winners. Proven Winners operates out of Pleasant View Garden and serves multiple large, independent garden centers. With over 30 years experience at some of New England’s top garden centers, Russ has worked in various capacities including production, shipping, quality and inventory control, and planning.

This program invites attendees to start planning for spring with a preview of 2021 Proven Winner varieties. Russ will also share how and where to incorporate these plants into garden beds and container gardens.

This program will be conducted on Zoom.

Once you have registered, a link will be sent to you the day before the program.

Imagine passing your hand through a cauldron of billowing fog, activating a vortex akin to the dust devils in Jupiter’s atmosphere, or sculpting sand dunes like those on Mars.

Internationally renowned artist Ned Kahn brings these experiences to life through the exhibition Planetary Landscapes. Kahn’s interactive sculptures are designed to explore, in constantly varying patterns, the dynamic forces that shape our solar system.

In Planetary Landscapes, Ned Kahn has created an entire family of artwork that brings vast natural processes within our reach, and sends our imaginations on a journey through the cosmos.

More to Explore

In this three-part in-person program for children ages 4-5 and an adult, we will mix, experiment and get messy with science. Each week we will focus on different experiments using a variety of “ingredients” as we concoct all sorts of potions, mixtures and messes as we answer the wonderful question “What happens if …?”

For ages 4-5 with an adult

Limited to 5 pairs

Friday, November 6, 13 and 20: 10:30-11:30am

In light of the current public health situation please review our Health and Safety policies before registering.

For years, Dr. Carl Brandon at Vermont Technical College, his colleague, Dr. Peter Chapin and their students have been working on miniaturized satellites called CubeSats for use in space research. In fact, they launched a CubeSat that is considered the only successful satellite of any kind launched by a college on the East coast of the United States. Dr. Brandon’s work has spanned the sciences, from developing video games to studying bat flight aerodynamics. How does a career in science evolve, from physicist to rocket scientist? And how do you use this rich and varied experience to cultivate a successful CubeSat program?

About the Montshire Talks Speaker

Dr. Carl Brandon’s diverse background — from working on a cyclotron and early video games, to flying airplanes and launching satellites — has led him from IBM to Vermont Technical College. With a PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Brandon has been teaching at Vermont Tech since 1977. Having received 30 NASA grants for their projects, Dr. Brandon and team constructed a CubeSat that was launched in an Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket in November, 2013. It was in orbit and operational for 2 years it the only successful satellite of any kind launched by a college on the East coast of the United States.