The Science Center is moving the hands-on fun outside for the summer as we introduce a new series of interactive STEM programming called Science Under the Sun!

Outdoor tents overlooking NorthCoast Harbor will house large-scale tinkering, take-apart, and design challenges with rotating themes. On any given day, guests can put their imaginations and engineering skills to work building structures using our Big Blue Blocks; create original stop-motion animations; and test out their design solutions to fun engineering challenges. A growing, community-built LEGO wall will showcase visitors’ creativity. Meanwhile, a large scale data model invites guests to respond to rotating prompts using colorful lengths of string.

Other daily activities will vary throughout the summer as each month focuses on a different STEM theme. Our youngest guests will be offered STEM story-time activities that complement these rotating themes.

Advanced tickets are required. All activities are included with general admission unless otherwise noted. 

May Weather and Water Month sponsored by Moen - Join a Boat Regatta design challenge! Create a boat and race the clock down a water lane, making adjustments to better your time. There also will be a Moen water-testing lab, a station for giant bubble-making, frog dissections (additional fee), a Wonders of Water Workshop sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and a Wild Weater Science Show. More information and a full schedule of activities for May can be found here

June Robotics Month sponsored by Rockwell Automation - Take a break from the large-machine take-apart and work on a Tabletop Tech Dissection. See what is inside different electronics items. The parts that are acquired from the Tabletop Tech Dissection can then be used to create Scrap Sculptures and Loose Parts Portraits.

July Space and NASA Month - Show off your engineering skills with our Zip Line Challenges and Aquapod Launchers. Use your creativity to design an astronaut habitat with the Mars Hab Challenge Cart.

August Machines Month sponsored by CollegeAdvantage - Join a community build activity featuring a very large Rube Goldberg machine that you can add on to with your very own contraption design. We will have a brand new batch of Tech Dissections for everyone to take-apart and see how familiar household electronics get the job done.

September Flight and Aeronautics Month  - We will have obstacle courses set up alongside our paper airplane launchers so guests can design and iterate their planes to run the course. Once you’ve mastered paper airplanes, you can control our mini drones through the obstacle course! We will also be highlighting giant bubbles in a beautifully messy hands-on experiment.

On several occasions throughout the summer, we also look forward to hosting special, large-scale “take-apart” activities! Items will vary, but may include cars, boats, planes and motorcycles that guests can use real tools to disassemble and explore. Parts-and-whole thinking, reverse engineering, and the complexities of material science will all be on display as visitors systematically unscrew and unbolt moving parts. We will also investigate the importance of maintenance, diagnostics, and repairs over replacement in this unique entry into DIY problem-solving.