There are few things better than witnessing your child having so much fun that they don’t even realize they are soaking up invaluable science and math skills.
Boulder especially, with the second-highest percentage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers in the country, knows the value of these fields of study and brings hands-on STEM learning to kids — in the most entertaining of ways. Here are a few you can try with your kiddos:
Learn where and how rain begins at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Ever touched a cloud? Created a tornado? Your kids can do both at NCAR’s visitor center.
Check out the dinosaur fossils at CU Museum of Natural History, and be sure to see the TreeSpace gallery, an imaginative, forest-like space filled with interactive displays all relating to trees. Be sure to head downstairs to the Discovery Corner where a kids area is stocked with touchable animal footprints, themed exploration boxes, a felt play wall and coloring pages. There's also free tea and coffee in the BioLounge for mom and dad.
See family-friendly star, astronomy and science shows like “Stars and Planets” or “Bella Gaia: Beautiful Earth” under the full dome of the Fiske Planetarium. The 65-foot diameter dome is the largest planetarium between Chicago and Los Angeles and the planetarium’s MegaStar projector displays up to 10 million stars and the Milky Way, creating one of the most beautiful indoor skies anywhere.
Designed for families, the CU Wizards free events happen one Saturday morning a month on the University of Colorado campus. CU professors share their knowledge on a particular topic with high-energy and entertaining demonstrations geared toward little learners. Past sessions have included “Whispers & Bangs! The Physics of Sound and Music,” “Surfind with a Mathematician,” and “Zap! Electricy and Magnetism.”
Prevent nature-deficit disorder and learn a whole lot about the scientific wonders of the natural world through the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks' numerous kid-driven programs:
Open only in summer and fall, this family learning center is located atop Flagstaff Mountain, surrounded by trails, views and natural splendor. Flagstaff Nature Center is stocked with games, activities, stuffed animal specimens and programs that teach young ones all about the fascinating wildlife, plants and history on Boulder’s public lands.
This Google-sponsored makers space at the Museum of Boulder lets families come together to tinker and experiment with technology tools and do-it-yourself projects in a space that invites innovation and creation. The activities change regularly but children can do things like build and program robots using magnets, create cardboard vehicles, play musical notes based on color and try mountain biking in virtual reality. Stay awhile and check out the rest of the Museum of Boulder.
An exciting and new science discovery center is set to open in Boulder in late 2020. Founded by scientist Kristin Lawrence with the goal of making STEM learning accessible to all, The Hopper will combine hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics exhibits, experiments and projects with fresh food for everyone (and craft beer and wine for grownups).