Tag Archives: STEM for Kids

Hands-On Fun & Learning Experiences at KID Museum


I have no good excuse for not visiting KID Museum in Montgomery County before this summer. The space that provides fun, innovative learning experiences for young makers has been around for several years, and I’ve been aware of it, have even promoted some of their events on the blog, but until a few weeks ago, had never actually been there. Sure, it’s not exactly down the street from me, but still…no excuse.

That’s because KID Museum is a pretty awesome place for kids, especially those who enjoy hands-on activities that encourage invention, creativity, experimentation, and discovery. Located on the lower level of Davis Library in North Bethesda, it’s generally comprised of a large open space with activity stations and Maker Studios, with workshops that offer opportunities to implement and enjoy all of this and then some.

When we were invited to take a tour one Sunday back in July there were kids and parents doing everything from building ziplines to constructing marble mazes out of cardboard to creating balloon cars to making Calder-inspired mobiles and much, much more. The whole place was buzzing with excitement as children and adults worked on their projects and tested them out or tinkered with a variety of materials and tools. Staff — Maker Educators and high school Apprentices — are at each station to demo projects and help kids as they need it, all of them friendly and enthusiastic.

This is all open to the community for drop-in visits on weekends from 10am – 5pm ($12/child, membership options also available), and KID Museum offers more scheduled programming to school groups during weekdays and to kids in Kindergarten through 9th grade after school and during summer, winter, and spring breaks. During those in-depth programs, kids can build skills in coding, robotics, engineering, and more.

Visit the KID Museum website for more information about their ongoing programs for kids and families.

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FutureFest
Every September, KID Museum hosts FutureFest, one of the DC area’s largest, free family festivals where kids can spark their imagination and families can celebrate their collective power to invent the future through all kinds of exhibits, demos, and live performances.

A few highlights:
* KID City: Participants will build a city of the future — from the ground up — for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience. Light up a high-tech street, construct a sculpture using 3D-printed bolts, race a vehicle down the maker highway, and more.
* Cultural Crossroads: Explore cultures that shape our community, from China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Korea, and beyond, through hands-on activities, collaborative art installations, and live music and dance performances.
* Innovation Expo: Discover technologies and innovations that are transforming our world and inspiring the next generation of innovators. Glimpse the future of Work & Play, Space & Exploration, Food & Sustainability, and more.

FutureFest takes place on September 15, 12-5pm, at Veterans Plaza and the Silver Spring Civic Center — One Veterans Place, Silver Spring MD 20910.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Special Event, Weekend

Give Kids a Fun & Educational Summer Encounter with e² Young Engineers

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Just because kids are out of school for the summer, that doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. And when it’s through activities they love, like LEGO building and experiments, complemented by creative work and outdoor games, well, that just makes it plain ol’ fun.

This is the thinking behind e² Young Engineers summer programs. It’s not just a STEM summer camp — it’s a complete fun and educational encounter! Everyday, campers participate in a variety of enriching activities with sessions centered around one main theme.

Hosted at Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda, camp takes place in an air-conditioned clubhouse the first half of the day, where kids enjoy a fun, educational experience, like building an electric motor LEGO model. The second part of the day consists of supervised outdoors activities. Each day of camp also includes a ride on the Cabin Ride Miniature Train.

Space is still available in all of these sessions, and you can get early bird discounts if you sign up soon:

Superheroes Camp | June 19-30
Dedicated entirely to children’s favorite superheroes. Sessions, production, and construction will take place around famous superheroes and different types of powers.

Sweet Camp | July 10-21
A literary and culinary experience for children centered around the world of food. The experience will take place while building, creating, and playing in relation to the subject.

Science Camp | July 24 – August 4
Learn the laws and concepts of the world of science, math, and engineering through the combination of a construction challenge and experiments that campers can take home.

Challenge Camp | August 7-18
Challenge the mind through the exercise of finding creative solutions to problems. Then take it outdoors for physical and sports challenges, too.

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Visit the e² Young Engineers website for more information. And if you’re ready to enroll your child for a fun and educational summer encounter, go here!

This post is sponsored by e² Young Engineers, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2017, Camp, Class, DC, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Maryland, Professional Service, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Summer, Weekdays

Experiment with Hands-On Fun at the Children’s Science Center Lab

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A shopping mall might not be the first destination that comes to mind for STEM-focused fun and learning with the kids. But when it houses a place like the Children’s Science Center Lab, it makes perfect sense.

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The interactive exploration center opened last summer with a mission “to instill a love of learning STEM in all children by providing unique opportunities to explore, create, and be inspired.” They do this through engaging exhibits and fun, interesting experiments, just about all of them hands-on, with something for a variety of ages. We visited shortly after they opened (I only recently realized I never wrote about it), and the kids had a fantastic time exploring them all.

The Lab is sectioned into four exhibit areas:
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The Inspiration Hub shows real-world applications of STEM through stations like Chain Reaction, where you manipulate wall mounted ramps and wheels to move a ball from point A to B. Catching the Wind has guests design wind turbines then test them in a small wind farm. There is also a Gear Table, a whole room where you can build with Keva planks, and computers to participate in the design of the future Children’s Science Center.


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The Tinker Shop welcomes kids to build, test, and deconstruct with a variety of hands-on projects. We send a good amount of time making flying crafts from paper and tape, then testing their flight capabilities in a vertical wind tube. Kids can also work with circuits and robotics and dissect machines and toys.


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The Discovery Zone is designed for ages 5 and under, but my kids had some fun in there, too. That section has a special focus on collaborative learning with parents, caregivers and educators. There’s an Imagination Playground, Light & Shadow Play, and early hands-on science Discovery Boxes.


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Finally, the Experiment Bar invites guests to explore the wonders of science through a rotating menu of experiments. With the help of staff and a tablet with instructions, they made magnetic slime and did some fun tests with it. Plus, they got to bring it home!

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While the Lab can be experienced by ages 2 and up, it’s especially focused on preschool and elementary aged children — but can definitely be enjoyed by younger and older kids. And along with the permanent exhibits, the Lab occasionally hosts special events with varying themes for different ages groups.

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The Lab is a great place to keep in mind for foul-weather days and when you’re seeking educational play. It’s also perfect if you want an outing with the kids and need to do some shopping, too. 🙂

The Children’s Science Center Lab is located at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax at the crossroads of US Interstate 66, Route 50 and West Ox Road. It’s on the lower level in the corridor off the Sears court, just past Cold Stone Creamery, on the left. Hours are 10am – 6pm daily, with occasional extended hours until 8pm. Admission is $13/general, $12/military & seniors, free for 2 and under, and tickets can be purchased online or at the Lab entrance.


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Filed under All ages, Educational, Exhibit, Indoor Play, Museums, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend