Category: STEM/STEAM

Science at the Library


Are you ready to experience some fun and interactive Science at the Library? Bring the kids to the Tustin Library and an educational evening to learn how animals survive in the winter!

Kids will learn about migration, hibernation and adaptation through games and fun activities. This event is best suited for kids 12 and under and their families.

  • When: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Tustin Library, 345 E Main St, Tustin, CA 92780
  • Cost: FREE

Star Wars Days

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Calling all Jr Star Wars fans….Jedi, Sith Lords, and Padawans included! Join Columbia Memorial Space Center this Friday, December 18th and Saturday, December 19th for Star Wars days!!

These are some of the out of world Star Wars take home activities you can look forward to: How to build a lightsaber, How to program a robot or droid, Build a Force glove, Make your phone a hologram projector & Star Wars snowflakes.

They will also be handing out free pop corn tickets for the new Cinemark XD that just opened up across the street! Please come dressed in your favorite Star Wars costume!

  • When:  Friday, December 18t, 2015 and Saturday, December 19, 2015 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Way
    Downey, California 90242
  • Cost: Adults and Children 4 years and older: $5.00, Children 3 years and younger: FREE,  CMSC & ASTC Members: FREE

The Science of Gingerbread


What a tasty treat going to the Discovery Cube during the Science of Gingerbread exhibition is! The cube is completely transformed into a sweet STEAM city covered in gum drops and icing. This year the 10th annual Science of Gingerbread exhibit runs through January 3, 2015.


Children, schools, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troop collaborate to design and build their gingerbread houses then submit them in the Ginberhouse competition. It truly does require science, technology, engineering, art and math skills to build some of these amazing displays.


The Science of Gingerbread is filled with innovation and great hands-on activities designed to celebrate the holiday season.

wpid-wp-1415429402810.jpegThis sweet STEAM event is filled with great hands-on activities designed to bring families together this holiday season.

Activities include:

  • Gingerbread Derby Competition (11am, 1pm, & 3pm)
  • Kitchen Chemistry Learning Station
  • Gingerbread Spices Learning Station
  • Build a House Learning Station
  • Hall of Traditions
  • 3D Printing of a gingerbread house
  • Do You Want To Build A Snowman? Science of Snow Stage Show (on select dates only)
  • Cookie Decorating in the Healthy Kitchen (on select dates only)
  • Santa Meet & Greet (on select dates only – please see schedule below)

Boys and Girls bring you list because Santa will be on hand to meet and take pictures. Santa will be visiting and available 11am-3pm on the following dates:



Saturday, 12/5/2015 – Sunday, 12/6/2015

Saturday, 12/12/2015 – Sunday, 12/13/2015

Saturday, 12/19/2015 – Thursday, 12/24/2015

It should no surprise that some of my favorite entries into the competition are the those submitted by our local Girl Scout Troops. Hopefully my troop will submit an entry next year!


 Discovery Cube is located at 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705

For more information on hours and admission please check their website.


Star Party at Caspers

A meteor streaks across the sky against

(credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

Come for a grand tour of the universe!  Join our amateur astronomers for a guided tour of the young crescent moon and other constellations.

Learn myths and facts about the cosmos. Observe wonders of the night sky including galaxies, star clusters, and double stars.

  • When: Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Where: Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
  • Cost: Event is Free, parking $5.00 per vehicle

Note: held only on evenings with clear skies (good weather). Call the Park at (949) 923-2210 for weather/sky updates or additional information.


Family Night


Join Columbia Memorial Space Center for Family Night! Bring the family for night filled with games for the entire family.

You can form a team or enter alone to participate in dozens of games throughout the space center. As participants play they will continue to gain points.  As they gain more points their team will climb the leader board.

At the end of the night the top 3 players will win a prize and the top player(s) will be posted on our website/social media as the “ULTIMATE Gamer”.

Participants will play games and solve scavenger hunts and puzzles that will challenge any age. Expect super-sized games, group activates, robotic challenges and other family friendly competitions.

  • When: Saturday, November 14, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at: 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242
  • Cost: Admission is $5 per per person

Pumpkin Launch


On Saturday, November  7, 2014, Join Discovery Cube at Cal State Fullerton for the annual Pumpkin Launch event!

  • Participate in hands-on activities and challenges
  • Witness flying pumpkins launched by giant trebuchets
  • Bring a carved pumpkin for our pumpkin carving contest (must be pre-carved)
  • Enjoy food from your favorite gourmet food trucks

Bring your lawn chairs and witness history at this free event as teams compete to see who can launch a pumpkin at targets using giant trebuchets and other devices. Plus, kids can participate in hands-on activities throughout the day. Don’t miss this great family event!

Admission is FREE  – Register Now

Saturday, November 7, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Cal State Fullerton is located at 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, 92831. Parking is free on Saturdays. Campus map and directions are available online.

This event gives engineering enthusiasts can watch various homemade trebuchets launch pumpkins through the air during the competition.

For a more hands-on lesson on projectiles, youngsters are invited to build their own mini catapults with Popsicle sticks and launch marshmallows. Other activities include pop-rocket building and a whiffle ball catapult station. Plus, a medieval showcase will present costumes, weapons, weaving materials and other replicated artifacts from the medieval ages.


Looking For Something To Do Today?

Looking for something to do Today? There’s so much going on, you’re gonna have to choose! Check the Calendar for details.


  • Kidvasion at locations throughout San Diego  

  • Solar Decathlon at The Great Park  

  • Spooky Science at Discovery Cube OC 

  • Pumpkin Festival at Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store 

  • Insect Fair at Cal Poly Pomona  

  • Drop In and Draw at Chuck Jones Center for Creativity 

  • Halloween Celebration in the Garden at Coastkeeper Garden 

  • Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Park Railroad  

  • Kids Club Crafts at Michaels Nationwide 

  • Tustin Art Walk at Old Town Tustin 

  • Discover Nature Family Program at Oak Canyon Nature Center 

  • FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning Centers  

  • Oktoberfest at Oak Canyon Nature Center  

  • Star Party at Griffith Park  

  • 7th Annual Bat Night at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Boo at the Zoo at Santa Ana Zoo

  • Halloween Bootique at Rogers Gardens


Insect Fair


Interested in creepie crawlies? Come and see over 500,000 live and preserved exotic insects from around the world at the annual Insect Fair at Cal Poly Pomona. This showcase features thousands of live and preserved insects and other arthropods from around the world at the Bronco Student Center.

Kids (or you) can touch a millipede or a Madagascar Hissing cockroach while learning how insects impact our lives and how you can make a career as an insect expert.

Person holding a tarantula in their hand

 Some of the insects on display include:

  • Vibrant moths and butterflies from around the world.
  • Beautiful cicadas from Asia . . . many having unique wing patterns and colors. These insects are the loudest on the planet!
  • A colorful array of exotic grasshoppers and katydids. Many displayed to show patterned underwings.
  • Beetles! These are the largest, most diverse group of insects. Make sure to look closely because many displayed are small but full of color, texture, and unique patterns.

Vendors sell insect-related wares at the fair, ranging from jewelry that looks like insects or has insect parts in them, to live insects for sale, including millipedes that are easy for children to care for, spiders and scorpions. In addition, display cases, frame boxes and other supplies are for sale for insect collectors.

Hey Girl Scouts – You might to consider this event for your Bugs Badge!!!

  • When: Saturday October 17 and Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Where: Cal Poly Pomona – Bronco Student Center, 3801 W Temple Ave, Pomona, CA 91768
  • Cost: $5 per person, $4 for students and free for kids 2 and under.

While your there – visit the Pumpkin Festival at the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch.


Prehistoric OC


It’s time to celebrate the history and roots of Orange County at Prehistoric OC! This FREE annual family fun event that is a joint celebration of: International Archaeology Day (October 18th) and National Fossil day (October 15th).

Volcano trash can

My family and I loved attending this event last year! You’ll see an explosive Volcano demonstrations, listen to the captivating storyteller Jacque Tahuka Nunez of Journeys to the Past.

Jacque Tahuka-Nunez
Jacque Tahuka-Nunez

See Native American and natural history exhibitors, take part in a Junior Scientist Camp, demonstrations, lectures, hands-on activities, food and tons of FUN!


Kids learn what it’s like to be a paleontologist or archaeologist. Kids will be able to wear hats and decorate their own field vests. They’ll be able to “dig out” artifacts/fossils in two plastic pools filled with “sand” with Docents on hand to help identify their finds. The area will be set up like a field camp, with tents and photographs of real field localities.

Shell Necklace

Some of the Junior Scientist Camp & other activities include:

  • Make Your Own Fossil: Kids make impressions of shells in clay that will harden so they can take home a souvenir.
  • Make Your Own Shell Necklace (or bracelet): Kids will make a real shell bead necklace or bracelet.
  • Rock Art project: Kids will create their own rock art on sheets of brown paper bags with charcoal. They can be painted will watercolors. Area will be decorated with photos of real Native American rock art for inspiration.
  • Treking the Fossil Beds of Clark Park: Talk A guided walk among the geologic formations that have yielded fossils in Clark Park. Each tour will last about 40 minutes. See schedule of events.


Make sure to visit Los Coyotes Paleontology Museum as well. The Museum will host guided tours to showcase its extensive fossil collection from Orange County. This dinosaur museum features dinosaurs found in Orange County, it’s absolutely awesome!

  • When: Saturday, October 10, 2014 from 10:00 am – 3: 00 pm
  • Where: Clark Regional Park, 8800 Rosecrans Ave., Buena Park, CA 90621
  • Cost: The event is FREE, there may be activities which require a minimal fee. Parking is FREE.

JPL Open House


Back in July I told you to “Save the Date” for the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory annual Open House. It’s time – this FREE annual event takes place this weekend!!!

On Saturday & Sunday, October 10-11, 2015, visitors on a “ride” through the wonders of space. Highlights will include a life-size model of the Curiosity Mars rover; demonstrations from numerous space missions; JPL’s machine shop, where robotic spacecraft parts are built; and the Microdevices Lab, where engineers and scientists use tiny technology to revolutionize space exploration.


Be prepared, this event does get packed. It’s not unusual for up to 20,000 people per day to visit JPL during the Open House. Even with the crowds, visitors have great experiences, but be patient. Here are JPL suggestions to get the most out of your day:

  • Be sure to arrive early and be patient as there is only one entrance into JPL including a possible security check of your vehicle. Also, please note where you park.
  • Use your smartphone or tablet to try out JPL’s Open House web app to navigate the Lab. It provides real-time information on wait times at various sites, as well as directions to restrooms, food concessions, and other amenities.
  • The longest lines are usually at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility — the cleanrooms where we build spacecraft — and the Space Flight Operations Facility, where we communicate with all our missions. Keep this in mind if you want to include these sites in your visit.
  • Five movies will be shown throughout the day. The lines at these screenings can be shorter than other lines, and the movies offer a way to get off your feet in a cool place for a half hour while learning more about JPL missions.
  • Activities for young children are marked in the site listings. Do keep in mind that most experiences at JPL’s Open House are not intended for the very young.
  • Need help? Look for JPLers in bright red JPL-Caltech shirts with name tags. Information booths are also located around the Lab, as shown on the map.
  • Remember as you plan your visit that Open House ends at 4 p.m.

Vehicles entering NASA/JPL property are subject to inspection. Visitors cannot bring these items into NASA/JPL: weapons, explosives, incendiary devices, dangerous instruments, alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, all types of skates including skateboards, Segways and bicycles. No bags, backpacks or ice chests are allowed, except small purses and diaper bags. Drones are not allowed to fly over NASA/JPL under any circumstances.

JPL recommends arriving before 8:30 am to assure you get good parking. Also, be prepared for the heat. They will have water for sale but you may want to bring some from home.

  • When: Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11, 2015 from 9:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: JPL, click here for directions
  • Cost: FREE – No tickets or reservations required.

Follow @NASAJPL on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #JPLOpen. You can post photos and videos on the Facebook Open House event page at: JPL Open House Facebook page

Click here to Download the 2015 Open House Map Guide