Tag: stem

All About Snakes


OC Parks invites you to join local herpetologist Steve Bledsoe at O’Neill Regional Park to learn all about snakes that can be found in Orange County.

This family-friendly event will feature a live reptile display with local snake species. Come learn how to identify snakes, where they live and what to do when you encounter one on park trails.

There will also be an informative presentation on rattlesnakes of Orange County.

  • When: Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 7:15 – 8:30 pm
  • Where: O’Neil Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 – Meet at the O’Neill Nature Center and Amphitheater. Parking at the O’Neill Nature Center lot.
  • Cost: The event is free event, parking feess apply. .

Star Wars Days

Image courtesy of  columbiaspacescience.org
Image courtesy of columbiaspacescience.org

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.


Family Science Sundays

Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA

Come to the Muth Interpretive Center at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Center for Family Science Sundays. Once a month, families enjoy FREE activities with a different educational theme to explore inside the Muth Interpretive Center classroom.


Muth Interpretive Center

All the activities are self guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. The classroom has plenty for your children to explore: live animals, puzzles, games, puppets and the most lovely tree house that the kids adore.

Be sure to ask the front desk about the 12 minute movie in the theater. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required.

  • When: Sunday, November 29, 2015 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Upper Newport Bay Nature Center/Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • Cost: FREE

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

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.

Spooky Science


Are you ready to become a Mad Scientist at the Discovery Cube OC? Spooky Science is creeping into town, be prepared to see bugs, bones, x-rays, holograms and view live demonstrations with dry ice.

This spooky exhibit begin October 3 and runs through November 1, 2015. Enjoy weekend costume parties and take home goodie-bags!

Don’t miss these festive activities on the weekends:

  • Monster Mash Parade
  • Thor’s Bug Safari
  • Dr. Sue’s Traveling Insects and Arthropod Zoo
  • Rat and Mouse Club of America

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, 10/3 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)

Sunday, 10/4 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm), Thor’s Bug Safari (12pm-1pm & 1pm-2pm)

Saturday, 10/10 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)

Sunday, 10/11 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm), Dr. Sue’s Arthropod and Bug Zoo (11am-3pm)

Saturday, 10/17 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)
OC Vector Control (9am-5pm)

Sunday, 10/18 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)
Thor’s Bug Safari (12pm-1pm & 1pm-2pm), OC Vector Control (9am-5pm)

Saturday, 10/24 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)

Sunday, 10/25 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm), Dr. Sue’s Arthropod and Bug Zoo (11am-3pm)

Saturday, 10/31 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)Thor’s Bug Safari (12pm-1pm & 1pm-2pm)

Sunday, 11/1 – Rat and Mouse Club of America (11am-3pm)

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

Check their website for admission fees & hours of operation.


Don’t Miss it!


Your mission today – go to the market stock up on some Moon Pies, dust off your lawn chairs and be ready to witness the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse on tomorrow evening. Don’t miss it, the last occurrence was over 30 years ago and it won’t happen again until 2033.

The lunar perigee can be seen in North and South America, Europe, Africa, parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific. For those us in the Orange County area, you can start watching the night sky at 7:00 pm.. It will begin around 7:10pm and should be at its peak about 7:47 pm. The show should last about an hour and 12 minutes. The dramatic event will bring the Supermoon to a reddish, copper glow.

The awesome thing about this event is that you will be able to view it with the naked eye. We will be keeping my girls up past their bedtime for this event. If you’re looking a good spot to view this event consider viewing it from your backyard, a park or a local pier. If you want to attend an event here’s a couple to consider:

  • OC Telescope has a viewing event at the store on Sunday night from 6:00 pm till 9:00 pm for the Total Lunar Eclipse. If you name a unique not already named Lunar feature, you can win a Moon Pie, supplies limited to 24, one pie to a contestant, if you’re under 12 pronunciation does not count! OC Telescope is located at 2220 N Main St., Santa Ana, CA.
  • Griffith Observatory is hosting a FREE event. The event will include live piano music provided by Steinway & Sons and The Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of its Immortal Beethoven program. Music performed by Ray Ushikubo of the Colburn School. The event is from 6:30 pm – 9:45 pm. Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA

Nasa will provide online viewing starting at 8:00 pm ET or check with your local park and planetarium for viewing parties. If you know of any events please share it by listing it in the comments.

Make sure to share your pictures on social media by using twitter and enter Nasa’s photo contest on their facebook page.


Wolf Corp. Robotics

Image from Columbia Memorial Space Center
Image from Columbia Memorial Space Center

Kids of all ages come to a Robotics Demonstration at Columbia Memorial Space Center by Wolf Corp. Robotics team from Walnut, California, one of the Google Lunar XPRIZE Challenge for kids Phase I Winners (2015 Moonbots) & FLL award winners including the 2015 California Cup Champion at Legoland.


Demonstration with lots of hands-on activities:

  • First Lego Leauge (FLL) robotics competition Information
  • Interact with the Meccanoid Robot
  • Activate our competition robot
  • Presentation at 11:30 am
  • Learn how to win a robot set
  • Questions & Answers

The Demonstration takes place on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at Columbia Memorial Space Center from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm., Admission is $5.00 for Adults and Children 4 years and older, Children 3 years and younger: FREE, CMSC & ASTC Members are also FREE.

Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at  12400 Columbia Way, Downey, California 90242 


Hot Wheels are Rolling into Town

Image courtesy of Discoverycube.org
Image courtesy of Discoverycube.org

As a girl I had a bigger Hot Wheels® collection then my boy cousins. I would save my money and visit my local toy shop to add to my collection. I remember sitting and staring at the collection in the glass case at “Toy Town”.  If I could, it would do the same today, only on a larger scale. This upcoming exhibit at Discovery Cube Orange County gives me, I mean…my girls a chance to play.

Hot Wheels: Race to Win comes rolling into Discovery Cube town September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016. This new family exhibit will get you revved up with immersive activities for three generations of Hot Wheels® fans. There’s something for mom, dad, grandparents, and children! Visit this exhibit to become part of a race team working together to build and test the fastest speed machines on the planet! Here’s a peak at what you’ll see:

  • Take a behind-the-scenes look at the thrilling world of racing, including the scientific process for designing fast cars
  • Compete in the Pit Stop Challenge, by racing against the clock to change tires and refuel your race car
  • Test theories regarding the science of racing by experimenting with a six lane downhill speed track, booster power track, adjustable angles track, and timing track
  • See and learn about real race car parts, authentic artifacts, and captivating memorabilia

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

Click here for additional information on admission and hours or click here for a coupon.

HOT WHEELS and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel. ©2015 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.


Family Science Night


Join Ocean Institute this evening for Family Science Night. Spend a summer evening in the Samueli Conference Center getting “up close and personal” with local scientists. The entire family is invited to visit as they survey the stars, explore the seas, and dive into the surf zone.

Tonight’s experience will include a presentation by a guest speaker with alternate activities for kids, followed by a lab program to introduce your whole family to the fascinating world of science. A different topic will be covered each week.

ADVENTURES IN SCIENCE with Terri Hernandez. Come meet our live animal guests in this special presentation. Make the evening extra special by enjoying your own picnic dinner before the program! Picnic areas and tables are available around the Ocean Institute and at Baby Beach.

  • When: Tuesday, August 18, 2105, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr. Dana Point, CA 92629
  • Cost: $9/person ($7/Member); $27/Family-pack; ($18/Member Family-pack)

Rocket Fever


Rocket Fever 2015 at Columbia Memorial Space Center takes place on Saturday, August 15, 2015.

LA’s first and only rocket festival returns! Whether you are new to the hobby or a veteran rocketeer, the Columbia Memorial Space Center welcomes you for a fun filled day of rocketing. Enjoy interactive exhibits, rocket flying fun and much more! Additional fees apply for rocket building classes.

  • When: Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Way
    Downey, California 90242
  • Cost: FREE (Small fee applies for separate activities. See below for details.)
Image courtesy of Combiaspacecenter.org
Image courtesy of Combiaspacecenter.org

Rocket launches will be held all day long on the “launch fields” at the Discovery Sports Complex. Come watch these high flyers accelerate towards the clouds!  3…2…1… Blast off!

How Can I Launch a Rocket?

Step 1: Get a rocket (in one of the following ways): Pick up a pre-assembeled rocket. Ready-made rockets will be available for guests free of charge.  Visit the Information Desk upon entry to the Space Center for more information. While supplies last!

Rocket Building 101! Sign up for this class during Rocket Fever and launch your newly built rocket that same day!* Previous knowledge of rocket science not required!  Rocket-building classes have set times and are on a first-come, first served basis. Class passes can be purchased for $5 at our Cashier desk. Each pass is good for 1 rocket kit and admits two (2) people. One rocket motor is included in the price.

*Note: Rockets must dry for approximately two hours before launching.

Bring your own rocket from home. Model rocket kits can be purchased at most hobby stores or online and are available for all skill levels.

Step 2: Buy a rocket motor: Individual rocket motors will be sold by the Southern California Rocketry Association (SCRA) on the day of the event only. Size A motors are $2.75 each and B motors are $3.00 each.

Step 3: Pass inspection: Pick up your “Rocket Inspection Pass” and head over to the Rocket Inspection Station along the outside of the baseball diamond. All rockets must pass inspection before flying.

ALL rockets must pass inspection before entering launch area.Launching period ends at 4:30pm. All launches are weather permitting.



Robotics by the Sea

CabrillologoRobotics by the Sea at Cabrillo Marine Aquaruim is a FREE action-packed day, great for technology enthusiasts, science fiction fans, and ocean explorers of all ages.

event-robotics-dayMembers of local high school robotics clubs will be at the aquarium demonstrating remote control robots they’ve fashioned. Watch as the robots maneuver on land and in the water, and take time to ask students questions about their inventions, technology and plans for future innovations.

This is also your chance to learn more about underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) and how scientists use ROVs to explore the ocean. See an underwater ROV demonstration and test your driving skills by maneuvering an ROV through an obstacle course. There will also be robot-related arts and crafts to help jumpstart your imagination and ingenuity.

  • When: Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731
  • Cost: FREE

Family Science Sunday

Muth Interpretive Center
Muth Interpretive Center

Family Science Sunday at Muth Interpretive Center offers Free activities in their classroom once a month.

Each month offers different educational theme to explore. This months theme is Astronomy.

The activities are self-guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. Join Preserve Staff for a short hike at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Recommended for ages 3-12.

The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. It is at the corner of University and Irvine Avenue.


Young Explorers Academy


The Young Explorers Academy at Columbia Memorial Space Center  is for children ages 3-6. They will EXPLORE, EXPERIMENT, and CREATE during hands-on and participant-lead activities based on various early childhood topics.

Bring your young explorer on the first Saturday of every month for the Young Explorers Academy! July’s theme is “Living in Space”,

Spaghetti, milkshakes, walking: all things astronauts of the International Space Station must go without while orbiting around the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Students in this class will learn what astronauts and cosmonauts do as part of the ISS crew. Eating, personal hygiene, and exercising are adaptive to the loss of gravity. Students will also be introduced to other careers in aerospace engineering and science related fields.

  • When: Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at: 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242
  • Cost: $12 is per guardian and child pair (includes all day admission to the CMSC) or $7 for CMSC members. Guardian participation is required. Pre- registration is suggested as seats and supplies are limited.

Ways to Register:

– Call  (562) 231-1200,  Tuesday-Saturday between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

– Online through ActiveNet

– In-person