Spark!Lab® Smithsonian

Everyone can be an inventor!

In Spark!Lab, we believe everyone is inventive. Through hands-on activities and interactions with facilitators, children and their families will engage in the process of invention through activities that incorporate traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art and creativity. The self-led exploration that happens in this interactive space creates environments that support the creative and collaborative thinking so important to invention and entrepreneurship. We provide opportunities to create, innovate, collaborate, and problem-solve—because these experiences empower kids to develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed today and in the future.

Spark!Lab is included with Full Museum admission. Entry is first come first served; space is limited.

Spark!Lab Hours

Fall Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 11 am –  1 pm; 2 pm – 4 pm
Thursday 11 am –  1 pm; 3 pm – 7 pm
Friday 11 am –  1 pm; 2 pm – 4 pm
Saturday 11 am –  1 pm; 2 pm – 4 pm
Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm

Activity choices for November 25 – December 22:

Towering Teeter Table – Because they’re always trying to solve new problems, inventors are constantly learning new skills and rules. The Towering Teeter Table challenges visitors to use blocks to build structures under challenging – and unstable – circumstances. To build towers, buildings, and other structures, visitors have to be creative in how they use the building space and balance their structure.

Snap Circuits – Snap Circuits include real circuit components just like the ones found inside radios, televisions, computers and other electronic devices. The difference? These components can be connected and disconnected to batteries without messy wires, solder or unexpected electric shocks. This activity allows visitors to create and test electric circuits and devices such as LEDs, lightbulbs, fan motors, flying disc launchers, and even a radio.

Now What? – In this interactive game, visitors use their problem-solving skills (and senses of humor) to answer the question, Now what?  Players are given a problem and then specific materials to use to solve that problem. Thinking creatively to find an answer to the question Now what? This allows visitors to experience the kind of playful and flexible thinking that inventors, designers, and other creative people use all the time.

Activities change on a regular basis, ensuring that regular visitors have something new to explore.

Generously supported by the Dow Corning Foundation and The Patricia & David Kepler Foundation