Spark!Lab Smithsonian


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.

Activity choices for June 10 – June 30:

Activities in Spark!Lab incorporate traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art, museum, and creativity. Facilitators will assist Spark!Lab visitors by employing inquiry-based learning techniques to help participants work through challenges, identify design solutions, and create their own unique inventions!

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.

Vertical Wind Tunnel: The wind tunnel offers a playful and inventive way to explore the effect that moving air has on objects. By making observations about the ways in which an object behaves in the air tube, new designs can be imagined, constructed, and immediately tested. Visitors can have fun making things float in the transparent tunnel, and tweaking their creations to change the way they fly.

Sketch It: Visitors can use their imagination to create a new invention to solve a variety of scenarios. Start with one of our orange challenge cards, pick a yellow client card and begin thinking about what new ideas could help your client with their problem. By thinking creatively to solve a problem visitors experience the kind of playful, flexible thinking that inventors, designers and artists use everyday.

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

Spark!Lab Hours

June 10, 2017 – September 3, 2017

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

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

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