Spark!Lab® Smithsonian

Everyone can be an inventor!

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!

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

Spark!Lab Hours

Starting January 27, 2018

Monday 9:30 am –  12 pm; 1 pm – 3 pm
Tuesday 9:30 am –  12 pm; 1 pm – 3 pm
Wednesday 9:30 am –  12 pm; 1 pm – 3 pm
Thursday  12:30 pm – 3:30 pm; 4 pm – 7 pm
Friday 9:30 am –  12 pm; 1 pm – 3 pm
Saturday 9:30 am –  12 pm; 1 pm – 3 pm
Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm

Activity choices for August 11 – 31:

Vertical Wind Tunnel – Visitors explore and experiment with a 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 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 every day.

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.

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