Events & Programs

Science On Wheels – Local Whole School Experiences Packages

Whole School Experiences provide a full day of unique programming from one of our six science or math themes for your entire school (grades K-8). A typical visit features an assembly, interactive exhibits and hands-on workshops. Smaller packages are available.

  • Assembly – Start the day off with an entertaining and engaging show that brings science to life on stage and ignites curiosity in your students for the rest of the day of learning.
  • Workshops – Engaging, content-rich, hands-on workshops taught by Science On Wheels educators.
  • Exhibit Set – A mini Science Center for your students to explore with portable, tabletop exhibit sets, experiments and activities.

Choose one of our three packages below that best fits your school’s size and program needs.

Request Your Science On Wheels Program

Questions? Email edprograms@pacsci.org.

Packages

Package 1

  • Assembly
  • 16-20 Workshops
  • A full day of Exhibits
Recommended for up to 630 students.

Package 2

  • Assembly
  • 11-15 Workshops
  • A full day of Exhibits
Recommended for up to 470 students.

Package 3:

  • Assembly
  • 6-10 workshops
  • A full day of exhibits
Recommended for up to 310 students.

Program Themes

Blood and Guts (Anatomy & Physiology)

Blood and Guts challenges students to uncover the amazing aspects of their insides! Explore the systems and organs that keep us alive and kicking, from our skeletons down to nerves and neurons.

Assembly: Fascinating physiology is introduced in this fast-paced science show, using a model skeleton, real pig lungs and other fun props. Delve into the human body – examine the skeletal system, plot the path of a red blood cell through the circulatory system and mull over how messages travel through the nervous system.

Requirements: 

  • A stage or performance area
  • One large table for presenter(s)
  • Access to electricity
  • Access to sound system, if available

Exhibits: How steady is your balance? Where is your ulna? Assemble skeletons, analyze X-rays and scrutinize skulls. Tease your mind with optical illusions and look inside a real human brain! This exhibit includes real organs from humans and animals. Exhibits in English and Spanish.

Requirements:

  • 8-10 large tables (no chairs)
  • Access to electricity
  • Depending on package, adult volunteers may be required to facilitate exhibits

Workshops (by grade level): 45-minute hands-on workshops are taught in your classrooms. Each educator can choose a topic from the list below for the appropriate grade level.

Requirements:

  • Access to a whiteboard recommended
  • Tables and chairs for participants
  • At least one staff member or adult must be present
  • Each workshop can be taught only once during each time block even if it is listed for two different age groups
  • Workshop-specific requirements are noted in each description

Grades K-2

Creature Features: Be a zoologist for a day! Explore comparative anatomy by taking a closer look at the skin and teeth of different animals. How does your heart rate compare to a hummingbird’s or an elephant’s?

You’ve Got Nerve: How is your brain like a detective? Use your senses to explore mystery scents and fabrics with different textures. You’ll see how information about the world around you is collected, then sent to and processed by the brain.

Bone Zone: Why do we have bones anyway? Assemble a mini skeleton and look at X-rays as you learn about the shape, movement and function of bones. Examine real bone specimens!

Grades 3-5

Bone Zone: Assemble a mini skeleton as you explore the location and function of bones and joints. Use what you learn to look at X-rays and make a diagnosis. Examine real bone specimens! Best for grades 3 and 4. For grade 5, consider the Main Frame workshop.

Piece of Mind: Be awe-inspired by the power of the brain! Explore how your mind works, discovering more about memory and other brain functions using puzzles and fun activities. See a real brain specimen!

Visual Eyes: Have you ever looked into your own eyes or watched your eyes react to light and dark? Learn the names, locations and functions of the parts of the eye as you explore the remarkable world of optics. Ability to darken room allows for best results. 

Grades 5-8

Main Frame: What do we have in common with a cougar or an opossum? Cooperative groups will construct mini human skeletons and real animal skeletons and then compare their form and function. Students work in groups of 4-6. Desks should be arranged in clusters.

Cells R Us: Enter the microscopic world of the cell. Learn the basics of using a microscope as you get up close and personal with single-celled amoebas and compare different specialized cells in the body.

Visual Eyes: Keep your eyes peeled as we explore the science behind vision. Learn the names, locations and functions of the parts of the eye as you explore the remarkable world of optics. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Piece of Mind: Be awe-inspired by the power of the brain! You’ll explore how your mind works, discovering more about memory and other brain functions using puzzles and fun activities. See a real brain specimen!

Engineering

Delve into the world of invention and problem solving while exploring the knowledge, skills and tools used to change our lives. Program robots, build and test the strength of bridges and buildings and investigate new materials as you stretch them to their limits.

Assembly: Join us as we design, test and redesign inventions inspired by the world around us. Learn about the process engineers follow to build anything from electricity-making wind turbines to soaring rockets!

Requirements: 

  • A stage or performance area
  • One large table for presenter(s)
  • Access to electricity
  • Access to sound system, if available

Exhibits: Discover what engineering is all about! Construct an arch bridge as tall as you, manipulate marble mazes, experiment with lasers and make wheels turn using engines and gears. Construct, connect, create and contemplate the wonders of today’s engineering. Exhibits in English and Spanish.

Requirements:

  • 8-10 large tables (no chairs)
  • Access to electricity
  • Depending on package, adult volunteers may be required to facilitate exhibits

Workshops: 45-minute hands-on workshops are taught in your classrooms. Each educator can choose a topic from the list below under the appropriate grade level.

Requirements:

  • Access to a whiteboard recommended
  • Tables and chairs for participants
  • At least one staff member or adult must be present
  • Each workshop can be taught only once during each time block even if it is listed for two different age groups
  • Workshop specific requirements are noted in each description

Grades K-2

Machine Makeover: Try your hand at being an inventor as you create a Lego Duplo Toolo® machine to help solve everyday problems. As mechanical engineers, you design a machine that will lift beams or scoop rocks!

Super Structures: Build structures that will stand tall! Perform tests to discover what makes a strong and stable building using foam blocks, wooden dowels, and mini foundations.

Radical Robots: How can robots help us solve problems? Kibo® robots will temporarily take over your classroom as you explore the world of robotics while becoming real robot programmers. Please move desks and chairs to the edges of the room prior to this workshop.

Grades 3-5

Bridge the Gap: Will your bridge survive? Test the limits of a K’NEX® bridge and discover what makes it stronger. Document camera highly recommended.

Material World: Receive a mystery substance that you can bounce, twist and stretch to the limit!  Brainstorm creative ways people might use it. Enjoy handling the mystery substance, which is a non-Newtonian fluid, that both flows and breaks. Document camera highly recommended.

Get In Gear: How does a mechanical engineer design an amusement park ride so that it spins the fastest?  Explore the spinning, whirling world of gears. Document camera highly recommended.

Radical Robots: Meet Kibo® the robot, and watch as your students use Kibo to develop and optimize programs and complete challenges while discovering the world of robotics and basic program design. Please move desks and chairs to the edges of the room prior to this workshop. 

Grades 5-8

Bridge the Gap: Will your bridge survive? Test the limits of a K’NEX® bridge and discover what makes it stronger. Document camera highly recommended.

Enviro-Sleuths: Where should the town build the new mall? As environmental engineers, students determine water quality by testing pH and analyzing the presence of bioindicators. Student data is used to predict environmental impact on Yourtown, USA. Document camera highly recommended.

Wired Up:  What is the best pathway for electricity? With the right connections, you can make bulbs light and motors run. Document camera highly recommended. 

Mathblast

Mathblast takes students on a mathematical journey far beyond arithmetic. Students practice probability, reflect on symmetry, focus on fractals and more as they discover the many ways you can have fun while manipulating math.

Assembly: Help our aspiring game show host ”Find the Math” as they discover permutations by looking in a clothes closet, study scale and spatial reasoning by packing a lunchbox and predict the probability of a rubber chicken dancing by itself.

Requirements: 

  • A stage or performance area
  • One large table for presenter(s)
  • Access to electricity
  • Access to sound system, if available

Exhibits: Math is everywhere, from maps to quilts to fitting toys in a box. Observe how beautiful fractals resemble patterns in nature. Piece together puzzles, from pentominoes to 3D buckyballs. How many ice cream flavor combinations can you make? What are the chances you will pull a matching pair of socks from a dryer? These exhibits remind us how we use math every day!

Requirements:

  • 8-10 large tables (no chairs)
  • Access to electricity
  • Depending on package, adult volunteers may be required to facilitate exhibits

Workshops: 45-minute hands-on workshops are taught in your classrooms. Each educator can choose a topic from the list below for the appropriate grade level.

Requirements:

  • Access to a whiteboard recommended
  • Tables and chairs for participants
  • At least one staff member or adult must be present
  • Each workshop can be taught only once during each time block even if it is listed for two different age groups
  • Workshop specific requirements are noted in each description

Grades K-2

Mirror Image: Explore the world of symmetry while playing “The Reflection Game” using PentaBlocks™! Design colorful, symmetrical patterns and find symmetry in the world around you. Document camera highly recommended.

Sometimes Never: Take a spin with a colorful probability device to find out the chances of going to recess or visiting the library. Check predictions by recording spinner results on a wooden tile board to make a bar graph. Document camera highly recommended.

Big Things, Little Things: Our story of chickens in space initiates your exploration of perspective and scale. Match three-dimensional objects to aerial photos and discover that close-up objects appear larger and far away objects appear smaller.

Grades 3-5

Puzzling Pentominoes: Puzzled about pentominoes? A pentomino is a special arrangement of five squares that can make pictures and letters if you piece them together just right. Exercise your spatial reasoning using these cool puzzle pieces. Document camera highly recommended.

Collect All 4: How much money will you have to spend to collect all four of our unique cereal box characters?  Dig deeply into “cereal” and wallets to graph and explore probability through the popular world of collecting. Document camera highly recommended.

Code Breakers: Did you know codes and ciphers are based on mathematical reasoning? Discover the math in real-world codes and ciphers by exploring secret messages. Break historical codes, decipher mysteries, and create your own form of communication based on logic and patterns. Document camera highly recommended.

Grades 5-8

Dynamic Dice: Explore polyhedrons while designing and playing carnival dice games. Game operators calculate and convert probabilities to choose prizes. Compare predicted probabilities to results. Document camera highly recommended.

NetShape Navigator: Learn to recognize the patterns in geometric solids by using fun Polydron™ manipulatives. Discover the mathematical connections between geometric solids and their “networks” or “nets” – a flat drawing that can be folded to form a 3-D solid. Document camera highly recommended.

Fabulous Fractals: Through exploration of everyday objects and exotic art, learn more about this living branch of mathematics that can help us understand chaotic events like weather or geometric patterns in nature. Document camera and DVD playing capabilities highly recommended.

Physics On Wheels

It’s not magic; it’s physics! Physics On Wheels will generate excitement for electricity, resonate interest in sound waves, use lenses to enlighten and more!

Assembly: This show pops with exciting and amazing demonstrations! Explore the properties of a mystery liquid (liquid nitrogen) and be shocked and amazed by a Van de Graff generator. Focus on physics as lids mysteriously pop off cans and hairdos become electrified!

Requirements: 

  • A stage or performance area
  • One large table for presenter(s)
  • Access to electricity
  • Access to sound system, if available

Exhibits: Explore amazing phenomena, from magnetism to magnification and from pendulums to periscopes. Can you overcome the strength of an electric magnet? Watt does it take to make an electrical circuit? Physics has it all: light, sound, electricity, and motion! Exhibits in English and Spanish.

Requirements:

  • 8-10 large tables (no chairs)
  • Access to electricity
  • Depending on package, adult volunteers may be required to facilitate exhibits

Workshops: 45-minute hands-on lessons are taught in your classrooms. Each educator can choose a topic from the list below for the appropriate grade level.

Requirements:

  • Access to a whiteboard recommended
  • Tables and chairs for participants
  • At least one staff member or adult must be present
  • Each workshop can be taught only once during each time block even if it is listed for two different age groups
  • Workshop specific requirements are noted in each description

Grades K-2

The Force: Can a magnet stick to a rock? Be surprised by the attractive force of magnetism! Discover the mysterious properties of magnets through exploration.

Good Vibrations: Dive into the wonderful world of sound with tuning forks, musical instruments and more. Investigate how people make and hear sounds. This workshop can get quite loud.

Leaping Lenses: Predict and observe which objects bounce light and which bend light by exploring with our unique kits. Watch a laser beam reflect and refract! Discover many places mirrors and lenses can be found. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

The Light Frontier: What is light? Discover the characteristics of light firsthand through exploration. Learn how to change light, discover different types of light and investigate the world of color! Ability to darken room allows for best results. 

Grades 3-5

See-Saw Savvy: Discover which everyday objects are really levers in disguise. Build lever systems and experiment with this simple machine.

Charged Up: What is electricity and how does it travel?  Where does electricity come from? Learn about circuits and generators firsthand by designing electric circuits and generating electricity to power lights.

Good Vibrations: Dive into the wonderful world of sound with tuning forks, musical instruments and more. Investigate differences in pitch, volume and frequency and explore the ear and its ability to hear. This workshop can get quite loud.

Refraction Action: Observe the behavior of laser light as it interacts with different materials to understand reflection and refraction. Discover and discern between convex and concave lenses through exploration and sorting activities. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Grades 5-8

Electric Magnets: How are electricity and magnetism related? Find out by generating electricity with magnets and using electricity to make magnets. This workshop may be taught to a 4th grade class with previous electric circuit experience.

Refraction Action: Observe the behavior of laser light as it interacts with different materials to understand reflection and refraction. Discover and discern between convex and concave lenses through exploration and sorting activities. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Pulley Power: Learn to lift heavy objects with ease.  Design and explore pulley systems to find out how and why this simple machine makes work so much easier. Document camera highly recommended. Students will work in groups of three. 

Rock and Roll (Geology)

Rock and Roll will shake up your school with earth science! Sort through sand, hunt for fossils, explore and grow sparkling crystals, get blown away by volcanoes and uncover the secrets of rocks and minerals.

Assembly: Earthquakes! Volcanoes! Rocks and fossils! This show rocks you with a concert by a well-known band, then gives you a glimpse into the underground geological forces found in Washington state.

Requirements: 

  • A stage or performance area
  • One large table for presenter(s)
  • Access to electricity
  • Access to sound system, if available

Exhibits: Rock and Roll is here to stay, geologically speaking. Delve into the deepest layers of the earth to learn about crystals, magnetic rocks and earthquakes. Find out which rocks glow and how we use them in our daily lives. Exhibits in English and Spanish.

Requirements:

  • 8-10 large tables (no chairs)
  • Access to electricity
  • Depending on package, adult volunteers may be required to facilitate exhibits

Workshops: 45-minute hands-on workshops are taught in your classrooms. Each educator can choose a topic from the list below for the appropriate grade level.

Requirements:

  • Access to a whiteboard recommended
  • Tables and chairs for participants
  • At least one staff member or adult must be present
  • Each workshop can be taught only once during each time block even if it is listed for two different age groups
  • Workshop-specific requirements are noted in each description

Grades K-2

Fantastic Fossils: Is it a rock or is it a fossil? Answer this question for yourself as you examine real fossils in our collections. This workshop is sure to make a “lasting impression.”

Radical Rocks: Can you write with a rock? Use scientific tools and tests to find out how you use rocks every day! Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Sand-tastic!: What is sand made of? How does it form? Make sand, explore sand from around the world and use the tools of geologists to closely examine the exciting world of sand!

Grades 3-5

Crystal Clear: What are crystals and how are they formed? Discover the properties of these special minerals as you see, touch, sort and examine them. Attempt to grow crystals right before your very eyes!

Landform Logic: Is it Earth or Mars? Compare the geology of these two planets and discover the geological mysteries that rocks keep. Learn how to decipher satellite images of Earth, and use what you’ve learned to interpret some of the mysteries of Mars.

Mineral Madness: Examine unusual rocks with exciting scientific equipment. Use geological tests to determine the properties of minerals. Apply your new knowledge of their properties to learn the names and everyday uses of these minerals. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Magma Mountains: What is a volcano? Why do some volcanoes ooze and others explode? Compare the eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes and Mount St. Helens, and explore volcanoes from around the world. Examine volcanic rocks and learn why eruptions can be so different through an “explosive” experience! Document camera highly recommended. 

Grades 5-8

Landform Logic: Is it Earth or Mars? Compare the geology of these two planets and discover the geological mysteries that rocks keep. Learn how to decipher satellite images of Earth, and use what you’ve learned to interpret some of the mysteries of Mars.

Mineral Madness: Examine unusual rocks with exciting scientific equipment. Use geological tests to determine the properties of minerals. Apply your new knowledge of their properties to learn the names and everyday uses of these minerals. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Magma Mountains: What is a volcano? Why do some volcanoes ooze and others explode? Compare the eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes and Mount St. Helens, and explore volcanoes from around the world. Examine volcanic rocks and learn why eruptions can be so different through an “explosive” experience! Document camera highly recommended.

Space Odyssey (Astronomy)

Space Odyssey launches you on an amazing celestial journey. Explore the universe in the inflatable planetariums or investigate the phases of the moon, the spectra of gases or the properties of light in your classroom.

Assembly: Help our astronaut-in-training prepare for a trip to the moon! This show takes off with a mind-blowing demonstration about balloons in the vacuum of space. Contemplate the real size of the moon, investigate astronomy tools like spectroscopes and telescopes and cheer for your team in a race between a student and flashlight.

Requirements: 

  • A stage or performance area
  • One large table for presenter(s)
  • Access to electricity
  • Access to sound system, if available

Exhibits: Explore meteorites, constellations and Jupiter’s storms. Manipulate a robot arm and explore the Martian terrain. What would the Big Dipper look like from the other side of the universe? How much do you weigh on Venus? Find out answers to these questions and more! Exhibits in English and Spanish.

Requirements:

  • 8-10 large tables (no chairs)
  • Access to electricity
  • Depending on package, adult volunteers may be required to facilitate exhibits

Workshops: 45-minute hands-on workshops are taught in your classrooms. Each educator can choose a topic from the list below for the appropriate grade level.

Requirements:

  • Access to a whiteboard recommended
  • Tables and chairs for participants
  • At least one staff member or adult must be present
  • Each workshop can be taught only once during each time block even if it is listed for two different age groups (except planetarium workshops)
  • Workshop specific requirements are noted in each description

Grades K-2

Lighten Up (in the classroom): Our original story leads students in an exploration of the amazing properties of light as we experiment with a unique collection of objects and flashlights to learn about sunlight, reflection, rainbows and more. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Your Place in Space (in the classroom): Why is Earth a planet and Pluto a dwarf planet? Explore how astronomers classify objects in our solar system and create your own classification system!

Up in the Sky (in the planetarium): Go on a stargazing adventure in our portable planetarium. Inside, learn your way around the giant “connect-the-dot” pictures in the sky.

Twilight Tales (in the planetarium): Join in the telling of cultural myths from around the world related to the stars and constellations.

Grades 3-5

Cosmic Colors (in the classroom): Become classroom astronomers as you use spectroscopic glasses to view celestial gases and discover the true nature of stars. Document camera highly recommended. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Plan It: Mars (in the classroom): Explore the science and mathematics behind planning space travel. Work with a team to design the next rover mission to Mars. Think like a NASA scientist to stay within budget and ensure the successful completion of your team’s mission! Students work in groups of three. DVD playing capabilities highly recommended.

Star Search (in the planetarium): Can you “read” the nighttime sky? Learn how to use a star map and then apply your new skills as you hunt for seasonal constellations across the sky in the portable planetarium.

Worldwide Skies (in the planetarium): Can the sky be a calendar or a tool for navigation? Explore how the sky appears to change through the night and year and what these changes have meant to different people around the world. Hear star stories by different cultures as you identify a variety of constellations.

Grades 5-8

Spectacular Spectra (in the classroom): What can astronomers learn about the lives of stars from rainbows? Using spectroscopic glasses, analyze star gases to learn about stellar composition and evolution. Document camera highly recommended. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Lunar Logic (in the classroom): Why does the moon change shape? This workshop is an introduction to moon phases and lunar exploration. Listen to the voices of the Apollo 11 crew as an astronaut takes the first steps on the moon! Document camera highly recommended. Ability to darken room allows for best results.

Plan It: Mars (in the classroom): Explore the science and mathematics behind planning space travel. Work with a team to design the next rover mission to Mars. Think like a NASA scientist to stay within budget and ensure the successful completion of your team’s mission! Students work in groups of three. DVD playing capabilities highly recommended.

Star Search (in the planetarium): Can you “read” the nighttime sky? Learn how to use a star map and then apply your new skills as you hunt for seasonal constellations across the sky in the portable planetarium.

Worldwide Skies (in the planetarium): Can the sky be a calendar or a tool for navigation? Explore how the sky appears to change through the night and year and what these changes have meant to different people around the world. Hear star stories by different cultures as you identify a variety of constellations.

Note: The portable planetarium needs to be set up in a large, indoor space such as a gym or multipurpose room. The dimensions of the planetarium are 25ft x 25ft x 12ft. Due to noise, this area cannot be used for other activities during planetarium workshop(s).

One of our planetariums requires participants to enter via a low tunnel, if any participants in your group have accessibility requirements, please let us know so we may provide appropriate equipment.

To learn more about Science On Wheels, review our Frequently Asked Questions.

TDD: (206) 443-2887

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