Featured Events

Join us for one of our many fun and educational featured events. From Wonderlab After Hours to kids camps, there’s something for everyone at Wonderlab!

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Summer Maker Workshop – Solar Ovens

  • Saturday, July 13, 2024
  • 10am – 4pm

Ticket Prices Include all project materials and museum admission

  • $6 Members
  • $20 Non-Members
  • $8 Access Pass

Use solar energy to cook! Design, build, and test your very own solar oven during WonderLab’s Summer Maker Workshop. Solar ovens use renewable energy to cook food. Solar cookers are particularly useful when other sources of fuel are unavailable or to prevent the use of fossil fuels. Bonus, they do not pollute the environment when in use! 

During the workshop you’ll learn about historical uses of the solar oven dating back to 200 BCE, explore how solar ovens have evolved in design over thousands of years, and experiment with how solar rays can be harnessed and used as energy. Develop a design based on what is learned in the Maker Workshop to develop a prototype of your own solar oven. Test your prototype in the WonderGarden (weather permitting) to make pizza and s’mores! If the weather is not conducive to cooking outside, we will have cooking demos inside using hot plates.

Recommended Ages: Age 8 years +

Activities:

  • Attend the workshop and design a prototype.
  • Build your own solar oven with materials provided by WonderLab: recycled and new materials such as cardboard, corks, wood, hammer and nails, plexiglass, aluminum foil, clear plastic wrap, mirrors, glue guns, and more.
  • Test your oven in the WonderGarden (weather permitting) to make pizza and s’mores! If the weather is not conducive to cooking outside, we will have cooking demos inside using hot plates. 

What’s Included with the ticket price?

  • Museum admission
  • All materials and guidance –  no prior experience required!

About Solar Ovens: Solar ovens have been around for over 2200 years. The first documented use of solar ovens comes from an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes. Using large flat rocks positioned under the sun, the Essenes would warm grains and other food for community meals. 

There’s close to 2000 years between the time of the Essenes and the first known successfully constructed solar oven developed by Horase de Saussure in 1776. The Genevan scientist used wood, glass, and cork insulation to make a “hot box” styled solar oven that collected enough of the sun’s rays to get up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Following that design, in 1869, mathematician Augustin Mouchot invented a solar oven that looked similar to the current day satellite dish. In 1876, physicist William Adams designed a solar oven that combined the “hot box” element of Saussure’s oven with Mouchot’s reflective paneling. By directing the sun’s rays directly to the food needing to be cooked, Adams developed a third style of solar cooker. Modern day solar ovens all stem from these three designs. During the Maker Workshop we will focus on creating solar ovens that are inspired by Saussure and Adams.

The Summerg Maker Workshop is part of a year long series of maker events at WonderLab. Read more about all the 2024 MakerWorkshops here. 

The 2024 Maker Workshop series at WonderLab is dedicated to educating the museum’s community about astronomy through the lens of product design. These programs are developed in the effort to reach an older audience and engage them in continued scientific learning. Participants are encouraged to work alone, work together, and work creatively.

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Science Night Out – The Science of Superstition

Friday, September 13, 2024

  • 6pm – Reception and Activities
  • 7:15pm – Dinner and program
  • Woolery Mill, 2250 Sunrise Dr.

Tickets:

Why the “Science of Superstition”?
Superstitions like knocking on wood, avoiding black cats, or not stepping on cracks add a dash of mystery to life and have puzzled people for centuries with the fear of the unknown. But why do we follow these beliefs? Are superstitions baseless, or do they have scientific reasoning behind them? Why do we avoid walking under ladders or opening umbrellas indoors? On Friday, September 13th (yes, Friday the 13th), we invite you to join us as we journey into the origins and science behind some of our most common childhood superstitions.

Attire: Formal, Fancy, Festive, or Fun!
This wonderful evening of fun and fundraising will feature all things superstitious. Join us for hands-on science activities, cocktails, plated dinner, auctions, camaraderie and a shared appreciation for the value of science education for all kids. Invite your friends to come out for a great time and a great cause.

Join us during the reception from 6:00 to 7:15pm on the patio for hands-on activities exploring superstitions and chance.

Science Night Out raises critical funds for hands-on science programs and exhibits, and also for free group admissions for Title I schools and social service organizations, including CASA, New Hope for Families, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and more. This same fund also subsidizes admission for families with low incomes who participate in the Access Pass program.

Questions? Email sciencenightout@wonderlab.org.

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AfterHours: Brews & Boos

Saturday, October 19 | 7pm | 21+

Decomposition, Fermentation, Death, and Beer, dig into  the science of life and death at WonderLab AfterHours: Brews & Boos. Learn about how humans deal with death. People all over the world have to confront death, and every culture has their own way of dealing with it. During this time, you will respectfully engage with various traditions surrounding death.

Enjoy light snacks, meet new people, and continue your learning about this spooky, scary subject. Death is inevitable, let’s learn about it!

Grab a beer from Upland Brewing Company and chat with their bartenders about the science behind your favorite brews. Not looking for alcohol, no problem. Enjoy tasting local kombuchas while learning about the process of fermentation. You’ll leave with the knowledge to make your own kombucha at home. 

Let WonderLab’s animal experts guide you on a tour of our animal ambassadors. Discover how they protect themselves in the wild and their potential to turn deadly. Explore a death garden and test your skills identifying deadly plants and their dangers. Take home a vintage-inspired ID card for your favorite deadly plant. Bring history to the present, make your own piece of jewelry inspired by European poison rings. Then challenge yourself to correctly identify various animal skulls from WonderLab’s collection.

Capture your newfound knowledge and experience in a self-made zine, and then add to WonderLab’s ofrenda to remember a loved one who has passed. Dance to Malagasy music that is typically played during “Famadihana.” Expound upon your death-ucation by participating in a talk surrounding the culture of death and passing on.

A Night of Spooky Activities:

  • Dive into the science of making beer
  • Identify Animal Remains
  • Explore a death garden of dangerous plants
  • Hands-on learning about death and mourning in various cultures
  • Take a tour of animal defenses, featuring WonderLab’s animal ambassadors.

Recommended Ages: 21+ Adults, Photo ID required

Dates and Times: Saturday, October 19, 7:00-10 PM

Ticket Prices for the Individual Event

  • Member: $20
  • Non-Member $30
  • Access Pass: $10
  • Member: $30
  • Non-Member: $45
  • Access Pass: $15