Rain or Shine!
Free and open
to the public.

K-12 Activities

Sponsored by WPI’s Office of Pre-Collegiate Outreach.  Activities and locations are subject to change. For detailed information about exhibits and activities, specific locations, and to create your schedule, download the TouchTomorrow app!

updated April 22, 2019

Gateway Park Tent

Float my Boat
Categories: Buoyancy, Physics
Ages: Elementary School (K-5)

Description: Build a tinfoil boat and test different designs to see how many pennies you can load without sinking your boat.


Categories: Aerospace, Engineering
Ages: All Ages

Description: “Design” a helicopter and use difference payload to see how it flies.  Can you make it fly slower or faster?  How does it land?   This activity will help you understand the aerospace engineering principles in helicopter design.


Life Cycle of a Star
Categories: Astronomy
Ages: All Ages

Description: Model the life cycle of a massive star using beads on the end of a bookmark to represent a star’s development. Take your bookmark home and use it when you read more about the stars and the planets.


Forensic Chromatography
Categories: Forensics, Chemistry
Ages: Middle School (6-8)

Description: At the crime scene earlier today, we found a note written by the perpetrator. Using the ink from this note we can use a process called paper chromatography to determine what type of marker was used to write the note. Come help us become forensic scientist for the day and narrow the list of suspects.


On the Quad

Geodesic Domes
Categories: Engineering, Building
Ages: All Ages

Description: Create a stable structure out of newspaper and Wiffle balls. Make sure your structure isn’t wiggly and won’t fall down. How large a dome can you create?



On the Quad – Tent 1

Categories: Physics, Light
Ages: Elementary School (K-5)

Description: Build a kaleidoscope and explore how light waves can change the image being viewed.


Categories: Chemistry
Ages: All Ages

Description: Everyone loves playing with the gooey concoction that is slime, but did you know that it is actually not a liquid or a solid but a non-Newtonian fluid?


Stress Balls     
Categories: Materials, Chemistry
Ages: Elementary School (K-5)

Description: We will be looking at the science behind diapers. Specifically, we will look at the way chemists and chemical engineers shape this product. We will be turning the polyacrylic acid into stress balls.



On the Quad – Tent 2

Nano Films
Categories: Nanotechnology, Materials
Ages: Elementary and Middle School (K-8)

Description: The nail polish spreads out into a super-thin film, which creates iridescent, rainbow colors on the paper. The thin film is only a few hundred nanometers thick, about as thick (or thin!) as a soap bubble. The film is slightly thicker in some places and thinner in others. As the thickness of the film changes, the color changes.


Nanotechnology with KITS
Categories: Nanotechnology, Materials
Ages: Middle School (6-8)

Description: Material scientists have developed a metal wire with a memory.  Nitinol memory wire can help the heart work more efficiently for some people.


Pneumatic Machines
Categories: Design, Engineering
Ages: Middle School (6-8)

Description: Remember a time when you blew up a balloon, held it a moment, then let it zoom madly round the room? What seemed like a great big, goofy old joke back then was really a basic lesson in pneumatics—putting pressurized air to practical use. Today you can come learn how to manipulate air pressure to build your own pneumatic arm!


Sports & Recreation Center
Categories: Geometry
Ages: Elementary School (K-5)

Description: Geometric shapes are everywhere around us, from buildings to rockets and even in our own body. Are you able to build your own geometric shapes using only Velcro and craft sticks?


Skittles Math
Categories: Mathematics
Ages: Elementary and Middle School (K-8)

Description: Bring some color into your math activities by working through some fun math problems using Skittles as a tool.  The Skittles are yours to eat after the activity.


Space Lander
Categories: Engineering, Space
Ages: Middle School (6-8)

Description: When a spacecraft lands on the surface of the moon or mars, engineers have to design landing systems that ensure the landing is safe and secure for cargo and astronauts.  Can you design a spacecraft which lands safely on Mars with two “astronauts” aboard?