Investigate!: A Do-It-Yourself Exhibition



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The astronomer Carl Sagan once said, "Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge." But how do you think like a scientist? Scientists try to answer questions about the world around them.

In the Investigate! exhibit, you get to be the scientist at home by following the four-step process.

  • Ask a question: What’s going on?
  • Make a guess: Why is it happening?
  • Check it out: Conduct an experiment.
  • Investigate further: What did you learn? How does it make sense with what you already knew?

Investigate! provides the materials to do a variety of experiments, along with some ideas on how to get started; from there, it's up to you! Once you’ve learned to think like a scientist, you can find things to investigate at home and beyond!

Additional Information

Start in the Living Room by learning about the scientific process. Try re-creating one of Galileo’s famous experiments, then listen to modern scientists talk about the thinking skills that have helped them.

In the Kitchen, experiment with buoyancy at the sink, and find the best cup for keeping liquids warm at the temperature station. Then, safely explore gross and dangerous questions at "Kitchen Disasters."

In the Bathroom, use two sinks to find out if water always drains in the same direction in this hemisphere, and figure out how a toilet works.

In the Garage, experiment with pressure by lying on a bed of more than 4,000 nails, check out the interior of a cut-away engine, and explore graphing information using a motion sensor.

In the Front Yard, explore a collection of mysterious tools to deduce what they might be used for, and try out some simple machines.


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