The Science Center

The Science Center The Science Center is dedicated to awareness and exploration of hands-on science to children ages 3 to 13 in southernmost Illinois. The Science Center of Southern Illinois was founded more than 20 years ago with the goal of encouraging children to develop their natural curiosity and exploration through hands-on experience.
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We host more than 60hands-on science exhibits and see more than 60,000 visitors annually. The Science Center is a recognized 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit organization and is made possible by the generous contributions of our community members. We offer hands on science education and exploration. The Science Center also host field trips, birthday parties, and room rentals for special occasions.

Mission: Nourish and preserve each child's innate curiosity through hands-on, inquiry-based exploration at The Science Center.

Temporarily closed

We would like wish Crew 1 of the space capsule Resilience a safe journey as they make their way to the International Spa...
11/16/2020

We would like wish Crew 1 of the space capsule Resilience a safe journey as they make their way to the International Space Station! Some of the many experiments planned aboard the orbiting laboratory include studies of how food affects physiology in microgravity, how gravity - and the lack of gravity - affects microbes that interact with rock as well as growing radishes in orbit. Another notable experiment was designed by two students, Finsam Samson and Yujie Wang from
Troy High School in Troy, Mi. which involves studying the effects of spaceflight on brain function.

Good luck to NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and to Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency! We will see you back on terra firma in six months!

If you are interested in finding out more about this mission or anything space related, check out www.nasa.gov

10/31/2020
DID YOU HEAR......A new dinosaur has been discovered.  This month, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology published a st...
10/15/2020

DID YOU HEAR......
A new dinosaur has been discovered. This month, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology published a study announcing the discovery of a new dinosaur named Skybalonyx skapter. S. skapter was found in the Petrified National Forest by researchers from the park, Virginia Tech, the University of Washington, Arizona State University, an the Virginia Museum of Natural History and belonged to a unique group of dinosaurs known as Drepanosaurs. Drepanosaurs are known as having enlarged second claws, bird-like beaks, and tails ending in a claw and have been described as a chameleon combined with an anteater. But S. skapter was unique even among these unique dinosaurs. Whereas most Drepanosaurs had claws suited for climbing trees, S. skapter had claws that more closely resembled animals that dig burrows. It may not have been the only burrowing dinosaur though. Fossils of an adult and two juvenile Oryctodromeus cubicularis dinosaurs (artist's rendition below) were found in a burrow in Montana.
What is your favorite dinosaur and why? Let us know in the comments below.

THIS DAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY....    Remember your first car?  Imagine how you would feel if you came outside to discover ...
10/09/2020

THIS DAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY....
Remember your first car? Imagine how you would feel if you came outside to discover it was hit by a meteorite? That is what happened to 18 year old Michelle Knapp of Peekskill, NY on this day in 1992. A meteorite weighing 12.4 kg (27.3 lbs) struck her 1982 Chevrolet Malibu at 80 m/s (262.5 ft/s) causing significant damage.
Thankfully Miss Knapp was not in the car at the time and was unharmed. At least she didn't have to make what would have undoubtedly been a very interesting insurance claim. A meteorite collector bought Miss Knapp's car for about twice what she paid for it. Since then the car has toured museums throughout the world. If you would like to know more about the meteor Malibu, you can check out its website at https://meteoritecar.com/

We are sad to announce that our Netherland Dwarf rabbit, Shredder, has passed away last night.  Shredder came to us in 2...
08/24/2020

We are sad to announce that our Netherland Dwarf rabbit, Shredder, has passed away last night. Shredder came to us in 2010 as an adult rabbit from a family who could no longer care for him. Adorable and sweet natured, he soon became a favorite of The Science Center. He was sixteen years old, an honorable age for any rabbit. If anyone has any memories or pictures you would like to share, please post them in the comments below.

08/17/2020

Hello everyone! School is starting again and for many of us, it is going to be a little different. Whether blended learning or remote leaning, we are going to tackle the familiar tasks of reading, writing, and arithmetic with new challenges. And while it may be frustrating, we are all on this new learning curve - including the teachers - together! If you are having problems, just remember that others are having the same problems and you are NOT behind! With a little patience and a positive attitude, we are going to conquer this! And don't forget, your teachers are there to help and they are only an email away. Stay healthy and safe and keep learning!

Hello everyone!  We have a new exhibit that, even though we are closed, is too amazing not to share!  So we have hung it...
08/16/2020

Hello everyone! We have a new exhibit that, even though we are closed, is too amazing not to share! So we have hung it at the front of The Science Center for everyone to see!
The award-winning Earth From Space exhibit from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies is proudly displayed in the front windows where it can be enjoyed from the mall corridor. Amazing images taken by various satellites orbiting Earth give us new understanding of phenomena such as dust storms, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and more. Don't miss this rare perspective of the ever-changing nature of our planet!

Hello young scientists!  I have a brain exercise for you!  I asked my family a riddle this morning and no one could gues...
08/10/2020

Hello young scientists! I have a brain exercise for you! I asked my family a riddle this morning and no one could guess the answer. I bet you can! It goes like this:

"Two friends had a bet. Sally, who was a music major, bet her friend Alice that she could find a song with any name in it.

Alice said, 'I bet you can't find a song with my son's name in it! His name is Cornelius Snickerdoodle.'

Sally had an answer and won the bet!

What was Sally's answer?"

Remember, to solve a riddle, you have to think outside the box! Don't assume the obvious!

Let us know the answer in the comments below! I'll post the answer tomorrow! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists! Do you like fossils?  I think fossils are pretty interesting.  Fossils only form under the right...
08/09/2020

Hello young scientists! Do you like fossils? I think fossils are pretty interesting. Fossils only form under the right conditions. When something dies in a mineral rich environment, it gets buried in the mud and rots. Minerals from groundwater seep into the cavity left behind and harden to make a fossil. We can demonstrate this by making some fossils of our own.

You just need some modeling clay, white glue and hard objects to make impressions like twigs or seashells. Flatten the clay on a hard surface. Press your objects into the clay. You don't want to go to deep because the deeper your impression, the longer it takes for the glue to dry. Carefully lift out the objects from your clay. Make sure the impressions don't extend off the clay. You want the entire impression to be on the clay so that the glue doesn't run off in the next step. Fill the impression with glue and let dry. When the glue is dry, carefully separate it from the clay. The glue hardens in the impression much like the minerals harden in the impression of a natural fossil. You may have to clean some clay residue off the glue. Scientists often have to clean excess material away from natural fossils also. Fossils are fragile so the first rule of fossil cleaning is to be careful. Go slow and take your time. Try making fossils in glitter glue or add sand to you glue to make a fossil that looks more like rock. What else can you make fossils of? "Walk" a plastic toy across the clay to make fossils of the footprints.

Bonus question: We know oil and water don't mix. Why do you think we used oil based modeling clay with water based glue? What do you think would happen if we used water based clay instead?

Show us pictures of your fossils in the comments below! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  I have an engineering challenge for you today!    Engineers use science to design and build mac...
08/08/2020

Hello young scientists! I have an engineering challenge for you today! Engineers use science to design and build machines and structures like buildings and bridges. The challenge today is to build the tallest tower you can out of paper.

You just need paper, some books and tape. Take a minute and think about how to build the tower. You need a plan.
To make a tall tower, you are going to need to stand the paper on end so that it can hold weight. But what is the best way to do that? Why is it so hard to balance the paper on its end? If you accordion fold the paper, it could stand on end. Or you could make columns out of the paper. Columns could be different shaped like circles, triangles of squares. Which design do you think will hold the most weight? Pick a design and start building! Set up your paper supports and lay a book across them. Then set up more supports and lay the next book across them and so on. Do you think it would be better to use hardcover books or softcover? Does it matter if the heaviest or biggest books are on the bottom or top? Why or why not? How tall can you make your tower? Try again with a different design. Let us know in the comments what designs you think are best! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southerniillinois

Hello young scientists!  Today we have a puzzle sent in by Science Center friend Meredith Ellen Jones.  It's a pretty go...
08/07/2020

Hello young scientists! Today we have a puzzle sent in by Science Center friend Meredith Ellen Jones. It's a pretty good one and I wanted to share it with all of you!

Lay out 12 matchsticks or toothpicks in the pattern below.
Can you make 3 squares by moving only 3 toothpicks? The answer is the comments but don't peek before you try! You can do it!

If you have a puzzle, riddle or a favorite experiment that you do and want to share it with us, send us a message! We would love to hear from you!

Thank you, Meredith, for sharing with us today! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  Today is a great day to use chemistry to make our own play dough!  It may be a little messy so ...
08/05/2020

Hello young scientists! Today is a great day to use chemistry to make our own play dough! It may be a little messy so we can do this outside if you like.

You just need some cornstarch, lotion, a 1/4 c measuring cup, a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon, a bowl and food coloring (optional). It would also be helpful to have a straight edge like a ruler or plastic knife to help with the measuring.
- Take a moment and observe the cornstarch. What words would you use to describe it? Does it feel gritty or soft or sticky? Is it wet or dry? When you are ready, add 1/4 cup of cornstarch to the bowl. A heaping cup of cornstarch is too much so use the straight edge to level it off.
-Now observe the lotion. How would you describe it? How is it different from the cornstarch? How is it the same? Add 2 Tablespoons of lotion to the cornstarch.
-If you would like color, add a drop of food coloring.
-Mix the ingredients together. You can use your hands but the food coloring may get on your skin. If it does, don't worry. It will wear off. There may be a point where you need to pick up your mixture and squeeze it in you hands to really get the lotion to mix with the cornstarch. When it is finally mixed, how is the resulting play dough compare to each of the individual ingredients? How is the play dough different from the cornstarch and the lotion? Let us know in the comments below. #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleillliois #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  I have a challenge for you today!  Find 10 markers of some kind. They can be anything - beads, ...
08/04/2020

Hello young scientists! I have a challenge for you today! Find 10 markers of some kind. They can be anything - beads, pennies, or small rocks. Arrange them in a triangle with its point down like in the picture below. Can you flip the triangle and make the it point up by moving just three of the markers? Give it a try and let me know. I'll post the answer in the comments but don't peak until you try! This puzzle comes from Over 50 Brain Games by Usborne Books and I think its a pretty tricky one! But I know you can do it! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

08/03/2020

Hello young scientists! How is a sandwich bag like a plate of spaghetti? Let's find out.

You just need a zip lock sandwich bag, water and some sharpened pencils. I used my colored pencils but regular pencils will work too as long as they are sharpened.
Fill the bag at least halfway with water and seal it shut. What do you think will happen if you push the pencils through the bag? Well, let's give it a try. Go ahead and push those pencils through the bag. Is the bag leaking? What is holding the bag together?

So what is happening? The molecules of the sandwich bag like to stick together in long strands called polymers. (White school glue is another example of something that has molecules that form polymers.) When you stick the pencil through the bag, the point pushes the these polymers aside. The pencil pushes between the polymer strands which in turn, push back against the pencil, forming a seal. This keeps the bag from leaking.
Think of a plate of spaghetti. When you push a fork into the spaghetti, you don't actually stab the individual strands. The tines of the fork move between the strands. That is a lot like what happens with the polymers and pencils.

Expand on this experiment: Try using different bags such as bags from grocery stores or a paper bag. Are they made of polymers also? Try using an unsharpened pencil. Does it work? How many pencils can you push through the bag. Let us know in the comments below #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  We have a trick today that seems like magic!  But it's not magic  - it's science!You just need ...
08/02/2020

Hello young scientists! We have a trick today that seems like magic! But it's not magic - it's science!

You just need a small piece of bright paper, a clear cup, water, and a small plate that can cover the cup. You can cut the paper into shape if you like but it should be smaller than the diameter of the bottom of the cup. Set the cup on the piece of paper. Can you see the paper when you look straight down through the bottom of the cup? How about when you look through the side? Now fill the cup with water and sit back. Can you still see the paper from the side? It my help to put the plate over the cup. Experiment with different water levels and distances from the cup and whether or not to put the plate on top,

So what is happening? In order to see something, light must reach it. When light travels through different mediums, in this case -the air, the cup, and the water - the light bends. This is called refraction! Let us know about your experiment in the comments below! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  I just checked the weather report and it said there is a 50% chance of rain.  So I been sitting...
07/31/2020

Hello young scientists! I just checked the weather report and it said there is a 50% chance of rain. So I been sitting here wondering if it will rain or not. Well, we don't have to wonder because we can make it rain in a jar - sort of.

All you need is a jar, food coloring, water, a glass and a pipette or eye dropper.
- Add water to the jar, leaving a little room at the top.
- Cover the top of the water with a layer of shaving cream. You may want to use your finger to gently spread it over the water.
- Add several drops of food coloring over the top of the shaving cream.
-Use the pipette or eye dropper to drip water from the glass onto the top of the shaving cream.
- Keep watching the bottom of the shaving cream for the "rain" to start.

So what is happening: As the sun heats up the Earth, water on the ground evaporates. That means water molecules turn into a gas that rises in the air. As the water molecules rise, they cool and turn into tiny droplets that form clouds. These droplets join together and make bigger drops. When the drops get too heavy, they fall back to the ground as rain.
The shaving cream is our "cloud." It has a lot of moisture in it already but not enough to fall as rain. So we add more with the pipette until the rain falls. The food coloring just makes the rain easier to see.

Let us know how your experiment went in the comments below! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  When scientists do their experiments, they have to interpret the results.  That means they figu...
07/30/2020

Hello young scientists! When scientists do their experiments, they have to interpret the results. That means they figure out what the results mean and why they got the results they did. Often this is like solving a puzzle - especially if they didn't get the results they expected! Today I have puzzle for you to exercise your brains.

What does a car, a tree and an elephant have in common?

Post your answer in the comments below!

Mr. Bill drew these pictures for us. Feel free print them out as coloring pages! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Hello young scientists!  I have a story for you today!   A long, long time ago, the King Hiero I of Syracuse gave a gold...
07/29/2020

Hello young scientists! I have a story for you today!

A long, long time ago, the King Hiero I of Syracuse gave a goldsmith an amount of gold to make a crown for him. When the king was presented with the crown, he became suspicious. What if the goldsmith didn't use all of the gold and kept some for himself? How would the king know? So he went to his friend Archimedes who was a scientist and known to be a pretty smart guy!
So the first thing Archimedes did was weigh an amount of gold equal to the amount the king gave the goldsmith and compared it to the weight of the crown. The both weighed the same. But did that mean the goldsmith used all the gold for the crown? What if he kept some of the gold and mixed some other metal in with the gold he did use? Archimedes knew that gold was heavier than any other metal the goldsmith would have mix with the gold. That means he would have to add more of the mystery metal than the gold he kept to make the weight correct. If so, the crown would have more volume that if it was just gold. Volume is how much space something takes up. There are math formulas to figure out the volume of a regular shape like a cube, but how could you figure out the volume of something that is an irregular shape like a lump of gold or a crown? This is what Archimedes had to figure out.
According to the story, Archimedes found inspiration in the most unlikely of places - his bathtub! He was getting ready to take a bath and filled his tub with too much water. When he got in, water overflowed the tub onto the floor. He realized the his body displaced - or pushed out - the water when he got in and that the volume of water displaced was equal to the volume of his body in the tub! This meant he could measure the volumes of the gold and crown by setting them in water and measuring how much water was displaced!
The story goes that he was so excited, that he jumped out of the tub naked and ran through the streets to the king yelling "Eureka! I found it!"
When Archimedes told the king of his plan (after, I assume, he was given a bathrobe), they filled two identical jars with the same amount of water and put in the crown and gold. They displaced different amounts of water and the goldsmith confessed to keeping some gold.

So young scientists, you can measure volume at home much like Archimedes did. You just need a measuring cup, water, and small objects to measure. You can also add a drop of food color to the water to make it easier to see. Put a specific amount of water in the measuring cup. the add one of your objects. How much did the water rise? That is the volume of your object. Measure the water change for each of your objects? Which had the greatest volume? Do you think this method will work for objects that float? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below! #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois

Address

1237 E Main, Sp 1048 University Mall (Macy's Wing)
Carbondale, IL
62901

General information

The Science Center is a hands- on children's museum with an array of exhibits to explore. We also offer programs such as Grown Up's Night Out, camps, birthday parties, field trips and more! Check our website for pricing, pictures, upcoming events and exhibits, and more details. http://sciencecenter.si.com

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 18:00
Saturday 11:00 - 18:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(618) 529-5431

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Our Story

The idea of The Science Center (TSC) was imagined by Jolynn Smith and Linda Herold (the founders) in and around 1992. Both are retired faculty members of the Med Prep Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). The founder’s incorporated The Science Center as a private tax exempt 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit as an educational hands on science center in 1994. The founders are still associated with TSC as committee chairs for The Science Café yearly lecture series.

TSC first opened its doors in 1994 on E. College St. in the basement of a city owned vacant dormitory once operated by SIUC. In or around 1996, TSC moved from the old dingy E. College St. location to the University Mall (UM). At the UM, TSC moved at least 4 times to various store fronts. TSC remained at the UM until early 2005, when TSC moved to a location on South Old Rt. 51 next to Arnold’s Market. This location was not viable and only lasted until November 2007.

After closing/moving for 2 months, TSC reopened its doors, again at the UM, in January 2008. This location was directly across from the food court and helped TSC rebuild from its time on Old Rt. 51. Again and hopefully for the last time in November 2012, TSC moved to its semi-permanent location directly across from Macy’s in the old Ney York & Company store front. The new location more than doubled the sq. ft. exhibit space with over 12,000 sq. ft.

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Comments

Hello young scientists! How is a sandwich bag like a plate of spaghetti? Let's find out. You just need a zip lock sandwich bag, water and some sharpened pencils. I used my colored pencils but regular pencils will work too as long as they are sharpened. Fill the bag at least halfway with water and seal it shut. What do you think will happen if you push the pencils through the bag? Well, let's give it a try. Go ahead and push those pencils through the bag. Is the bag leaking? What is holding the bag together? So what is happening? The molecules of the sandwich bag like to stick together in long strands called polymers. (White school glue is another example of something that has molecules that form polymers.) When you stick the pencil through the bag, the point pushes the these polymers aside. The pencil pushes between the polymer strands which in turn, push back against the pencil, forming a seal. This keeps the bag from leaking. Think of a plate of spaghetti. When you push a fork into the spaghetti, you don't actually stab the individual strands. The tines of the fork move between the strands. That is a lot like what happens with the polymers and pencils. Expand on this experiment: Try using different bags such as bags from grocery stores or a paper bag. Are they made of polymers also? Try using an unsharpened pencil. Does it work? How many pencils can you push through the bag. Let us know in the comments below #tsckids #sciencerules #carbondaleil #southernillinois
We were able to make it there before the power outage. These boys had fun with the challenge of making the arch stay up!!
Sallie Logan Public Library, Murphysboro Announces Free Virtual Reality Experience Monday, March 11 — Saturday, March 16 Must be 13 or older to participate Signed parental consent is required Sign up for your free 30 minute session by visiting the library or calling 618-684-3271 No library card required A number of apps to choose from - including: Google Earth VR: Walk through Tokyo, around the Eiffel Tower or through the Grand Canyon Ocean Rift: An underwater VR safari. Swim with manatees, sharks, whales, or even dinosaurs The Body VR: Journey inside the human body to learn about cells and anatomy Tilt Brush: Draw, paint and animate in a 3D workspace VR Museum of Fine Art: Experience the world’s finest art and masterpieces
Start them young and let them explore.
Today, Thursday, Jan. 10 At Sallie Logan library in Murphy - It's family reading night with the Mayor. light refreshments available.
Ann Knewitz passed away yesterday at approx. 4pm in Albuquerque NM. She passed away quietly and in no pain, with her son Tim by her side. Obituary and Celebration of Life info to follow.
Thank you for your support of DeSoto Daze Silent Auction being held October 6th, 2018 at Village of DeSoto Community Park.
hey!!! who dose the bat shows there?
Liam had a wonderful time celebrating his 2nd Birthday with your staff and animals!
Today is the perfect example of why we love our membership; the big girls wanted to shop so we stopped in and played for about 20 minutes! Perfect, everyone was happy.
A membership to The Science Center was the best investment we could have made! We have been there at least once a week(one week we even made it three time 😂🙊) since we got it! My two-year-old and three-year-old love it!!
Do you still do the parents night out?