Workshops

Workshops

Workshops are generally 45 minutes in length, and are facilitated by a knowledgeable staff member from the Programs Department. Workshops and presentations are highly interactive and give the students opportunities to test, explore and investigate concepts, rather than simply listen to a lecture. Workshops cost an additional $3 per student, per workshop, to the base $5.50 admission price.

Want the Riverfront Museum to come to you? Check out our new School Outreach Programs

Jr. Geologist
Target Grade Levels: Kindergarten-2, or 3-5
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: Classroom 1 or 2

Chalky, speckled, striped, heavy, and even shiny! Rocks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! In this hands-on workshop, students will learn all about rocks: where we can find them, how they are formed, and what we can learn from studying them. Students will also have an opportunity for hands-on exploration of specimens from the museum’s rock and mineral collection, create their own rocks from play dough, and even pick out a real rock to take home to start their very own collection!

Bigger Busier Bees
Target Grade Levels: Kindergarten-2
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: Classroom 2

Students will learn about the life-cycle and roles of honeybees, what goes on inside a beehive. They will also learn how bees communicate with each other, how they pollinate flowers, and how they produce honey. The program culminates with students using “bee bots,” an exciting robot designed for use by young learners, and in using bee bot, students will practice critical programming skills, like sequential reasoning, to complete simple tasks.

Scratch Computer Programming
Target Grade Levels: 3-9
Capacity: One class, approximately 20 students
Location: Studio 3

In this unique technology-focused workshop, students will be introduced to the exciting world of computer programming. Through group discussion, journaling, demonstration, and hands-on participation, students will begin to develop a familiarity with programming terms and computational reasoning skills. The workshop will culminate in a student-led exploration of MIT’s innovate Scratch computer programming software, as students work in pairs to design and write the code for their own interactive computer presentation.
*One hour in length

Folding Paper Workshop
Target Grade Levels: 4-8
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Classroom

Description: Students will learn about the history of paper and paper-making, getting the opportunity to make their own homemade recycled paper. During the artistic process, they will also learn about the industrial papermaking process and be able to compare and contrast the two methods. Students will then learn about the history of origami, as well as the different types of origami. Each student will create a piece of origami to take home.

Electricity & Magnets
Target Grade Levels: 4-6
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Classroom

Description: Students explore the connection between electricity and magnets, including how electricity can make magnets move, and how moving magnets can create electricity. Included in the workshop materials are magnets, batteries, copper wires, a Van de Graaff generator, a Leyden Jar, and more!

Light Spectrum
Target Grade Levels: 4-12
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Classroom

Description:  Students will participate in hands-on experiments to explore the spectrum of light. First they will recreate Isaac Newton’s famous experiment demonstrating that white light is a mixture of all the colors of the rainbow. Next they will experiment with sunscreen and black light to detect the presence of invisible light beyond the violet end of the rainbow: ultraviolet. And finally, they will use a thermal camera to see how they glow with their own invisible light beyond the red end of the spectrum: infrared.

Extreme Worlds!
Target Grade Levels: 4-12
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Classroom

Description: Students will learn about the characteristics of the planets and moons in our solar system. They will also experience the extreme conditions found throughout the solar system, by interacting with hands-on demos involving dry ice, sulfur, liquid nitrogen, and air pressure. They will gain an appreciation of how incredible the Earth is, and how important it is to protect the planet.

Mississippian Culture
Target Grade Levels: 4+
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: Object Theater

Description: The Mississippian culture flourished from about 900 CE to 1450 CE. Its people were noted to be one of the first prehistoric Native American groups to move from a nomadic lifestyle to a stationary lifestyle. In this presentation, students learn about the Mississippians, their society and technology, and their eventual decline. Students also interact with hands-on artifacts and artifact replicas of the Mississippian culture.

Moon Mission
Target Grade Levels: 3-8
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Classroom

Description: Students will explore characteristics of the Moon and its cycles. With hands-on activities, we will explore why the Moon phases, how its appearance changes over one Moonth, and demonstrate the size of the Earth compared to the Moon, and the distance between the two objects.

Size and Scale
Target Grade Levels: 3-12
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Classroom

Description: Students will participate in hands-on activities that help them to understand the size and scale of space, comparing the size of the planets and the distances between planets. Teachers may choose 2 activities:
A. Bin of Balls Activity
Grades 6-12; Students will pick pairs of balls from a bin containing hundreds of
different sized balls, and figure out for which two planets/satellites they represent
the proper scale sizes.
B. Toilet Paper Roll Solar System
Grades 3-9; Using incremented “Astronomical Unit” paper, students will make
models of the solar system, showing accurately the relative distances between the planets.
C. Worlds in Comparison
Grades 3-10; Students will use play dough to make scale models of the planets, to
discover the relative sizes of the planets. Students should have covered fractions before attending this workshop. (Please note that the clay is only for workshop use. Students may not take their scale models home with them.)
D. The Peoria Community Solar System
All grades; Students will get an overview of Peoria’s large scale model showing size and
distance of the Sun and planets on the same scale.
E. Planet Bottles
Grades 3-9; Compare the weight of a standard water bottle on each of the planets.

Stream Table Investigations
Target Grade Levels: 5-12
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Lab

Description: This program takes place in the River Science Lab and utilizes the museum’s stream table. A stream table shows, in miniature, how streams flow through a watershed and how they behave when the water level changes.

Weather
Target Grade Levels: 4-8
Capacity: One class, approximately 25 students
Location: River Lab

Description: Students will learn about how the water cycle and the characteristics of Air, Water, Earth, and Sun determine weather we experience everyday. Students will make hot air rise and cold air fall, and cause simulated cloud drops to float in the air. Concludes with a demonstration of our Tornado Cannon.