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Discovery Center Labs

The Discovery Center Science Labs address specific Connecticut Science Framework standards and can be applied to a range of grade levels.  In each session, the students themselves will be active participants in performing experiments, discovering the reality behind the science and learning how it can be used to impact their own lives. Each of these programs model one 45 minute classroom period of an inquiry-based series of lessons and all use simple, inexpensive and easy to obtain materials.

  • The complete curriculum package for each program, including all associated and support materials is free for you to download and use by clicking on the “Download Program Package” at the end of programs description.
  • These curriculum packages provide educators with pre-visit, visit and post-visit materials such as classroom lessons, literature links, integrated lessons, performance tasks, embedded tasks, career connections, websites and more.

For additional information and support, it is strongly recommended that teachers attend one of our Professional Development Workshops

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New for 2014: Discovery Space Lab Programs Available for Grades 4–12

Energy through Time and Space

Our new Discovery Space Lab program, Energy through Time and Space, takes you on a million-mile journey under our brand new dome! Investigate the invisible energy that holds the universe together and provides a sustainable climate for life on earth. Return to the beginning of our universe and travel a billion years into the future to discover how our sun and solar system will come to an end. This program runs for 60 minutes and is appropriate for grades 4–12.

Energy through Time and Space is available as an add-on to your field trip for $8 per person; General Admission is required for all field trips. Book online or contact Connecticut Science Center Reservations via email or by calling (860) 520-2150 for more information.

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Classroom Programs (45-minutes)

CT K.3 Weather “What’s The Weather?”

How can human beings adjust and adapt to daily and seasonally changing weather conditions? Is there a repeating pattern to the seasons throughout the year?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Earth PreK-2 #3,5; Life PreK-2 #7


CT 1.1 Positions “Where’s Your Shadow?”

How is a shadow related to an object and what conditions affect that shadow? How are shadows created on Earth and what can a shadow tell us about your location on the Earth and the time of day?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Earth PreK-2 #5


CT 1.2 or 2.2 Plants”It’s Not Easy Being Green”

How do structures such as leaves, stems and roots support growth throughout a plants life cycle? How and why do leaf structures vary among different types of plants? What is the relationship between light and water and plant growth?

Download Program Package


CT 2.1 States of Matter “States of Matter, Matter”

What are the States of Matter and how are they defined? What observable properties are important in identifying the States of Matter?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical PreK-2 #1,2; Physical 3-5 #2


CT 3.1 Properties of Matter “Melting Away”

How does the type of material, its physical properties and size affect how easily heat (and cold) moves through it? How can we use this information to control the temperature in various situations?

Download Program Package


CT 3.4 Earth’s Resources “Don’t Lose Your Cool”

What are some of the factors that affect the thermal insulation quality of a structure and how should we apply that information in our homes and buildings? Earth’s resources are limited! Test materials that help us to reduce, reuse, and recycle resources while keeping buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical 6-8 #14,16


CT 4.3 Erosion “Washing Away”

What are the factors that contribute to erosion and where it occurs? How does this affect the landscape of the Earth over days or millions of years?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical 6-8 #14,16


CT 4.4 Electricity and Magnetism “EM & Me”

How are electricity and magnetism related and how are they combined in electromagnets? What are the special capabilities of these magnets and how can they be used?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Earth 3-5 #12; Earth 6-8 #6


CT 5.1a Sound “Ride The Wave”

What is sound and what is physically happening when a sound is made? Why is one sound different from another and how do musical instruments make their sounds?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Earth 3-5 #12; Earth 6-8 #6


CT 5.1b Light “Light Up Your World”

What happens when light is reflected, refracted or even absorbed? Does light follow a predictable pattern?

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MA Standards: Physical 3-5 #6,7,8,9,10


CT 5.2 Senses “Making Sense of Your Senses”

How do we use our senses in combination to understand what is happening around us? How well can we make decisions when our senses are limited

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical 3-5 #6,7,8,9,10


CT 5.2 Judgment “Snap Decisions”

How much time does it take to get enough information to make an accurate decision? It is one thing to “see”, but quite another to know what you “saw.”

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MA Standards: Physical 3-5 #4,11


CT 6.2 Abiotic Factors “Soil, Water, and Plants”

Investigate particle size to explore how soil porosity and permeability effect water transport and plant growth and learn how different soils are classified.

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CT 6.3 Meteorology “The Me In Meteorology”

How do the temperature, air pressure and humidity combine to create the weather all around us? What are the various instruments we use to measure those factors and conditions and how do they work?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical 3-5 #4,11


CT 7.2b Organ Systems “I Know My Body”

Complex organisms need specialized structures and systems to survive. These systems need food and energy to run! Investigate how the body converts food into energy, and then waht the body does with the waste!

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Earth PreK-2 #5


CT 7.3 Landforms “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do “

How is the Earth’s surface changed by various physical and chemical processes over time and how can we recognize the impact of those forces by looking at various features of the Earth?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical 3-5 #12


CT 8.1 Forces and Motion “Get A Move On”

What factors affect an object’s inertia and how does that inertia affect the object’s motion? What can be done to an object to change how it moves and responds to external forces?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Physical 3-5 #12


CT 9.1 Energy Transformations “Energy Makeovers”

What are the paths that energy takes in changing from one form to another? How are heat, light, motion, sound and electricity related?

Download Program Package

MA Standards: Earth 3-5 #6,10,11; Earth 6-8 #3

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Enrichment Programs (up to 1.5 hours)

The 90 minute Discovery Center Enrichment Programs give students a hand-on experience in an advanced science concept using more sophisticated equipment and techniques than might be possible in a standard classroom. The students themselves will be active participants in these programs, performing experiments and discovering how science connects to their lives.


Energy City

Expanding upon our Energy City gallery, experiment with solar cells, wind power, hydrogen fuel cells and other energy sources. Using both conventional and alternative fuel power plants, design an eco-friendly model town with a power grid. How low can you get its carbon footprint?

Download Program Package


Plastics And Beyond

They can bend and stretch. They can be flexible, or they can be unyielding. They can be a source of pollution or they can be vital to our existence. What are these chemicals? They’re polymers! In this session, students will learn about polymers and how these chains of simple molecules play such a vital role in our everyday lives. Topics will touch on everything from DNA to Nylon to Rubber to Silly Putty.

Download Program Package


Be a Molecular Biologist

Students will discover what is inside themselves that makes them unique. In this lab activity students will extract their own DNA and bring it back to class with them in a necklace. Students will learn techniques used by molecular biologists and will explore the world of forensic investigation to see how DNA fingerprinting is used in helping determine a suspect’s guilt or innocence.

Download Program Package


Discovering Your Senses

Students will discover the role of sensory organs in perceiving stimuli and sending signals to the brain. Why do we need five senses? Using advanced technology, students will explore each of their senses and how they are interconnected. This class will focus on showing different health careers that are associated with each of the five senses.

Download Program Package

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