Top STEM Activities at OCM
It's been awhile since we've had the chance to visit the Omaha Children's Museum, but we were there recently and it was a fantastic experience for the whole family. We're a home school family, so I'm always looking for fun ways for the kids to explore different ideas and concepts we've been learning about. It just so happens the Children's Museum is the perfect place for this kind of supplementary education for the kids, especially when it comes to STEM (STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
Applied learning is a cornerstone of the museum. Everything there has an educational purpose for kids to help them explore various aspects of our world. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite STEM activities. These are perfect for homeschoolers as well as anyone who wants to give their kids some additional hands on learning about our world.
Top 10 STEM Activities at the Omaha Children's Museum
1. Science Theater
This is the obvious science stop at the Children's Museum. Kids will explore science concepts on various topics. Last time we were there it was science related to Star Wars!
2. Special Exhibits
The Children's Museum partners with different local organizations to share some awesome special exhibits with the community. When we were there last the kids had the opportunity to learn about different sea creatures with the touch tank, had a conservation discussion with the resident mermaid, learned about aquaponics, explored an interactive topographic map, and more!
My brother-in-law is a mechanic and my kid’s love visiting his shop to watch him work on cars, trucks and tractors. With the Walker Tire & Auto Service Center at the museum, the kids can get some hands on experience with various tools a mechanic might use.
4. Water Table
I'm in love with the new Play Along The Platte River Water Table at the Omaha Children's Museum. It's set up at various heights to accommodate kids of different ages, it twists and turns to make extra space for more kids to play at one time, plus it covers a variety of science topics! Everything from the water cycle, habitats, water flow and flooding.
5. Science & Technology Center
I think this is one of the more popular areas of the Children's Museum. The Charlie Campbell Science Center is home to the Super Gravitron, a giant ball machine that allows kids the opportunity to explore concepts of pneumatics, hydraulics and mechanics. Kids can spend hours in there dropping balls in different parts and watching where they come out next. There are all kinds of science concepts at work in this area.
6. Tinker Lab
The Tinker Lab is exactly what it sounds like. A space for kids to make things and explore how different things work. They can assemble, disassemble, repurpose, create and more.
7. Medical Technology
One of my kid’s favorite spaces in the Imagination Playground is the Children's Hospital and Medical Center. Here kids can give each other check ups using stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, use the interactive x-ray machine to learn about their body, and practice caring for babies. It's a great place for learning some medical technology as well as role-playing for a possible future career!
Also in the Imagination Playground are opportunities to learn about money. This is a great way for kids to practice concepts related to addition and subtraction, as well as applying what they know to real world scenarios at the First National Bank Branch or Hy-Vee Grocery Store. They can be customers, cashiers, tellers and more.
9. Family Discovery Room
We didn't make it into the Family Discovery Room before the end of our last visit, but I'm definitely checking it out next time we're there to see what it has to offer. When it's not being used for day programming families with younger kids can check it out to explore math, science and literacy concepts.
10. Current Science Events
Recently NASA's Juno space probe reached Jupiter and the Omaha Children's Museum was celebrating! They encouraged kids to use their imaginations related to space to get creative and design their own space creatures. Such a wonderful way to get kids excited about the space program and keep kids interested in current events.
These are 10 of my favorite STEM activities at the Omaha Children's Museum; I'd love to hear yours!
About the guest blogger
Mary is a military spouse who works from home while homeschooling her kids in Omaha. She writes the popular blog, Living the Sunshine Life.