Workshop Topics

Electricity and Magnetism

What is electricity? What is magnetism? Are electricity and magnetism related? Where does electricity come from? How do magnets work? What is static electricity? What is electric current? What are volts, amperes, and ohms? Who are Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta, and why do scientists hold these two men in such high regard? Want to learn more about electricity and magnetism? Then sign up for this exciting workshop NOW, while there's still room!


Our home planet, Earth, is a fascinating laboratory in which Nature carries out its myriad experiments. We're sure you ask many questions about our home world: How old is the Earth? How did it form? Were the continents always in their present locations? What are these rocks and minerals that make up the Earth, and how did they originate? How do volcanoes form? What is this thing called "plate tectonics"? If you want to learn more about our Earth, then don't miss this workshop!


The names "Teflon", "Kevlar", "Nylon", and "Rayon" are commonly used in our language. Yet, eighty years ago, these words did not exist. Teflon and the other three names describe compounds known as polymers, which are repreating units of a particular molecule that form a much larger version of that original single molecule. Polymers play a vital role in our everyday lives, from plastics to fabrics (for clothing) to optical materials to _____________ (You fill in the blank!). To learn more about polymers and the roles polymers play in our everyday lives, sign up NOW for the polymers workshop!


We humans--and all living things we know of--are complex entities. From the one-celled amoeba and paramecium to the mammals, our planet's life forms provide the students and teachers of science with plenty of fuel for questions and activities. What are cells? What is the structure of a human cell? What is a Drosophila, and have you ever seen one of these beasts under a microscope? How can you tell what's in an owl's diet, just from examining its waste? What is chlorophyll, and what is its role in a plant's food production? If you have more questions about the science of life, sign up TODAY for this popular workshop!

Light and Color

Our world is a world filled with light and color…Some questions you might be asking: Why is the sky blue? What is a rainbow really all about? Why do objects appear larger in a glass of water than they do in air? What is a spectrum? Why do different compounds give off different colors when put into a flame? To learn more about light and color, sign up NOW for this "colorful" and en-"light"-ening workshop!

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About the Science Van Program

What is the CMU Science Van Program?

Who are the "Van Guys"?

Photos of Van visits

Science Van Activities

Some descriptions of workshop topics we have offered.

What types of hands-on classroom activities do you offer? When can you bring one of these to my school?

What is a Science Show? When can you do a Science Show at my school?