Stay Home,
Stay Curious

These days, many of us are staying home and socially distant—but we can remain connected as a community through our shared experiences and support for one another.

During this temporary closure, OMSI is continuing its mission to provide informal science education across the region by sharing crafted and curated science activities that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Science at Home


For over 75 years, OMSI has been the home of science education for the region. We remain committed to sparking curiosity and igniting imaginations, even if it can't happen at the museum right now. 

 

We can't wait until we can open the museum doors and welcome you back, but until then, the learning doesn't have to stop—we'll just do it a little differently.

 

Experiments and Demonstrations

Experience the wonder of science from wherever you are, with people in your household or virtually with your friends! We hope these engaging at home activities will keep you curious—and inspire you to conduct your own experiments, do your own research, and share what you're discovering using #ForTheLoveofScience.

 

Videos

Before OMSI’s doors were temporarily closed, our educators filmed some interesting and easy science experiments! You can even try these activities with items you might already have.

Why is Social Distancing Important?

See what happens when a "virus" rolls through a community of dominoes—then set up your own experiment at home.

How to Keep a Lab Notebook

Learn how to use a lab notebook to record information and conduct an experiment—in this case, how to make the stickiest slime!

Density

Learn about density (the measure of how many things are in a given space) and how to create a sugar rainbow.

How to Observe and Measure Biodiversity

Discover and measure the biodiversity within an ecosystem in your favorite nature spot.

How to Observe Animals and Make a Bar Graph

See how to count the animals near you and create a scientific chart with your data.

Name That Cone

Learn how to identify pinecones from some of Oregon's conifer species.

The Science Behind String Telephones

Learn how to build a low-tech string telephone and how soundwaves travel through a simple piece of string.

Why Do We Wash with Soap for 20 Seconds?

See how soap molecules remove bacteria and viruses from our skin—and why we need to take our time when washing our hands.

A Tasty Look at the Scientific Method

See how scientists use "the scientific method" to figure out the answers to their questions.

How to Make a Static Electricity Butterfly

Learn how you can turn electricity into art, using a balloon and paper!

Learn Basic Knot Tying

Find a piece of rope or string at home and learn how to tie a few basic knots!

How to Build a Campfire

Can you build a lean-to? A log cabin? Learn about what goes into building a fire—and how to put it out safely.

Activities 

Looking for quick, fun science activities? Grab some materials from around your home and start experimenting.

Create a neutrally-buoyant "plankton" that barely floats or sinks slowly!
Instructions

What sounds can you hear? Where are they coming from?
Instructions

Want to investigate fingerprints, just like a detective? Use chemistry!
Instructions

Did you know everyone has a hole in their vision? Can you find yours?
Instructions

Become a structural engineer—and see your bricks survive the fall!
Instructions

Do you love music? Make your very own membranophone at home!
Instructions

Go outside and find out out what's living in your backyard.
Instructions

Learn about the pieces of a flower and how pollinators help it reproduce.
Instructions

Events and Programs

Looking for more in-depth educational videos or lectures while you're home? Catch up with OMSI's Science Pubs and explore the galaxy with Space Science presentations:

Watch Past Science Pubs

Bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for knowledge!

Watch Space Science Presentations

Take in these immersive tours of our stellar galaxy.

Follow Us


Join us on our social channels to stay up to date on the latest videos, DIY science activities, and more!

Additional Resources

Hundreds of interactive resources and websites have been created and shared to keep curiosity going—we’re all adjusting to new ways of learning and staying connected! We wanted to share a list of some of our favorite resources and things to do and see while you’re staying in: 

Animal 
Space 
  • NASA's Space Place offers fun ways to explore our earth, the solar system and more through games and projects. 
  • Story Time from Space with astronaut Anne McClain, who reads "Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader" from the International Space Station.
STEAM 
  • The FabLab with Crazy Aunt Lindsay has daily science activities, puzzles, stories, and more.
  • Autodesk's TinkerCad is a free, web-based CAD software that lets you design whatever you can imagine in 3D.
  • Pacific Science Center sparks curiosity at home with hands-on STEM activities for learners of all ages. 
  • Association of Science and Technology Centers has a detailed list of science center websites with educational content.
  • Mystery Science offers completely digital mini-lessons and full activity-based lessons for grades K–5.
  • Exploratorium has engaging videos and activities related to timely topics for your virtual classroom or learning together at home.
  • Wide Open School has activities from organizations like PBS, Scholastic, Khan Academy, National Geographic and more for educators and families to enjoy with PreK–12 students. 
  • Portland Urban Coyote Project tracks coyote sightings in Portland using reported data from citizens, with interesting data, photos, and videos to explore.
  • Amazing Educational Resources has a spreadsheet of companies and websites with virtual tours, books, games, activities, and more.
  • PBS Kids helps find ways to play by offering different games for ages 2–8. 
  • Ologies provides unusual podcast stories about complex topics, including virology, vexillology and more.
History 
Natural World
  • NPS/Google offers guided virtual tours of five National Parks via Google. 
  • Meet the Ocean podcast: Hear stories about the ocean and encounters with marine animals as told by scientists, explorers, and others.

Relief

Thank you for supporting OMSI’s mission of providing informal science education across the region.