A typical field trip to the Science Learning Center (SLC) involves an activity led by our staff, and free exploration time for students to explore the exhibits around the SLC. The field trip can be adjusted to fit you desired timeframe, but generally activities will last between 30-45 minutes and free exploration is 10-15 minutes. Specific timeframes can be discussed when a field trip request is submitted.
The SLC can accommodate one class at a time, up to 30 students. If you are planning to bring more students than that, you may be asked to split the students into multiple groups, visiting the SLC at different times in a rotation.
There is no admission fee to the SLC, but we do take donations. A suggested donation of $1 per student for field trips is more than welcome, but not mandatory.
Below is a list of activities you choose from when visiting the Science Learning Center on a field trip. You will indicate your desired activity on the field trip request.
*Note: If you would prefer your students do an activity related to a different topic than the activities listed below, please make a request in the "Additional Comments" section on the request. We may be able to accommodate a different activity depending on timing and available resources.
3rd Grade+ | Up to 30 students
Students will be immersed in the Engineering Design Process (EDP) by being challenged with building a tower using only index cards and limited amount of tape that meets certain weight requirements (e.g. holds a stuffed animal, etc.) Students will be tasked with planning, building, testing and improving their tower working in groups of 2-4. Each step of the EDP will be highlighted.
4th Grade + | Up to 30 students
Students working in groups of 2-4 will be tasked with engineering an earthquake-resistant tower using limited supplies. Groups are given a basic building structure for which students must identify features that would be unsafe during an earthquake. They must modify the structures (reducing sliding and shearing) to withstand testing on our earthquake simulators. Students will have access to a large supply of building materials to help, but must stay under a given budget, requiring groups to plan out and draw models of their buildings prior to building, just as an engineer would.
1st Grade + | Up to 30 students
Students will have the opportunity to observe and study different invertebrates (critters), identifying their unique characteristics and behaviors. Older students will also identify researchable questions related to the critters, then plan and carry out an investigation to attempt to answer their question.
3rd Grade + | Up to 30 Students
Students will observe collisions between toy cars in different situations, recognizing patterns and noting cause and effect. They will make predictions about outcomes of future collisions based on their observations and redesign cars so as to minimize the effects of a collision. The science concepts used to drive this activity can be modified for different age groups, including conservation of energy, potential vs. kinetic energy, forces and Newton's Second Law.
4th Grade + | Up to 24 students
In this activity, teams of students observe how water causes erosion and deposition of sediments using small stream tables. The effects of different variables are explored (amount of water, rate of water flow, position of sediments, etc.) Students will be asked to predict the effects of water flow and then examine before and after data (drawings) to see whether their predictions were accurate. Older students may also use drawings of erosion patterns to interpret satellite images.
Wednesdays from 2:00pm-4:00pm
Tired of your textbook? Curious about critters? Scared of science?
If you are a student/staff/faculty member of CSULB and interested in visiting the Science Learning Center, we have Open House hours every Wednesday from 2:00pm-4:00pm (excluding campus holidays). Drop by and see what we are up to!