At-Home Learning Resources

As our community adjusts to the dramatic but necessary changes to our daily lives, the MOST is committed to providing hands-on science learning experiences, even from afar. The MOST will feature a new STEAM Activity every day that you can try at home! Plus, check out daily science links, online STEM contests, exhibit features and videos, and more.

Click the titles below to expand our awesome activities! Activities labeled SF are considered Sensory Friendly. To find out more, click here.

We have also opened a free Student Science Hotline so that our science educators can assist and encourage students with homework questions, invention ideas, and more.

We recommend adult supervision for all science experiments, both for everyone’s safety and for a better learning experience! Remember to ask questions before, during, and after the experiment about what they think will happen, what they notice/observe, and what they learned. Encouraging discovery and curiosity are fundamental to the learning process! 

Engineering Design & Scientific Method

Balloon Rocket

Explore how rockets BLAST OFF using Newton’s Laws of Motion in this exciting homemade rocket activity! (No jet fuel required!)

MOST Marble Run MAKE Challenge [SF]:

Join us in starting the MOST MARBLE RUN MAKE CHALLENGE! Draw up a design, gather supplies from around the house, and test your creation to see if it can move a marble 5 feet from start to finish. Check out some advice and examples from TinkerLab for inspiration. This activity is a great introduction to the engineering design process, part of the NGSS Science Standards for NYS, but it’s also a fun challenge to try as a family! Send us photos of your marble run designs, and we’ll share them!

Citizen Heart Rate Experiment:

Participate in our Citizen Science Heart Rate Experiment! Citizen Science is the term for when the public helps contribute to scientific research. The MOST is conducting its very own citizen science experiment about the effect of exercise on heart rate, and we need your help! Follow the instructions on the activity sheet, then submit your data and check out how your numbers compare to the data from other citizen scientists who have submitted.

Visit this page for activity sheet, a link to submit data, and a view of a live online data chart.

At-Home Museum [SF]:

Until you can visit the MOST again, kids can try making their very own Home Museum! Encourage them to choose objects that are important to them or the family, label and catalog each one, design an exhibit to show them off, and share! Museum-making is a great way to connect as a family, and also to introduce social sciences like anthropology, archaeology, history, and more.

If you’d like to consider donating to our at-home programming, please click here. Any amount helps!

Sort It Out [SF]:

Young children are natural scientists — they observe, touch, test, ask questions, and explore! But at their age, STEM learning doesn’t have to mean rocket science – it’s about fostering their natural scientific thinking! Activities like Sort it Out, for example, help encourage observation, description, categorization, and classification – ideas that apply across all STEM fields!

Sandwich Maker [SF]:

Kids too young to code can still start to learn the concepts behind how computers work! Try out this fun family activity to explore how computers follow directions “literally” — and how the end result can get pretty messy (and sometimes silly)

Bouncing Balls [SF]:

Parents can introduce the scientific method at an early age — it’s as simple as guess, test, repeat! Capture your child’s love for bouncy ball fun in this experiment that introduces the concept of making and testing a hypothesis. (It’s a great pairing with the Scientific Method Song from Ready Jet Go on PBS!)

Physical Science (Chemistry & Physics)

Measuring Volume [SF]:

To find out the volume of something, all you need is a measuring cup and some water! For this activity, just drop in your object, do the math, and the mystery object is revealed!

Homemade Spectroscope [SF]:

In the rainy days of spring, you might be able to see a rainbow – but do you know how a rainbow is formed? Easy to do at home, this activity lets you build your own Spectroscope and discover the secrets of the visible light spectrum!

Air Pressure:

Even though you can’t see it, air pressure shapes the world you live in! Test out how it works with this fascinating experiment that’s easy to try at home – just have an adult light the match!

Fizzy Egg [SF]:

Perfect for younger scientists, try out some sensory kitchen science with our new Fizzy Egg experiment! Explore color mixing and the chemistry of acids and bases in this simple activity!

Light Refraction [SF]:

Water has some pretty special properties, and we’re testing one of them today! Discover the secrets of water and light refraction along with us – all you need to get started is a glass jar.

Super Sand [SF]:

Super scientists can make super sand using the power of chemistry! Great for outdoors play in the yard,  driveway, or sidewalk, and perfect for sensory learners.

Syracuse Crunch Slapshot Science:

Professional hockey players have recorded slapshots as fast as100 MPH (160 KM). They make it look easy, but there’s a lot ofscience behind this famous hockey shot! Let’s take a look at the physics at work in the slapshot, and explore ways that science can help improve our shots.

Magic Sandwich [SF]:

We’ve said it before: sometimes science can seem like MAGIC! Today, we’re playing with POLYMERS and discovering the versatile properties of these amazing substances! Discover the magic behind polymers along with us by trying out your very own Magic Sandwich Bag trick!

Underwater Volcano [SF]:

Create an easy (and not very messy!) underwater volcano using our simple instructions! This activity is perfect for elementary school kids, who will love watching the “lava” rise to the top!

Salt Water Ice Cubes [SF]:

Why do we spread salt on the sidewalk during the winter? Find out for yourself in this new Ice Cube experiment — record your results and let us know what you’ve discovered!

Newton’s Penny Drop [SF]:

A little physics and some sleight of hand are basically all you need for this simple “magic trick” experiment! Like this!

Brilliant Bubbles [SF]:

You don’t need fancy bubble soap and wands to enjoy some playful bubble time with your toddlers! Plus, older kids can use bubbles to explore the role of surface tension, hydrophobic , or the molecular structure of water! Check out our bubble recipe and get popping!

Math Scavenger Hunt [SF]:

Math isn’t just equations on a chalkboard – it’s all around us! Discover the geometry of daily life (and get off the couch!) with the MOST’s Math Scavenger Hunt — who knew math could be so moving?

Density Jar & Floating Eggs:

It’s time to SINK or SWIM! Explore density with two new colorful, magical hands-on experiments for all ages — using only basic kitchen ingredients! 

Invisible Ink:

Using basic chemistry, you can send “invisible” messages just like a secret agent… For younger children or a simpler method, try using a blowdryer instead of a candle flame.)

Making Room for More:

Everyone could use a little more chocolate right now, so we love this “Infinite Chocolate Bar trick” that we’ve seen making the rounds online! It may seem like magic, but it’s really the magic of MATH! Grab a chocolate bar (or paper/cardboard) and get to work on your very own infinite chocolate bar

Shark Buoyancy:

Sharks are known as agile predators — but what helps them swim with ease through the ocean deeps? Find out in this easy buoyancy activity that explores the special equipment that helps sharks and fish float!

Make Some Sound (Tissue Box Guitar) & Make Some Sound (Popsicle Stick Harmonica):

Sound is produced by vibration — but not all objects produce the same vibrations! Test different objects and the the vibrations (sounds) they make with today’s homemade instrument activities!

Pepper & Soap [SF]:

You can’t SEE germs, so it may be hard to explain to kids how important hand-washing is! Try out this simple experiment at home that demonstrates the power of SOAP and how it works to wash away dirt and germs.

Naked Eggs [SF]:

It’s not magic, it’s chemistry! Dissolve an egg’s shell without cracking it open in our newest at-home activity, The Naked Egg!

Milk & Soap [SF]:

Use the chemistry of soap to create milk paintings in this STEAM activity, perfect for teaching little ones about the power of soap AND bringing out their inner artist!

Bread Baking [SF]:

Baking can be a great family activity, and it’s an easy way to bring STEM learning into the kitchen! Behind every loaf of bread like the one in today’s activity, there is CHEMISTRY! Warm water reacts with the yeast, which feeds on the sugar and creates carbon dioxide bubbles. The warm water also forms gluten when combined with the flour, which helps hold the carbon dioxide bubbles inside the bread as it bakes — which is why the bread puffs up in the oven!  Check a slice of the bread once it’s baked for little air pockets – that’s the trapped carbon dioxide!

Color Blending Cups [SF]:

Cool Chemistry Alert! Explore capillary action (how liquid can flow against gravity) right in your kitchen with this color-blending experiment! (Fun Fact: Capillarity was first observed by Leonardo da Vinci!

Beautiful Butterflies [SF]:

Science can be beautiful! Try out this STEAM craft that uses the power of capillary action (how liquid can flow against gravity) to create colorful butterflies using basic household supplies. Perfect for the little ones!

Scratch & Sniff [SF]:

Discover the crazy chemistry behind JELLO with these great science illustrations! Then, use the science of gelatin to make your own scratch & sniff art!

Salt Dough [SF]:

What can YOU create? Make your own batch of the MOST’s kid-tested, non-toxic maker dough, then ‘fire’ your creations for permanent display! It’s endless creativity and kitchen science together in one!

Oobleck [SF]:

Use basic kitchen ingredients to make Oobleck, then conduct an experiment to see if it behaves like a solid or a liquid!

Homemade Lava Lamp [SF]:

Use ingredients from around the house to make your own chemistry lava lamp! Discuss density, chemical reactions, and more as you watch the colored bubbles rise to the top!

Crafting Crystals [SF]:

Use the science of evaporation to create fun geode crystals overnight! Make the mixture the day before, add food coloring, and wait until morning for your crystals to form!

Earth & Space Science

Earth Layers [SF]:

Did you know that there’s a whole world below our feet that we can’t see? Explore the geologic secrets of our planet by making your own Earth Layer Spinner!

Constellation Cups [SF]:

Constellation Cups MOST Activity Sheet

If the weather isn’t right for stargazing outdoors, you can use basic household materials to make your own Constellation Cups! Use them like a personal telescope viewer, or grab a flashlight and turn your bedroom into a planetarium. We’ve provided a basic constellation template to get you started, but you can create any constellation using our simple instructions!

Stellarium [SF]:

If you love the Silverman Planetarium at the MOST, check out this free planetarium software from Stellarium! Users can explore a realistic 3D night sky, watch visuals of shooting stars and eclipses, and trace dozens of constellations — all from home! MOST Educators prepared a brief introduction to get you started.

Crafting Crystals [SF]:

Use the science of evaporation to create fun geode crystals overnight! Make the mixture the day before, add food coloring, and wait until morning for your crystals to form!

Rock Candy [SF]:

Scientists with a sweet tooth will love this Rock Candy activity that is part chemistry experiment, part candy recipe! Wait and watch as the crystals grow,  then enjoy the sweet rewards of scientific inquiry!

Orbiting Marbles:

What would the solar system look like if it could fit in your hand? How do the planets orbit the sun? Draw your own solar system model on a paper plate, then use marbles to simulate the orbiting planets and moons to create a handheld solar system of your own! What else can you think of that has an ORBIT?

Life Science

Prehistoric Pottery [SF]:

Anthropologists are social scientists who study humans – their remains, cultures, languages, behaviors, and societies.  Discover more about the cultures of our past with our open-ended STEAM activity: Prehistoric Pottery!

Exploring Fingerprints [SF]:

Aspiring forensic scientists can practice identifying fingerprints using basic materials around the house! Check out our Fingerprinting activity, and track down the culprit of your own household mystery!

Watch a Science Documentary – Aliens of the Deep [SF]:

Aliens of the Deep Teacher’s Guide & Aliens of the Deep MOST Guide

One of our favorites from the Bristol IMAX Omnitheater at the MOST is Aliens of the Deep, now available on streaming services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Check out the documentary, then try some of the cool hands-on activities in the Teacher’s Guide our science educators use.

Dinosaur Feet [SF]:

How BIG really were the dinosaurs? Grab your sidewalk chalk and find out! Explore how scientists use footprint tracking to discover the secrets of the dinosaurs, and compare the size of your foot to the track of a real dinosaur.

Garden Science [SF]:

With warmer weather right around the corner, try out this seed germination experiment! This is the perfect starter activity for families who want to garden together this spring — which we think is the perfect sensory STEM learning experience! 

Citizen Heart Rate Experiment:

Participate in our Citizen Science Heart Rate Experiment! Citizen Science is the term for when the public helps contribute to scientific research. The MOST is conducting its very own citizen science experiment about the effect of exercise on heart rate, and we need your help! Follow the instructions on the activity sheet, then submit your data and check out how your numbers compare to the data from other citizen scientists who have submitted.

Visit this page for activity sheet, a link to submit data, and a view of a live online data chart.

Fun STEM Links, Videos, Games, & More!

  • Crash Course Kids offers free high quality, kid-friendly videos in STEM topics, from engineering and space science to physical science, animals, and more! Our educators love the great science animations — and that they’re all available for free on Youtube!
  • Children (and grown-ups!) who love space can check in every day with NASA for the Astronomy Picture of the Day! Each day NASA provides a different image or photograph of our universe, explained by a professional astronomer!
  • If your children are feeling anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, PBS Kids offers some great suggestions for de-stressing, and some great resources for learning and support through local station WCNY: Stay Connected.
  • Attention HAM Radio enthusiasts and fans of K2MST amateur radio at the MOST! The 2020 HAM Radio Science Workshop on March 20-21 is now virtual — and free! Hear from the HAM radio experts, learn about citizen science radio projects, and discover how auroras affect amateur radios!
  • Steve Spangler Science Team will be sharing “50 Experiments for 50 Days”!
  • Try out the yoga adventures over at Cosmic Kids Yoga, available in Spanish and English. We especially love the Space Picnic, but there’s a little bit of everything from animals and fairy tales to ninjas and superheros — plus, breathing and calming strategies for dealing with nightmares, bullies, and antsy legs!
  • We know that adults love science just as much as kids, and with lots of confusing and conflicting reports about COVID-19, we thought we’d share our love for Live Science. Live Science is a reliable news site featuring exciting recent scientific discoveries — from dark matter and the quantum internet to live updates and science on the Coronavirus pandemic. Plus, check out their discussion forums for engaging scientific conversation — and ideas for Home Education!
  • Love Citizen Science projects like our Citizen Science Heart Rate Experiment? Try out some other amazing projects you can participate in from National Geographic.
  • We host the Nikon Small World Exhibit every year from March through May, and unfortunately weren’t able to physically display the talent this year due to COVID-19. If you love our Nikon Small Word Exhibit, check out the wonderful work on the website!
  • How do you answer your child’s questions about social distancing or their fears about getting sick? Psychology and pediatric experts provide some helpful guidance in this new report from The Guardian.
  • Handwashing is a family activity! Learn how to teach children good hand-washing habits and explore the science behind the effectiveness of soap and water with this activity suggestion from the CDC.
  • Check out ASAP Science and watch them make science make sense.
  • As spring arrives, we recommend family stargazing! Spend a quiet, relaxing evening outdoors observing the night sky and searching for constellations. NASA provides monthly skywatching tips so you know what to look for at every time of year!
  • Check out our MOST Science Minutes for fun science experiments!
  • Check out 4-H Stem Lab for lots of high-quality at-home STEM activities.
  • Looking for activities organized by grade? Look for daily modules with home learning from Scholastic.
  • Marine Biology fans will love exploring the ocean’s mysteries in this Deep Sea interactive. Scroll down to dive deeper and deeper below the ocean’s surface, exploring the marine life that lives at each depth! What will you find at the bottom?
  • Fans of STEM Story Time will love Storyline Online! Read by celebrities and free to access, each storytime video comes with a parent activity guide for snacks, learning activities, and games that pair with the book!
  • Fun, free coding activities online at Code.org — great for middle schoolers!
  • Check out Twitter for a fun live feed of the VLA radio telescope array at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • Check out the Smithsonian’s Learning Lab for great at-home activities, videos, and more.
  • Cool online game for future meteorologists!
  • Amazing Web VR experience that allows you to explore the surface of Mars as mapped by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
  • Cool link: Print & fold your own NASA Space Shuttle Glider!
  • Anyone up for a MULTIPLICATION WAR? Fun games, worksheets in Math and other topics, here.
  • Cool science podcast from WNYC.
  • Want to learn more about tinkering and STEM through fun projects and games? Check out this website here! This website is special because our good friend, McKenna, researched and discovered it. We encourage all students, like McKenna, to send the MOST links and ideas like this to help other students. Great job, McKenna!
  • Polluting a fish for Earth Day (or any day, really!). 
  • Here are free stories and cool activities to explore.
    Did you know: Happy people are healthier people?
    Learn something new and have fun!
  • Welcome to the GeoGarage!  This is where we get our hands dirty…with science!  After we make our observations, gather data and form a hypothesis, we come here to test things out.