New!! GetWET Field Experience (appropriate for 8th through 12th grades – available only in September & October)

The GetWET Observatory is one of two outdoor hands-on groundwater education facilities in the Rocky Mountain Region. Located on CSU property along Spring Creek is a groundwater well field that allows students to study the interaction between the creek and the groundwater. Using the GetWET field backpacks, students study water quality and quantity issues and how they relate to use, conservation, and flooding. This is an OUTDOOR STEM Friday experience.

New!! Salts of the Earth (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

Within the western United States, 28% of irrigated crop land has recently experienced sharp declines in crop productivity due to high salinity in soil and groundwater. Students will join the CSU research team that is studying the problem in the Arkansas River Valley of southeastern Colorado with this kit. They will learn how salinity is measured, where the excess salt comes from and how it moves around in the environment.

Wonder of Wolves (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

With the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado happening this year, science-based information is key to understand the role and effects that wolves have in the ecosystem and with people. Through a series of activities that, when woven together, incorporate social structure, behavior, hunting, diet, tracking, and human perspectives, students will gain a better understanding of how humans and wolves could share the landscape.

Colors of Life (appropriate for 9th through 12th grades)

This kit is unique in that it takes the mystery out of how a spectrometer works by allowing students to assemble a 3D printed digital spectrometer and use it to study physical, chemical and biological concepts. Light will be used to detect changes in pH, measure the melanin that is found in our skin, and image the cellular processes that are controlled by the mitochondria in living yeast.

Bees, Please! (appropriate for 4th through 12th grades)

Bees are one of the most important pollinators of our food crops. Students will become experts on different native bee types and share what they learn about their bee with the class to explore bee biodiversity and behavior. Data from this kit comes from the Native Bee Watch citizen science project that started at CSU and is now being used at the Gardens at Spring Creek (teachers may consider taking their student to visit the Gardens after doing the kit).

Get Critical! (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

How does computer information get from one place to another over great distances so quickly? Students will conduct experiments with optical fibers to learn about reflection, refraction, critical angles, and diffraction. They will also get the opportunity to send old school “text messages” to each other!

Going Viral (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

What are viruses and how does the human immune system work to fight against them? Students will use modeling to explore the epidemiology of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations and herd immunity.

High-Tech Rocks! (appropriate for 8th through 12th grades)

What is the magic behind the technology in our mobile devices? Students become solid-state chemists as they work their way from natural minerals to the production of a simple headphone in this kit.

Pico Pong (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

Everyone loves video games! Students get to explore the interaction between the virtual and physical worlds with this kit by coding the game Pong in the Scratch programming environment using a Raspberry Pi mini-computer. They will then use a Pico sensor board to collect a variety of data. The data can then be used to control the game paddles in different ways (light, pressure, flex, sound and position).

Really Ancient Fossils (appropriate for 4th through 12th grades)

Everyone dreams of being Indiana Jones at some point in their lives! Students will become a paleontologist by excavating a model rock formation and learn how to uncover past events that led to the fossilization of a community of sea creatures millions of years ago.

Secrets of the Hibernators (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

Marmots, ground squirrels, and bears are fascinating animals that may hold the answers to some of the problem that humans face, such as obesity and bone loss. Students will model how hibernator metabolism works through experimentation and take a look at various data to explain how climate change can affect these types of animals.

Vital Ice (appropriate for 6th through 12th grades)

Glaciers are in danger world-wide! Students will analyze data collected from Denali National Park in Alaska in this kit and look for trends over an almost 200-year span by using model ice cores and techniques used by real glaciologist. They will also learn about permafrost (which can be found here in Colorado) using a unique modeling method.