See ‘Sid the Science Kid’ at the Please Touch Museum
The exhibit opens February 3 and runs through May 6.
“Hey, Sid, whaddaya say? Whatcha wanna learn today?” A new interactive exhibit based on the PBS show Sid the Science Kid is opening at the Please Touch Museum, and your own “science kids” will not want to miss it!
The exhibit — “Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit!” — runs from February 3 through May 6, and focuses on STEM learning for little ones. Using the settings and situations from the show, kids will discover and investigate everyday science questions through age-appropriate lessons on basic concepts like simple machines and the laws of motion.
The exhibit is organized into five different places from the show, and each has its own set of experiments, questions, and discoveries. Here is your guide to each of them, plus some tips for making the most of your visit.
The first thing your kids will probably notice when you walk into the exhibit is the giant treehouse. Kids will be introduced to simple machines by using a pulley system to send stuffed animals up and down the little bucket elevator. They will also learn about sound traveling with a phone system that links them with a playmate outside the treehouse!
In the kitchen, kids can use their senses as they smell different spices, pretend to cook and serve healthy meals, and recognize and create patterns in different foods. There is also a space for them to hypothesize and experiment about the weights of different items from the pantry. Visit with the family (even Baby Zeke sitting in his highchair!) at the kitchen table for “Breakfast Time.” Don’t forget to pose with Sid outside his house!
Head over to the desk and design your own ““Super-Duper-Ooper-Schmooper Big Idea” invention by drawing on a touch screen. Kids can also play in the block corner and learn about measurements, or the toy shelf to test their memory with a fun little matching game. But the best part of his room is definitely on the bed, where kids can use a shovel catapult to launch toys into the toy box (and learn about levers and force along the way).
This is where your kids’ curiosity will really take off. First, there’s the Super Fab Lab with all kinds of science experiments—play with magnets, learn about sound frequency by stretching different width rubber bands across a box, magnify creepy crawly bugs onto a giant screen, and create a journal to take home and record your findings.
Next, cross over to the classroom where you will learn about friction or air power — or you can just curl up on the rug and read one of the many STEM-themed books on the shelf. The classroom also has a dress-up corner entirely made up of costumes of scientific professions, so kids can dress like an astronaut, an engineer, a doctor, and more.
“Sid the Science Kid” is the largest special exhibit the Please Touch Museum has ever had, extending into what used to be the activities room (look for an expanded Creative Arts Studio later this year!). In place of the art room that once was, there’s an indoor playground especially perfect for rainy day play!
There’s a big jungle gym with lots of climbing and slides, of course, but also with a machine you can turn to send tennis balls traveling from the floor to the top where they will come bouncing down.
There is also a giant screen where kids can select a favorite song from the show to play, complete with a dance floor so they can follow along! Fair warning: you will have “I’m Looking for my Friends” in your head for the rest of the day.
More to Do!
During the exhibit’s run, the Please Touch Museum’s events will focus on STEM topics, too. There will be storytimes, art projects, performances, and other activities all with STEM themes, from building to experimentation.
To top it all off, Sid himself will be making appearances every week! He’ll be in Hamilton Hall for meet-and-greets every Tuesday and on weekends (check the schedule for dates and times).
“Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit!” runs from February 3 — May 6, and is free with museum admission and for museum members. The Please Touch Museum, at 4231 Avenue of the Republic in Philadelphia, is open from 9 am — 5 pm Monday — Saturday, and 11 am — 5 pm on Sundays.
Photographs by Laura Swartz.