This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.
A boy mixing glow in the dark solutions at Open Lab Night

Open Lab Night

The Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) invites you to Open Lab Night 2023, an event for the entire community, especially K-12 students. Open Lab Night features STEM activities and demonstrations. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Parking is available in the Bridgewater State University Parking Garage.

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 5:00 – 8:00 PM. The BSU Observatory may be open until 9:00 PM (weather permitting).
Location: 24 Park Ave., Science and Mathematics Center
Registration for Open Lab Night is now open! 

Please contact with any questions.

Make Your Own Button Activity
Join us for a Button Press activity! Learn how to use a button press to make your own buttons of various sizes! Use the BSU logo, the Think Tank logo or draw your own design and personalize your own button!

Make Your Own Sticker Activity
Make stickers with the BSU logo, the Think Tank logo and draw your own stickers. You can learn how to use a Cricut machine for this fun and easy craft project!

Cryptic Diversity: Reveal the Secrets of the Forest at BSU’s Natural History Museum
Have you ever wondered what creatures live in the woods of New England? Stop by the BSU Natural History Collection to encounter the creatures that go bump in the night! You will search for New England’s nocturnal animals using all of your senses and tools like camera traps and acoustic recorders. Our activities will take you through the different senses that creepy crawlers, bloodsuckers and poisonous animals use to hunt and feed! We will teach you how to identify mammal species on camera trap footage, and bats, birds, and frogs on acoustic recorders.

Rock Yoga: Using Play-Doh to Model Rock Deformation and Folding
Can rocks do yoga? The answer is sort of! We will use Play-Doh to explore some of the ways rocks can bend and fold. We will also explore how we see these folds on Earth's surface through geologic maps and models. Rocks may not seem like they are soft (pliable) like Play-Doh, but under the right conditions, they are!

Set in Stone: How the Grand Canyon was Made.
The Grand Canyon is one of nature’s geologic marvels, exposing nearly one billion years of Earth’s history in its cliff walls. How were the rocks of the Grand Canyon made? What carved the canyon? And what can we learn about the past from studying its sides? Join us as we use Play-Doh to explore the ideas of stratigraphy, rock formation, and erosion.

Minerals, Minerals, Everywhere!
Did you know that there are over 4,000 minerals that occur in nature? We can find them everywhere from the rocks beneath our feet, to the homes and buildings we live in, to the foods we eat (pass the salt, please!), even to the jewelry we wear. Come explore our mineral room where we have dozens of beautiful, strange, and surprising samples. We even have some that glow in the dark!

Project EarthMap: Massachusetts
Let’s explore the National Geographic floor map of Massachusetts. Socks required, no shoes or bare feet on the map.

Build and Test a Yagi-Uda Wi-Fi Antenna
The project builds a 2.399 GHz (Wi-Fi) Yagi-Uda antenna and measures a couple of descriptive parameters to see who gets closest to the design goal. Uses a Very Nice Analyzer (VNA) also known as a Vector Network Analyzer for measurements.

Avian Adaptation Artistry
This dual-purpose activity will cover both the meaning and application of adaptations in birds. Groups will discuss what adaptations do for birds, then they will get to craft a bird of their own with its own adaptations.

What is this Plant?
What is the mystery plant? We will investigate the physical properties of various plants to identify what type of plant the mystery plant is. Using a key, you will answer a series of questions that will narrow down the choices and lead you to the answer. If you answer all correctly, there may even be a prize!

Do you want to learn about what lives and grow in a wetland? Come and play a fun game of Springo Bingo and look for things that live and grow in a wetland. If you cover the whole card, you win a prize!

Jumpin’ Jehoshapat Frogs  
Frogs are such a crucial part to maintaining our healthy wetland ecosystems! Come make your very own fun frog friend and see how far you can make it jump! 

Fashion a Fish
Come have some fun with us and create your own fishy friend that you can bring home and share with family and friends. You will learn about different types of fish and their adaptations that help them thrive.

What Lies Beneath the Water? 
Beneath the depths of your local pond, you will find an entire world of unseen creatures. Open that world by viewing and exploring with our magnifiers and microscopes. What will you find?

Earth's Seasons on Geochron
Two geography professors will use one of the department's new Geochron dynamic maps to illustrate how and why seasons change, and how those changes are experienced throughout the world. We will begin by noticing exactly what parts of the earth are in daylight at the time of our activity.

Exploring the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Visualize the invisible! Participate in innovative experiments designed to unveil the various forms of electromagnetic waves. Understand their roles and witness firsthand their significance in the technology that surrounds us.

Challenges & Potentials of Photonic Integrated Circuits
Step into the future by understanding the cutting-edge field of photonic circuits. Discuss real-world applications, explore the challenges faced by scientists, and examine the potential these circuits hold for revolutionizing technology.

DIY Spectrometer
Forge your path in optics and photonics by constructing your very own spectrometer. This isn't just a model; it's a functional tool that will allow you to dissect the spectrum of light, fostering a deeper understanding of photonics. The best part? You'll take this spectrometer home, turning your everyday surroundings into a personal science lab.

Trapping with Light
Did you know that you can trap objects with light? Just like you take out splinters from your hand with tweezers- you can tweeze tiny objects with light. The set up that is designed with lasers to do this is known as optical tweezers. Optical tweezers can be used to trap biological molecules like DNA. This technique won the Nobel Prize in 2018. You will be able to see and learn about one of these setups during this activity.

Hoot do Owls Eat?
Step into the fascinating world of owl pellet dissection, where science meets adventure in the most unexpected way! Our exploration will take you deep into the world of these majestic nocturnal hunters, where you'll uncover the remnants of their most recent feasts. So, put on your lab coat and grab your magnifying glass, because owl pellet dissection is not just a science experiment; it's a thrill-a-minute adventure that will ignite your curiosity and leave you hooting for more!

Science and Music!
Who doesn’t love a good musical instrument of their own? Come join us on the journey of learning how to beat to your own tune. Envision yourself as a musician, exploring your own sounds of music. You will be Introduced to the pan flute, a magical wand that brings musical joy to every child. Learn about the science of music while you create dancing melodies in the air with your big puffing breaths into the colorful pipes. The pan flute is a ticket to the world of musical imagination. Join us to be a conductor of your own masterpiece!

Breaking Wind Challenge
Wind hazards can cause serious damage to trees, homes, and people. Join us in the BSU Wind Tunnel Lab for an evening of testing the limits of your own hand-crafted structures. How much wind can you take before you break? Can you break a hurricane wind!

Light Detecting and Ranging (LiDAR)
Light Detecting and Ranging (LiDAR) technology is using light to detect the object distances. Lasers used in LiDAR emit light pulses in infrared wavelength. These light pulses hit the object and reflect back to detector. The detector measures the time between the emitted and the detected light as time of flight (ToF) and calculates the distance of the object. LiDAR has been used in many applications such as autonomous vehicles, aerial inspection, survey and mapping, archeology, forestry, and robotics. In this activity, we will use two different LiDAR to measure the range of white, black, and silver objects.

Vintage Game Consoles and Snap Circuits
The Electronics and Robotics lab will host several interactive activities. Participants will play with some of the earliest video game consoles and home computers from the 1970s and 80s. We will teach participants how to build simple electronics using Snap Circuits, and program toy robots.

Frogs in the Pond
One player with guide or two players. Elementary game for children to begin to understand counting, addition and subtraction, early algebra.

Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe
We have three levels of Tic-Tac-Toe: regular Tic-Tac-Toe for beginners, Super Tic-Tac-Toe for those who want a bigger challenge, and Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe for the ultimate challenge. Teaches problem solving, logical thinking, and strategizing. Two players.

Monster Squeeze
Math isn't scary in this game! By asking greater/lesser than questions and using clues from a number line, participants will try to guess a secret number. One player and guide or two players.

FUN-ction Machine
Students will put a number into the function machine and another number will come out. After several tries, the student will try to guess the function. Teaches numerical operation and patterns. One player with guide or two players.

Nematode Medical School
Become a "worm doctor" by attending Nematode Medical School to learn what happy and healthy microscopic C. elegans look like. Then you will see your own worm patients and determine what their illness is by observing their movement and physical features. You can even try to transfer your patients to a retirement home!

Midnight Sky Iodine Reaction
It may seem like magic, but it is just chemistry; watch as two clear mixtures come together to create a surprising color in a matter of seconds! Come see what color it turns into!

Slime Time! Synthesizing Polymers
How do two liquids come together to create a solid? Explore polymers while creating slime! You can even take your own brand-new polymer home with you.

Rainbow Windows
Participants will design their own unique stained-glass window using the power of science.

Mentos and Coke: Chemistry Edition
Mentos vs Coke: Come see what you can do with just some soda and a piece of candy! Make your own chemical reactions at the Mentos and Coke station.

Elephant Toothpaste
Make elephant toothpaste and see chemistry in action!

Activities followed by an asterisk indicate materials found in the supply kit.

If you did not receive a kit, you can still participate in many activities as they can be completed using items common household items. For those activities requiring a kit, those items can by purchased using our supply list.

Backyard Bird Buffet (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
Each and every one of us can make a difference in making our world a better place by reducing, reusing and recycling. In this activity, you will reuse a common household item that is often thrown away to create a fun, backyard bird feeder.

Branching Out  (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 2 students but can be done by all ages).
For this fun, interactive art activity, we will be collecting natural materials from an outdoor environment of your choice and creating a collage. Items from nature such as twigs, tree bark, acorns and different types of leaves are perfect for this activity

Bubble Geometry!  (Appropriate for all ages).* 
Everyone loves bubbles! You probably know that when you blow bubbles with a circular wand, the bubble comes out as a sphere (like a hollow ball). But what about when you blow a bubble from a square wand? Can you make any shapes other than spheres? In this activity, you’ll learn about why bubbles are formed the way they are, and you’ll build shapes to form cool new types of bubbles!

Bubble Patterns! (Appropriate for all ages).* 
Need a fun activity for recognizing shapes and patterns? Use bubbles! When bubbles float in the air, they are spherical in shape. However, when two or more bubbles meet, they attach to one another and share walls. In this activity, you’ll create and trap some bubbles in a space so that they touch, then learn about the different shapes and patterns they make!

Exploring Owl Pellets (Appropriate for all ages).*
Do you want to see what an owl ate for dinner last night? In this investigation, we will dissect an owl pellet to learn about an owl's diet and where they fit within the food chain.

Explore with Seek (Appropriate for all ages). 
Take a look around your yard. Are there plants and animals that you are curious about? Using the Seek app you can not only identify the organisms but also learn more about them. This fun and interactive app makes your walk around the block a lot more fun as you photograph and identify what you see.

Halloween Bristle Bots (Appropriate for all ages).*
Halloween is only a few weeks away. Let’s put our engineering skills to use and design and make some creeping, slithering, hovering monsters and ghosts to play with.

Magic Within Leaves (Most appropriate for grades 2-12 but with assistance can be done by all ages).
Green, yellow, orange, and red are the colors we peep in the fall. Have you ever wondered why leaves change colors with the season? Today, you will discover the magic within the leaves.

Mermaids and Manatees (Appropriate for all ages).
Do you believe in mermaids? Have you ever wondered where the idea of mermaids has come from? Today, we will explore where mermaids come from and what sea creatures prove that mermaids really exist. Let's find out who mermaids are related to and where they are today!

Modern Day Wizard (Most appropriate for grades 6-12 but with assistance can be done by all ages).
A computer scientist is like a wizard. A wizard gives life to non-living objects and makes them move with magic. Likewise, a computer scientist gives life to computers and makes them follow orders with programming. This module will show how a computer scientist controls computers and make amazing things happen.

My Kingdom for a Shelter (Appropriate for all ages).
You live in a house, I live in an apartment, but where do the animals live? Today, you will compare the survival needs of wildlife and people, while discovering some fascinating animal shelters. You will use natural materials to design and create a model of an animal shelter.

Nature’s Filter (Most appropriate for grades 2-12 but with assistance can be done by all ages).
Did you know that your drinking water comes from the ground? Explore different soil types and investigate how those soils play roll in preserving and cleaning our precious drinking water. After all, do you want to drink “dirty” water?

Oil Slick Rescue (Most appropriate for grades 2-12 but with assistance can be done by all ages).*
In recent news, you may have seen a tragic story of a massive oil spill off the coast of California. In this activity, you will explore techniques used to save precious wildlife following an oil slick coating. Can you save the sea birds?

Quivering Webs (Appropriate for all ages).*
Have you ever wondered how spiders spin their webs and ‘hear’ the prey they’ve caught? In this activity you will spin your own web and see if you can tell when something has landed in your web while learning some interesting facts about spiders.

Signs of Fall (Most appropriate for grades 2-12 but with assistance can be done by all ages).
This tree, that tree, why are they all so different?  Why do some change colors and lose their leaves and other don’t?  Did you know that even a green leaf contains hidden colors of the rainbow?  Today, you get a chance to see that up close!  You will find the “signs of fall”.

Skittle Science (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 4 students but can be done by all ages).
Do you love Skittles? They are colorful, sweet and delicious, what’s not to love. In this investigation we will study what happens when a skittle reacts with water and starts to dissolve, and we will even make some Skittle art.

The Art of Nature (Appropriate for all ages).
Step outside, take a look around, and join us on this journey to take a closer look at the natural landscapes that can be seen everyday right outside your home! Don't forget to grab your art supplies, because you will be becoming science illustrators as you observe, sketch, compare, and explain these areas around you!

The Case of the Mustached Bear (Appropriate for all ages).*
A crime has occurred on the BSU campus, and the campus police need your help to solve the crime! We will use forensic chromatography to see if we can find out who gave a mustache to the BSU bear mascot.
What a Boat? (Appropriate for all ages).
Up a creek without a boat? Through this engaging project, you will learn to appreciate wetlands' values to indigenous cultures as they build miniature boats with wetland plant materials.

A Bird’s Song: What Can it Tell Us? (Appropriate for all ages).
In this online lab, you will investigate how different bird sounds travel and what helps them travel further. Learn how to “read” sounds using a spectrogram to visualize bird sounds, predict which bird sound will travel the farthest, and learn why this is important for their behavior. Using your phone, tablet or computer, test real bird sounds under different conditions to see which work best for communicating in different habitats. Come learn about North American birds and the unique sounds they make!

A Look Into the Eye  (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
The eye is a mysterious thing. Let’s explore how the eye works and really see if we can trust what our eyes see with some optical illusions.

Batman and Bats: The Power of Flight (Most appropriate for middle and high school students but can be done by all ages).
Have you ever wondered how bats evolved to be the only free-flying mammals? Why can't humans fly too? In this activity, you will learn about the key adaptations bats have for flight, and compare their wing anatomy to human arms and other flying devices.

Buckle Up and Ride: Soaring into Engineering (Appropriate for all ages).
Have you ever wondered what makes a roller coaster move so fast? Now you can find out by building your very own roller coaster! We will be exploring the connection between constructing your roller coaster (engineering) and creating a theme and putting color into your roller coaster (art). Speed, velocity, kinetic and potential energy will also be introduced. So the question is, are you ready for the challenge?

Build a “BATS”achusetts Food Web (Most appropriate for middle school students but can be done by all ages). In this activity, you’ll learn a bit about how organisms get energy in an ecosystem, and what roles they play. After some background basics, you’ll put together a food web with some common BATS of Massachusetts as the focus consumers

Build Your Own Virtual Museum! (Appropriate for all ages).
In this activity, you will be asked to do the jobs of a creative director and software engineer as you build your own virtual museum exhibit. You will learn programming skills and show us your creativity!

Can you Stop a Landslide? (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
Did you know water is a powerful, destructive force that can cause erosion and landslides. Let’s learn more about landslides and see if we can prevent them from happening.

Did You Know that Fish Have Teeth in Their Throat?  (Appropriate for all ages).
Well, some fish do! Join this activity to learn more about why your teeth have different shapes, see how certain fish use their teeth in their throat, and help us identify fossilized fish teeth.

Dig Deeper - A Geologic Activity (Appropriate for all ages).
Create a model of what the ground looks like below our feet without cutting into the Earth!

Don’t Get ‘Tide’ Down, Play with Waves!  (Most appropriate K to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
Have you ever gone to the beach and wondered how waves are formed and how they affect the objects in the ocean? Complete this activity to experience how waves move and how different factors influence the formation of waves.

Earthshaking Earthquakes! (Most appropriate for middle school students but can be done by all ages).
Learn all about earthquakes, seismic waves, why earthquakes happen, and where they happen! They will then make their own seismograph and see energy waves pass through it when they hit a table/surface!

Exploring Sundials (Appropriate for all ages).
This is an engaging activity where children of all ages will use everyday household materials to build and improve their own sundial. There will be decisions to make about where to place the sundial; how to design it so that it is sturdy and easy to interpret; how to make sure that we can use it during most of the year. In the end, children will share the challenges they came across and the decisions they made along the way.

Forensic Casting (Most appropriate for middle and high school students but can be done by all ages).
Criminals often think to avoid leaving behind their fingerprints at the crime scene, but what about their footprints? Let’s learn more about footwear impressions and how forensic scientists gather and record this type of evidence

Invisible Extinguisher (Most appropriate for middle and high school students but can be done by all ages).
Do you believe in magic? In this experiment you will learn how to extinguish a candle with an invisible substance. Is it magic or science?

Is this Water Healthy? (Most appropriate for middle and high school students but can be done by all ages).
Aquatic organisms require water with specific pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients in order to stay healthy. Using simple chemical analysis, you can examine a local water body and try to determine if the water is healthy enough to support life. Find a local water body and investigate. 

Let’s Capture a Shadow (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
Ever wondered how shadows are made? In this activity we will explore shadows, how they change and see if we can capture a shadow to keep forever as a piece of artwork.

Let’s Make a Watershed! (Most appropriate for K to grade 4 students but can be done by all ages).
Do you know where all the rain goes after it rains in your neighborhood or community? In this investigation we will build are own watershed to learn how water moves, travels and carries things within a watershed.

Locked Out: Engineering Challenge (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
We have all played with magnets before and seen the amazing power of the magnetic force. Let’s see if we can use our knowledge of magnets to create a working lock.

Nature’s Recyclers (Appropriate for all ages).
The food chain doesn’t end after a plant or animal dies, it’s a continuous cycle. Let’s take a walk in the woods and learn about the important process of decomposition and where it all takes place.

Phyllostomidae Feeding Frenzy (Most appropriate for high school students but can be done by all ages).
Come and explore the wonderful world of Lead-Nosed Bats. In this activity you will learn about the evolutionary history of the most diverse mammalian family on Earth! The feeding ecology in this bat family covers fruit eaters, carnivorous bats, and blood suckers. Participants will learn how each bat’s morphology has evolved, allowing them to have such specialized diets.

Phylogenetics of Bats (Most appropriate for high school students but can be done by all ages).
In this investigation we will discover how the various families and species of bats are related to each other based on their physical traits, behaviors and evolutionary histories. To accomplish this, we will explore and utilize the concept of phylogenetics and learn the method of building a phylogenetic tree.

Pollen Detectives (Appropriate for all ages).
Many people think of pollen as that dusty yellow powder that makes people with allergies miserable. However, did you know that pollen from different plants has a unique shape? This activity will allow you to explore microscopic images of pollen, search the great outdoors for pollinating plants and learn that pollen can help figure out how the landscape once appeared on an archaeological site or can help in forensic investigations.

Rock Yoga: Modelling Rock Deformation with Play-do (Most appropriate for Pre-k to grade 8 students but can be done by all ages).
Can rocks do yoga? The answer is sort of! Over very long periods of time rocks can bend, fold, and stretch when they are subjected to different stresses. Play-doh will be used to model the ways rocks can bend and fold. We will explore how we see these folds on Earth’s surface through geologic maps and models. Rocks may not seem like they are soft (pliable) like Play-doh but under the right conditions they are!  

Sifting Through Layers - Exploring Sediment (Most appropriate for middle school students but can be done by all ages)
Students will learn how to create their own sediment core similar to those used by geologists, archaeologists and environmentalists. They will use household supplies, and a little bit of scavenging for the right types of soil and rocks, to make a unique sediment core. Students will be introduced to the U.S. Geologic Society website where they can get a detailed map and report of the soil around their home or neighborhood. This activity allows you to study the Earth around you!

Splatter Science – A Physics Activity (Most appropriate for K to grade 5 students but can be done by all ages).
When was the last time you were allowed to make a mess at home? The challenge of this project is "How can you spread paint without even touching it?" In this lesson you can learn how to make a beautiful piece of art, while also learning the forces behind how the art is made!

The Amazing Properties of Water (Appropriate for all ages).
Have you ever wondered how bugs can walk on water? What makes water form a droplet?  Water behaves in many unique and interesting ways. Try out these fun activities to investigate the amazing properties of water. 

The Art of Nature (Appropriate for all ages).
Step outside, take a look around, and join us on this journey to take a closer look at the natural landscapes that can be seen everyday right outside your home! Don't forget to grab your art supplies, because you will be becoming science illustrators as you observe, sketch, compare, and explain these areas around you!

The Density of Water (Most appropriate for middle school students but can be done by all ages).
Water is an amazing chemical substance naturally found in all 3 physical states; solid, liquid, and gas. In this investigation we will learn about how the density of the water changes with the states of matter.

The Shapes of Us (Appropriate for all ages).
There are so many kinds of shapes to explore! Taking inspiration from Pablo Picasso's famous painting, Three Musicians, students will solve riddles to create their own abstract people entirely out of geometric shapes!

To the Moon and Back: The Relationship between the Earth and Moon (Most appropriate for grades 2 to 12 students but can be done by all ages).
Do you like space? Here is an activity that will let you create your own model of the Earth and Moon that you can decorate, and create moving parts that will show how the Moon orbits around the Earth and how the Earth rotates on its axis.

Where Does the Sun Set? (Most appropriate for middle and high school students but can be done by all ages). Where does it set? In the west, you say. But, does the Sun set in the same place every night? Does the location of the sunset change with changing seasons? Start this activity during Open Lab Week to discover the answers to these questions!