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A boy mixing glow in the dark solutions at Open Lab Night

Open Lab Week 

The virtual event will take place October 18 - October 22, 2021. Registration for the event is required. Additional information will be posted on our website shortly.

Welcome to Virtual Open Lab Week at BSU!  

Can you capture a shadow? Would you like to test your perception of optical illusions? Can you engineer a working lock? You will find answers to these questions - and have access to four (yes, four!) activities about the fascinating lives of bats through Open Lab Week activities. 

Open Lab Week activities can be accessed in the below drop-down menu.

We recommend trying a few activities each day. Activities can be completed at any time - there are no "live” presentations. Within each activity, there are opportunities to submit your work, post a picture, or submit a comment or question. We would love to hear from you, and our BSU students would really appreciate your feedback. All posts are anonymous, but if you have not signed a media release with your approval for BSU to use pictures, please do not share images of your children or family.  

Most activities only require supplies commonly found at home. There are several activities for which we have provided supplies in a kit you may have picked up from BSU. All supplies are labeled with the activity name. For those participants that didn’t receive a kit but still would like to participate many activities can be completed using common household items and supplies that can be found on our supply list.

Please note that adults should supervise all students completing activities and that provided safety guidelines must be followed.

Open Lab Week activities are presented using Sway, which is best experienced using Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 17 or later, Chrome 23 or later, and Safari 6 or later. Viewing a Sway on the Web works at any screen resolution.  Within each activity, you are invited to submit comments, questions and images using Padlet.   Padlet can be accessed using Google Chrome (v76 and above); Safari (11.0 and above); Firefox (68 and above); Edge (17 and above); Mobile Safari (iOS 6 and above); Mobile Chrome on Android Jelly Bean (4.1 and above).  Service is not guaranteed on Internet Explorer.  We recommend you use Microsoft's latest browser, Edge. 

If you run into any issues, please try a different browser, or send us an email at  

We are so excited to share hands-on STEM learning with you and your families and can’t wait to see your pictures, comments and questions!

A Look Into the Eye (Most appropriate for Prek-5 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.

Backyard Bird Buffet (Most appropriate for Prek-5 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.

Batman and Bats: The Power of Flight (Most appropriate for middle and high school students)
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.

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.

Can you Stop a Landslide? (Most appropriate for Prek-5 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.


Earthshaking Earthquakes! (Most appropriate for middle school students but can be done by all)
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!

Let’s Capture a Shadow (Most appropriate for Prek-5 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.

Locked Out: Engineering Challenge (Most appropriate for Prek-5 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.
The Case of the Mustached Bear  (Most appropriate for Prek-5 but can be done by 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.


Phyllostomidae Feeding Frenzy (most appropriate for high school students)
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)
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.