Want to SPARK your kid’s curiosity about science? Then you’ll want to check out the Curiosity Cube, now touring St. Louis!
The Curiosity Cube is a traveling science lab put together by MilliporeSigma, a global life science company. If the name sounds a bit familiar, its because MilliporeSigma is the result of a merger between German based EMD Millipore and home town chemical and biotech company Sigma-Aldrich.
What’s the Curiosity Cube?
It’s a traveling hi-tech lab stuffed inside a 22×10-foot, retrofitted shipping container! The mobile lab is solar powered and can be set up just about anywhere. They have computers, microscopes, lab equipment and a 3D printer to support a variety of STEM experiments. The Cube is staffed by local volunteers from MilliporeSigma who want to spread their passion for science to the next generation. Because kids who are excited by science today can be a great scientist tomorrow!
There’s no cost to visit the Curiosity Cube! The Cube will be visiting the Magic House on Friday, but will be parked on their lot. Visitors are welcome to drop by just to check out the experiments, no need to buy admission to the Magic House. Most of the other stops are at public parks and libraries.
Last night Mitch and I caught up with the Curiosity Cube at the Butterfly House. They had a special experiment on chemical luminescence to go along with the Butterfly House’s Firefly Festival. Mitch suited up in full lab gear–coat, gloves and glasses–and learned how to safely mix chemicals to create a brilliant chemical reaction!
Experiments inside the Cube are carefully guided by volunteers. The Curiosity Cube is listing itself as an “all ages” event, but their target audience is the middle school crowd. Mitch is going into 5th grade next year and hasn’t had a chance to do any real chemistry yet, so the friendly lab volunteer taught him to pour and measure chemicals for his experiment. He mixed five chemicals together (I was busy with taking pictures, so I couldn’t tell you what exactly was in the beakers) and the result was a brief, yet very bright glow. Its the same chemical reaction found inside a glow stick.
The Cube is in the middle of it’s 2017 tour on a quest to bring STEM experiments to 350,000 students from two dozen cities around the nation. The Curiosity Cube is an offshoot of the Sigma-Aldrich’s Curiosity Lab program, where employees volunteer their time to bring science experiments to schools all over the globe.
Curiosity Cube Tour
They’re spending June in St. Louis. You can see where they are right now at their website The Curiosity Cube. After St. Louis the Cube will travel to Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maryland. Public events are listed on the website, so go join them and #SparkCuriosity! FYI: they’re also doing a lot of private events with schools and youth groups, so yes–their schedule is packed, even if you can’t see it all.
If you’re in St. Louis right now, you can catch the Curiosity Cube at the Magic House on June 16, at the Ferguson Library Festival June 19, Laumeirer Sculpture Park on June 21, Kiener Plaza on June 24, the Arch June 30th, and Fair St. Louis June 2. Again, detail are on the website.
We checked out the Curiosity Cube’s 3D printer and it’s bin of “microbes” previously printed to show kids what kinds of things you can see under a microscope. Science is pretty cool when you get to see it in action!
Oh, and if you’re a middle school teacher, or know a teacher, tell them about the Curiosity Labs. MilliporeSigma has 8 locations in the St. Louis area and 2000 employees! They help staff events at local schools and teachers just need to apply–and it’s free. They can come out to your school or you can take a field trip to one of their locations.
Disclosure: I was invited to visit the Curiosity Cube as a member of the media. The Curiosity Cube is free for everyone to visit!