The citizens of Huntsville, especially people with children, are extremely fortunate to have the Space and Rocket Center. They consistently incorporate world-renowned exhibits and activities from museums and other institutions into their facilities. This allows children and families in the Rocket City opportunities that are more or less exclusive (in regards to their frequency and overall consistency) to Huntsville. It’s quite a feat to successfully merge fun and educational experiences, and that is something that the USSRC does very well. Spark!Lab is a perfect example.
What is the Spark!Lab?
Created by the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Spark!Lab is where technology, engineering, and fun become one; the Spark!Lab offers kids and families the opportunity to test out their mechanical and problem solving skills to create designs to solve real-world from ocean pollution to creating flying machines. This not only has the potential to put the STEM bug in a child’s brain, but is also a gentle and accessible way of introducing them to some of the issues the world is currently facing that their generation will be tasked with solving. With Huntsville’s growth as a technology city it is likely that the solutions to these issues will come from these future tech-leaders.
At Spark!Lab the activities are broken down into sections. Each section has multiple activities that play to a wide range of interests. Click on each activity type to see a .PDF file with details of each activity.
- Tweak a Pinball Machine
- Create a Costume
- Invent a Board Game
- Design a Video Game Controller
- Invent a Piece of Protective Gear
- Invent a Rolling Toy
- Create a Lifelike Character
- Design a Dollhouse
- Design a Lunchbox
- Inventing a Harvesting Device
- Invent a Kitchen Gadget
- Reinventing the Shopping Cart
- Create a Snack Machine
- Create a Recipe
- Design a Way to Insulate Food
- Invent a New Way to Grow Food
- Create a Home Automation System
- Invent a Home Cleaning Device
- Create a Piece of Furniture
- Invent a Home for a Pet
- Reinvent a Place to Sleep
- Create an Innovative Home Gadget
- Invent Something to Help You Move
- Electrify a Room in Your Home
As you can see by the extensive list of activities there is truly something at Spark!Lab for everyone. The experts at the exhibits will interact with your child to help them with their experiments and inventions as well as engage them in the activities and processes for each activity to offer a deeper understanding. If you would like to check out the Spark!Lab it is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00am-4:00pm.
By: Josh Holland
Josh Holland is a writer who currently studies writing and literature at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Previously, Josh attended the University of North Alabama in Florence where he also studied writing. While attending UNA, Josh had articles published in both SET Magazine and The Flor-Ala. Josh was also published in the UNA Lights and Shadows Literary Arts Magazine, which focuses on fiction. Josh has experience as a video editor, and often writes scripts for online, text-based video content.