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Montgomery County Curriculum 2.0

In-Class Field Trips

Our programs are perfect as an introduction or as a special treat at the end of your unit. Each program is inquiry-based, hands-on, and has been adapted to your curriculum with fun demonstrations, interactive experiments, and much more!

In Montgomery County, Mad Science is the largest and most comprehensive provider of science enrichment and educational services. We have performed our programming in 80% of MCPS elementary schools, and run after-school programs at area schools in Fairfax, Arlington, and Washington DC.

Most workshops will have at least one project that the children will take home to show Mom & Dad what they did in school today! We can modify our programs by eliminating or elaborating on concepts to fit your needs-just talk to us!

Looking for something different?  Click HERE for our complete list of topics.


Life Sciences:

Animal Adventures- What do animals have in common? Let’s use classification to find out. Students will have the opportunity to explore the ways animals have adapted to protect themselves from predators, including camouflage. We’ll all become animal detectives when we investigate various animal tracks, and more!

Insect Investigations- Creepy, crawly critters that are everywhere in our day to day lives... Students learn how they walk, how they see, how many legs they have and the unique shapes to their bodies. What do these little creatures eat and how do they survive in a world of giants? Everyone gets to see the world through compound eyes and make their own model insect to take home.

Earth Space Sciences:

Weather Around Us- In this exciting hands-on investigation, the whole class gets a chance to be meteorologists! The children investigate thermometers and anemometers to learn how meteorologists use these tools to predict weather. We see how clouds can forecast the weather and use international weather symbols to try to forecast our weather! Finally, we capture our very own “pet” tornado to take home!

First Grade

Life Sciences:

Living Things- In this fun-filled workshop, students will explore how different kinds of animals survive. Kids will observe worms and learn about how they take nutrients into their bodies. Everyone will look at teeth from various animals and try their hand at collecting food the way baleen and toothed whales do. Each child will even get to make their own cast of an animal tooth to take home.

Physical Science:

Magnetic Explorations- Explore the invisible world of magnetic fields! Students in this class will experiment with a variety of magnets to discover what objects are attracted by them. Everyone will get to see how the magnetic field changes depending on the type of magnet and even make their own magnetic field detector to take home.

Earth Space Sciences:

Earthworks- Dig into Earth Science! Uncover rock samples and discover how they were formed. Learn about the natural features of the earth’s surface. Inspect fluorescing minerals. Model the moving tectonic plates that cause bends and breaks in the earth’s crust. See how sediments stack in a multi-purpose test tube.

Conservation Basics- Learn about the sources of pollution while cleaning up a polluted lake. Discover the causes of acid rain and test the pH level of water samples. Everyone will get to play a game to learn how toxins can spread through the food chain and discover what the word “potable” means.

Second Grade

Earth Space Sciences:

Jr. Oceanographers- Learn all about the fluid that covers 70% off the earth’s surface in this crazy class. Explore the ocean floor and build a model ocean. Everyone will get to see how ocean currents circulate and make their own wave modulator to take home.

Physical Sciences:

Super Structures- Act like junior architects and engineers! Figure out how pieces fit together to build a structure. Test different shapes for strength and see what parts help reinforce structures. See if a paper column can withstand the Column Collapser apparatus! Participants even receive a Bridge Basics kit so they can build a structure from scratch.

Life Sciences:

Creatures' Features- Discover how ancient creatures compare to animals today. Children examine fossil casts of dinosaur teeth and explore the similarities and differences between modern animals and ancient ones. They will get to participate in a mini dinosaur excavation, and make a cast of a dinosaur tooth to take home.

Third Grade

Physical Science:

Moving Motion- Discover the science behind motion! How do planes, trains, and automobiles move? How do friction, inertia, and other physical forces effect motion? Learn some car safety tips as we explore inertia and momentum. We’ll use everyday materials to make our own forces kit to take home.

Dry Ice Capades- Explore how we can change matter by heating and cooling. In addition to learning the basics about melting and freezing, we’ll demonstrate how some substances sublimate straight from a solid into a gas. Watch metal melt before your eyes! See what happens when solids and liquids are dissolved in water, and take your own color changing cup home with you.

Harnessing Heat- Take on temperature! Shake up a storm and see how friction creates heat. Feel how hot and cold can change at a touch. See how thermometers work and how different materials can conduct heat. Everyone will receive their own heat sheet to continue their explorations at home!

Life Sciences:

Decomposers- Learn about decomposition and its vital role in the food chain and the environment. See how fungi, worms, and other decomposers are nature recyclers. Discover what happens to the remains of living things when they die. Decomposition of both plants and animals will be explored.


Fourth Grade

Life Sciences:

Photosynthesis- Take a detailed look at photosynthesis and the life cycle of a plant. Everyone uses microscopes to look at slides of preserved plant cells and identify important structures. Kids discover how photosynthesis turns CO2, H2O and sunlight into food, and explore the reason for variation of traits in different plant species.

Earth Space Sciences:

Mineral Mania- Take a detailed look at the composition of the earth as you dissect our planet to discover three distinct layers. Everyone will learn how to classify rocks, and examine samples of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. We will discuss volcanoes, crack open geodes, and pan for gems to take home.

Resources Around Us- Discover the natural resources all around us, and the systems that support our ecosystem in this engaging class. Discover the sun's role in the water cycle, play the energy web game, and learn about solar power. Everyone even gets to make their own solar prints to take home!

Walloping Weather- Get weather-wise in this exciting class. Uncover the reason for seasons. Create three-day weather forecasts. Stage a statically-charged indoor storm. Spot the sun's invisible UV rays with the Sun Beads kit.

Physical Sciences:

Matter of Fact- Take a closer look at the three states of matter. Discover the secrets behind molecules- the nuts and bolts of the universe. We will build, touch, and explore molecules as well as create wacky & wild molecular concoctions. We can explore the difference between physical and chemical changes and make putty to take home!

Fifth Grade

Life Sciences:

Cells- Learn about ribosomes, nuclei, Golgi bodies, mitochondria, vacuoles, and more! Look at prepared slides of cells to discover the main difference between plant and animal cells. Everyone will even make their own model cell to take home!

Physical Sciences:

Energy Burst- Discover potential and kinetic energy in this fantastic workshop. Students will pop, jump, and flip with hopping, swimming, and swinging toys. They will check out the kinetic energy in rubber band gadgets, and reach their potential with the catapult take-home.

Mischevious Magnets- Introduce your students to the world of magnets and motors in this hour-long exploration of magnetism. Kids will explore the magnetic fields of different types of magnets and build their own electromagnet to take home.

Current Events- Take a tour on the electron freeway! Investigate conductors, insulators, and other elements in the world of circuit electricity. Get turned on to science and technology with the Circuit Maze kit.

Watt’s Up- Charge up on static electricity! Make indoor lightning and conduct hair-raising experiments with our electro-static generator. Use your Static Stick to test the movement of electrons in your home!

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