How & Why Outdoor

How & Why Outdoor STEM Lab

Through expanded exploration and activities in How & Why Outdoor STEM Lab, guests will have additional opportunities to discover fundamental principles in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles through inquiry-driven, hands on activities, problem solving and physical modeling. Exhibits and activities available in this outdoor gallery include an archaeology pit and a hands-on garden.

Targeted Ages: Children 2 to 10

Goals and opportunities for learning:

  • Discover fundamental STEM principles through inquiry-driven, hands-on activities
  • Solve problems using simulation and physical models
  • Explore water's properties and the connection to their everyday life
  • Participate in hands-on archaeological investigations
  • Discover local flora and fauna
  • Examine the life cycle of the butterfly
Natural Wonders provides an investigative area where children can learn about the wetlands, indigenous species, entomology, natural habitats, conservation/recycling, gardening and food production (through a collaboration with the local master gardeners). A station for visiting exhibitors (zoo, biologists, etc) is also included.
Sponsored by Chevron

Archaeologists and trained facilitators engage visitors of all ages in a hands-on replica of a dig site. Visitors have the opportunity to learn basic archaeological concepts, including: general site assessment, excavating and evaluating artifacts, the importance of context, documentation, and proper disposition of discoveries. When circumstances permit, visitors can participate in archaeological "lab" activities, including: cleaning/drying artifacts, as well as closer inspection and discussion about their finds. Expansion plans for the site include informational signage and learning boards, benches for spectators to watch the dig in progress and expansion of dig discoveries as CMST begins to dig further into cultural experiences.

By creating a unique habitat for butterflies CMST hopes to help to maintain the survival of these lovely insects along with enriching the lives of others who visit the garden. Butterflies are excellent pollinators and their habitats attract other wildlife and provide an excellent place for children to learn about local flora and fauna. Butterfly gardens are an ecological indicator and help the natural balance of our environment. Visitors enjoy the local plants and flowers that attract butterflies and examine the life cycle of butterflies.

Coming Soon...

"Chess is everything: art, science and sport." – Anatoly Karvov, Chess Grandmaster. Visitors learn and play a two-person game strategy or collaborate with others to develop a team game. The outdoor chessboard will provide visitors of all ages the opportunity to engage in the sport of kings while learning theory, strategy and play.

Little kids and big kids love to make bubbles. That enjoyment of producing a very big bubble or perhaps holding one in your hands also brings great learning opportunities: problem solving, observation, tool use, visual and special thinking skills and physical skills. Children will learn to experiment and begin to understand basic scientific concepts and processes.