September 2020
Here's to a STEM-tastic School Year!

The Children’s Science Center is ready to support families, learning pods and educators this school year with a wide range of offerings that inspire a love of learning STEM. After serving hundreds of children this summer with live, online programming paired with fun, hands-on STEM kits, and mobile science experiences, we are more ready than ever to meet our community’s distance learning needs this school year. While we are unable to open our doors to the public during the pandemic, our Lab is proving to be a fantastic production studio for live programming and STEM kit preparation. 
Please help us by sharing this newsletter with your friends, family and favorite educators! Our STEM educators and animal ambassadors are excited to make this school year extra special by providing unique experiences for interactive learning. See more about our fun, exciting, and all-new line-up of programs below as well as our operating status as we continue our mission during the pandemic.

Now more than ever we must inspire a love of learning in STEM!

Nene Spivy
Executive Director
Children's Science Center
What's Happening at the Lab?
Operating Status Update

The Children's Science Center Lab remains closed in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and in strict adherence to Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines for entertainment, amusement, museum and cultural arts venues. However, the mission goes on! We have expanded our virtual programming rapidly over the past 5 months, serving hundreds of children with real-time, online camps and thousands more via free programming available on Facebook and YouTube

For Parent's
Last month, we launched our Parents' Page on the website which includes free resources and our current Fall in-person and virtual programs during the school year.

Lab@Home STEM Kits Coming Soon
By popular demand, we will soon be selling STEM kits for families and learning pods. The kits will be new each month with our first one titled, Spooky Science: Haunted Lab in a Box. Each kit will include materials for numerous experiments that are paired with videos produced by our STEM educators to support young scientists as they enjoy hands-on learning safely at home. Stay tuned for a special announcement and order a STEM kit for your family or kits for your learning pod. 

Virtual Budding Program Begins Oct 9!
Join us for our monthly 30-minute LIVE online program for ages 5 and under with an involved adult every Friday at 11:30 am beginning in October. Registration will include a weekly book reading, hands-on activities, movement moments, and a list of supplies to gather using common household items along with your secured Zoom link. More information coming soon.

For the most up-to-date information and program registration, please visit us at
STEM Enrichment Series
Keeping your child on track
Join the Children's Science Center Lab for our STEM Enrichment Series, a LIVE, 6-week program designed for 3rd through 5th grade students to apply concepts they learn in school to project-based challenges using critical thinking, research, and data sharing.

This online, smaller sized series begins on September 14 and runs through October 26th with an optional "Fun Day" on Monday, October 12 (Indigenous Peoples' Day and school holiday). 
Our program reinforces Virginia State Science Standards of Learning (SOLs) through exciting demonstrations, hands-on experiments, engineering projects, and group discussion! This series was specifically developed to keep kids on track with science through distance learning.
Monday morning or afternoon sessions available.
STEM Fun Club
What are they doing after school?
Keep it FUN with our STEM After-School Club! Dive deep into the fun of science topics from chemistry to 3D printing with our experienced STEM Educators from the Lab!

STEM After-School Club consists of a weekly one-hour Zoom session focused on one topic for 4 weeks in a row!

Connect with other science loving kids from 4pm - 5pm each week to develop community and teamwork while maintaining physical distance and safety. This program is designed for 2nd - 5th graders.

Chemistry Tuesdays
‍Explore the world around us by diving into atoms, molecules and more!

Robotics Wednesdays
‍Explore the world of robotics including programming a robot, creating unique codes, and identifying solutions to real world problems!

3D Printing Thursdays
Explore the world of 3D printing to discover what a 3D printer is, what it does, and how it works! You do not need a 3D printer at home to participate.
Supporting STEM
Donating made simple

Did you know new CARES Act legislation allows up to $300 in annual tax deductions for charitable contributions, even if you do not itemize your return? And with the start of the school year, the season of giving isn’t far behind.

Support the Science Center’s virtual mission through the Combined Federal Campaign or United Way, your Donor-Advised Fund or donate directly today at

Thank you for all of the ways you continue to be a STEM Champion!
Celebrate Your Birthday!
No need to cancel the party

Birthday parties can still be fun and extra easy when you hold them virtually! Our experienced STEM Educators will facilitate your activity while entertaining and educating your guests.

Just like in-person, the birthday child will receive a Childsci T-shirt that now comes along with a kit full of supplies they'll use during the party!
Volunteer Spotlight
Summer 2020 Interns
Every summer, the Children’s Science Center Lab hosts a summer internship program. While the Lab remains closed to in-person guests due to COVID-19, nine high school students joined the program which included huge changes to their roles and responsibilities. This resilient group instead participated in weekly professional development sessions, learned quality assurance, and developed new skills needed to support our virtual camps while adapting to a complicated and changing environment.

(Pictured left to right: Justine Chu, Sitara Soeb, Nouran Alim, Nikitha Yemisetty, Dhanush Banka, Maria McDonald, Ananya Malipeddi. Not Pictured: Hazel Vineet, Tiffany Tran)

What did you enjoy the most about interning this summer?
My favorite part of interning this summer was seeing the positive effect all our efforts had on the community. I loved the feedback we got from our virtual campers, and I enjoyed working knowing that what I was doing could make someone else very happy. -- Maria

I enjoyed experiencing a new work experience as many things have changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Although I did enter the internship with a different expectation of how it would be like, I was not disappointed in that there was always something to do to help the organization. I also developed many new friendships with my peers that share the same interests as me, which is to become more involved and active in the scientific community. -- Tiffany

As an intern this summer for the Children's Science Center, I most enjoyed working with others who I share similar interests with. I liked being part of a team that is working to help many people during the pandemic by offering their services to keep children interested in STEM and learning. I also enjoyed being able to learn valuable skills in the workplace through my intern experience while being able to help others. -- Justine

What Scientist do you admire the most and why?

The scientist I admire the most is Gerty Cori, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology. She worked with her husband, and this work led to the discovery that an enzyme deficiency could be responsible for metabolism disorders. Over her lifetime, Gerty won several other awards in recognition for her contributions to science and earned honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Boston University, Smith College, Yale, Columbia, and Rochester. She inspires me because she accomplished so much, regardless of her gender. -- Sitara

The scientist I most admire is Rosalind Franklin, because she made such an integral discovery that furthered our understanding of DNA. She was brilliant, yet was never recognized for her important accomplishments. -- Nikitha

Marie Curie is a scientist I really admire because of her work with radioactive elements. Additionally, another thing I admire about Curie is that she won the Nobel Peace Prize in two different sciences. -- Ananya

What is one scientific question you would like answered in your lifetime?

Is it possible to reverse and permanently prevent climate change, and if possible, how long would that take? -- Nikitha

I think it would be "how does consciousness emerge from the human brain?" Even though it is something that scientists have labeled as unknown, I want to contribute to finding the answer. I just really find the human brain to be an fascinating, yet mysterious topic to study as there are so much not known about it. Because I want to possibly enter medical research in the future, I think the answer may be in my reach in the future with more information and technology being available to me. -- Tiffany

Does life exist on other planets? -- Maria, Sitara, Ananya

We wish all of the interns and all students best of luck this school year!
Try It At Home
Crystalize your falling leaves
Fall is the season where we not only observe cooler temperatures but we also see the leaves on trees change into their fall colors. In this experiment, we will use fall leaves to help us learn about supersaturated solutions and how a crystal is formed. You will also learn that a crystal is made up of molecules that will form a specific pattern if properly grown.
The Children's Science Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
We could not continue to share our mission virtually without our community of supporters. Your gifts directly support our mission and programs. THANK YOU!