Planning your summer vacation? Visiting family and friends you haven’t seen since the holidays? Sightseeing in the great Hoosier state? Well, there is more than corn, racecars and sycamores in the sunny state of Indiana!
When making your travel checklist be sure to include an adventure South and a visit to the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology. In the heart of Bloomington, Indiana’s cultural district, WonderLab is located at 308 W. 4th St., just along the B-Line Trail.
The two-story science museum is packed full of hands-on, interactive learning and exploration. Let your imagination soar as you climb in the Grapevine Climber! Create music with our Giant Xylo Pipes. Feel your heart race lying on the Bed of Nails! Let your mind float to new heights in the Bubble-Airium.
WonderLab features more than 65 hands-on exhibits featuring science, technology, reptiles, insects, chemistry and more. Visitors of all ages will learn how things work and function by building and dissecting the world around them.
The Giant Flowing Bubble Returns August 24, 2018
WonderLab’s original, popular exhibit, the Giant Flowing Bubble, is returning to the gallery back and better than ever. The Giant Flowing Bubble is a collaborative learning experience that introduces concepts such as cause and effect, evaporation, states of matter, shapes, surface tension, density, light, color, and measurement.
“The opportunities for experimentation with the bubble are awesome,” Emmy Brockman, education director, said. “It isn’t just about watching and blowing bubbles,. The exhibit gives visitors the chance to interact and operate a complicated piece of equipment and explore the world of geometry and sensory learning.”
Not only is WonderLab the only museum with an exhibit of this kind, the exhibit is a WonderLab original. Designed and built by the WonderLab team in the late 90s, the original giant bubble held a prominent place in the museum until it was decommissioned for repair in 2016. It’s absence sparked a campaign to “Bring Back the Bubble.” In November 2017, $3,000 worth of donations from individual donors were raised for repairs.
The Giant Flowing Bubble exhibit will be reintroduced into the WonderLab Bubble-Airium on Aug. 24. Redesigned and rebuilt by in-house by exhibit and facilities director, Michael Lindeau, you’ll have to see it to believe it. Be sure to pop into WonderLab and experience the Giant Flowing Bubble.
Explore the Wonders of Nature in the WonderGarden
Wonders of Nature, WonderLab’s newest summer program, gets kids active in the outdoors with hands-on science. Join Autumn Brunelle, Wonderlab Gallery Operations Assistant Manager, in the Lester P. Bushnell WonderGarden and pounce on the wonders of animals, sink into the wonders of the pond, root yourself into the wonders of the garden and discover the Wonders of Nature.
“It’s very important for kids to learn about physics and chemistry and health,” said Brunelle, “but it’s also important for them to go outside and see the nature that inspires people to study those topics.”
Each month follows a different topic. In July learn about aquatic life using real microscopes to observe life that is invisible to the naked eye! The August topic is Plant life. Dissect flowers to discover how plants produce pollen. Learn all about the trees and plants. Spend a day with the Green Camino curbside composting team to learn all about how compost and plants grow and contribute to the local vegetation.
Designed for children in late elementary school, middle school and their families, Wonder of Nature will take place every Saturday, rain or shine, in July and August from 2 – 2:45 p.m. Tickets are free with admission to the museum.
Building with Chemistry: WonderLab has the Solution
Don’t sulfur from boredom this summer. WonderLab has a solution…react now! On Saturday, July 21 from 1 – 3 p.m., come to WonderLab for Building with Chemistry with the Indiana University Chemistry Department.
The world is made up of tiny molecules and materials arranged in intricate and intriguing patterns. Discover the wonder and beauty of nanoscale building through life-sized activities and interactive learning. You’re never too gold to zinc your teeth into science! Tickets are free with admission to the museum.
Wonders of Water, Family Event, Saturday, July 28
The coral reef is the planet’s most precious resource. Among other things, it protects the coasts, supplies the water with a natural filtration system, provides homes for animals, and gives back to the aquatic ecosystem. In celebration of the International Year of the Reef, WonderLab’s Wonders of Water family event on Saturday, July 28 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. will explore the wonders of the coral reef and the creatures that inhabit it!
The “International Year of the Reef Initiative” (ICRI) is a campaign hosted by governments and non-governmental organizations around the world to promote conservation action and strengthening long-term collaborations for coral reef conservation. From its beginnings in 1997, the ICRI recognizes that public awareness is essential to ensuring the value and threats of the coral reef are understood and addressed.
During Wonders of Water, variety of special activities will be available throughout the museum including a salt water touch tank, virtual reality, build your own scuba gear, and tours of the Water Under the Waves: Coral Reef Aquarium.
Lather Up Science at BubbleFest
Bubbles, bubbles everywhere! During Labor Day Weekend pop into the WonderLab’s BubbleFest – a three day festival of soapy science. Festival activities will take place from 1-4 p.m. daily Friday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 3. See suds from another angle as you become a part of a bubble. Assemble original bubble wands. Engineer original bubbles or all sizes. Learn how bubbles change in size and shape as they react to different air pressures. Bubble Fest will have activities for all ages and is free with museum admission.
WonderLab Gift Shop Sale
The SUMMER 50% off SALE at the WonderLab Gift Shop begins on Saturday, July 14 and runs through Sunday, July 29. All red-lined items will be 50% off the original price. Take WonderLab science home with you and continue to experiment with hands-on learning. Becoming a scientist is a steal at these prices!
Beat the Heat – Stay Cool with Science
Summer is here…and so is the heat. But don’t sweat it. Beat the Heat this summer with WonderLab. This summer, on days when temperatures soar to 90 degrees or higher, WonderLab is offering half-priced general admission from 2:30 p.m. until closing time Tuesday through Sunday. This special promotion begins on Saturday, June 9, 2018 and runs through Tuesday, August 17, 2018.
The “90 Degree Beat the Heat” promotion is generously sponsored by the Environmental Resilience Institute through the Prepared for Environmental Change (PfEC) Grand Challenge at Indiana University Bloomington.
On a 90º Beat the Heat day, general museum admission will be half-priced at $4.50 per person after 2:30 p.m. to close. The 2018 Beat the Heat discount only applies to new admissions and is not applicable to general admissions purchased prior to 2:30 p.m.
To find out if it is a “90 Degree Beat the Heat” day check the WonderLab Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter and look for the WonderLab Beat the Heat Logo. Or call the WonderLab Visitor Services Desk at 812-337-1337 x25. Announcements will be posted by 2:30 p.m. and will be good for the rest of the day.
WonderLab at Home
The WonderLab museum will be closed for renovations and annual maintenance from Sunday, Aug. 12 – Thursday, Aug. 23. Stay tuned to the Wonder via the museum blogs and YouTube channel! Check out: Meanwhile Behind the Scenes at WonderLab for the latest developments on the Giant Flowing Bubble exhibit. Or tune in for Science Spouts with Education Director, Emmy Brockman – a video version of the popular science class for children birth through age three. Finally, don’t miss the STEM Sunday Project with Nick Whites, museum educator.
Stay caught up with your favorite animals on WonderLab ALIVE. Explore the questions and musings behind the wonder in our museum through our Thoughts Behind the Wonderblog. Learn more about the museum, events and programs on Wonder News.
WonderLab Museum/Gift Store Hours of Operation
The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology offers hands-on science education and experimentation with exhibits and programs for all ages. WonderLab is in the heart of Bloomington’s cultural district, 308 W. 4th St., just along the B-Line Trail. Operational hours are Tuesday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m. For the most up-to-date information about museum events and programs visit wonderlab.org, follow @wonderlab on Twitter or Instagram, or visit WonderLab Science Museum on Facebook.