Lab Time: Students Get Hands On with STEM

    The next generation of engineers get inspired through science and math activities at Discovery Place science center in Charlotte.

    Dressed in a white lab coat, sixth grader Alex Lopez from Charlotte Lab School helped mix liquids in a beaker.

    He watched until the liquid turned a shade of blue, which then he and his peers could match to the pH scale. It was alkaline. 

    “Science is my favorite type of learning,” Alex said.

    He and other students participated in six experiments at a newly made-over STEM lab at Discovery Place science museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Our Chief Technology Officer Suresh Venkatarayalu participates with students in lab activities at Discovery Place. 

    The “Explore More Future Lab” sponsored by Honeywell was unveiled on Dec. 16, 2019 by our Chief Technology Officer Suresh Venkatarayalu and Discovery Place President & CEO Catherine Wilson Horne.

    “Hands-on lab experiments … promote the development of scientific thinking, and kids are made to think and understand things and the world around them,” Suresh said. “This Future Lab will allow kids to ask questions, probe for answers, conduct experiments, collect data.”

    Discovery Place leader Catherine said that labs help advance scientific learning that takes place in the museum with a deeper, hands-on exploration.

    “With labs like this, children and adults get more engaged with the problem solving and the inquiry-based learning that is not just necessary, but it’s absolutely essential for our changing world, and for success in the world today,” she said.

    Alex and two other students, Elizabeth Finn and Ruby Daley, rotated between the six lab stations conducting more experiments, including mixing glue and borax to make neon yellow slime.

    “I like getting to see what happens and how organized everything is,” Ruby said about the experiments. “Everything has a spot. Everything has something that it’s supposed to do, and if you don’t know what it does, you find out.” she said.

    Engineer Willie Morrissette helped students conduct science experiments. 

    Engineer Willie (a #futureshaper) knows how important it is to learn about science at a young age.

    Willie has said that during school, chemistry was his sport because he competed in school science fairs.

    That early foundation in science and math, helped prepare Willie for his job as an engineer who works with chemicals as part of a team who helps make jet fuel from mustard seeds.

    The new lab will help students learn about and they could one day end up in STEM careers like Willie.