Weekend Workshops for Kids!

Workshops for Kids

The Museum of Science Fiction celebrates creativity and ingenuity with workshops for students that are designed to promote STEAM and  higher-order thinking skills. Students can learn how to build a robot and program it to follow directions. They can see what it takes to build a computer and how to code with Scratch. Students may also attempt intricate engineering projects using only straws and pipe cleaners. Using science fiction as a frame of reference, students build working knowledge of their world through hands-on projects and guided exploration.

See the full Friday – Sunday Education Schedule here.


Robot Dance School
with Pongos Learning Lab
5/25, 11am – 11:50pm
How smart are computers? What is programming? Can robots dance? The answers to all of these questions and more will be explored during with Robot Dance School. This is a fun, interactive, and very active session that will teach kids a little bit about programming while getting them on their feet and dancing.

Intro to Video Game Programming with Scratch Jr.
with Great Adventure Lab
5/25, 11:10am – 12pm
Let’s turn that kid love for iPads …. into kid love for writing their own video game programming on iPads! Scratch, the super-simple drag-and-drop multimedia programming language designed by MIT‘s Lifelong Kindergarten project. In this workshop, kids will design and animate their own “alien!” *See also: Video Game Programming with Scratch – for older kids – at 2:25pm )

The History and Art of Anime Styles 
with Art Way Alliance
5/25, 1 – 2pm
The roots of Japanese comics and animation stretch back over a hundred years. From their beginnings as kamishibai, or slideshows, to the contemporary shows and films of today, this panel will discuss various artists and classic works.

Generative Systems: An Intro to Code-Driven Art 
5/25, 1:20 – 2:10pm
Digital Media artist and Professor Brandon Morse will discuss how computer code and math can be used in the creation of art and design. He will discuss his own artistic work and how it involves code and technology. Students will also be able to participate in a brief, interactive, hands-on demo of how the process works.

Work by Brandon Morse

Brandon Morse is a Washington, DC based artist who works with generative systems as a means to examine the ways in which physical phenomena such as entropy and emergence can function in ways that are both poetic and metaphorical. Through the use of code, and the creation of custom computer software, he creates simulations of seemingly complex systems resulting in video and video installations that seek to draw parallels between the ways in which these systems work and the ways in which we, both individually and collectively, navigate the world around us. He has exhibited his work in museums, art spaces and galleries across North America, Asia, and Europe. 

Stop Motion Animation Workshop
with Pongos Learning Lab
5/25, 3:30 – 4:20pm
Wonder kids, animate! In this fun, very hands-on session, kids will learn how to make their toys dance. We will start with a brief discussion of animation terminology, and then get right down to animating with a free app. You can bring your own device if you wish, or use one of our Kindles. Bring some small toys to animate.

T.A.G. Labs Game Development Workshop
5/25, 4 – 6pm (also earlier in the day at 12pm)
Want to learn about game design? Maybe you just want to play games? TAG Labs will be hosting game development workshops along with consoles for playing your favorite games. Come learn about game design using powerful and free tools like Unity 3D, Magica Voxel, Construct, and more. Workshops are come and go; there’s no need to stay for the whole duration. Explore these tools for making games with TAG Labs instructors ready to help you learn.


Lego Robotics: Martian Rover!
with Great Adventure Lab
5/26, 11:10am – 12pm
Students follow step-by-step on-screen instructions to build their robots, and then write suggested programs to get their robots working. After that, those who are ready may write more complicated programs involving motion or tilt sensors. In this workshop, kids will work in pairs to build and program a Martian Rover to explore the red planet!

Makey Makey Experimental Audio Lab
with Pongos Learning Lab
5/26, 1:20 – 2:10pm
Makey Makey is a super cool kit that allows you to turn just about any conductive object into a controller for a computer. That means you can use bananas, lemons, limes, play-doh, cups of water, pieces of aluminum foil, and even other people to control games, make music, and much more!

Draw Dr. Who Characters
with Art Way Alliance
5/26, 2 – 3pm
You know Who, but do you know how to draw your favorite Drs. and their companions? Come learn how to draw everyone and everything from the Dr. Who universe with Art Way Alliance artist Keir Lyles. From the first doctor to Daleks to the TARDIS itself, you don’t want to miss out on how to depict your favorite incarnation. If time permits, maybe Keir can teach you how to depict yourself as a Time Lord.

Gravity Is Optional
all day at the Education Station
Hands on science that will blow your mind! Gravity is Optional has been presenting weird physics demos in the DC area since 2010. Stop by the Education Station on Sunday, May 26 to see optical illusions and play with magnets, motors, gears, floating objects and more – all in the name of science!

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