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Families Learning Science Together

2019 Program


Families Learning Science Together (FLST) is a hands-on science program for children ages 5 and up and their parents or caregivers. This program is lead by Cornell Center for Materials Research and co-sponsored with the Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL) in downtown Ithaca, NY.


The program will be on every second Saturday of the month throughout the year. It will run from 1pm – 2pm in the BorgWarner West room of the Tompkins County Public Library. All FLST programs are free to the public, but space is limited. Please reserve your spot by contacting us by email at ccmr_outreach@cornell.edu or by phone at (607) 592-4053. Drop-ins welcome if space allows.

Schedule of 2019 workshops and topics:


  • November 9 – Unknown Powders – Families will explore how powders react when you add a chemical indicator (vinegar, baking soda solution, iodine, and pH indicator solution) to them Using their observations, they will  try to figure out what two powders are in an unknown mixture.
  • October 12 – Launch Tube – Families will use a launch tube to explore the forces acting on a tennis ball. They will collect data and learn how to use it to predict behavior.
  • September 14 – Extracting DNA – Families will learn about the blueprint for life, known as DNA. They will be able to see DNA by extracting some from an organism, using household chemicals.
  • June 8 – Electroplating & Electromagnetism – Families will explore how electric currents can used as a tool for industrial and everyday applications. By manipulating electric currents, families will practice electroplating and producing magnetic fields.
    May 11 – Chromatography – Families will explore color and the technique, known as chromatography, used to separate combinations of colors. They will use this technique to find out the different colors found in a marker and to make their own chromatography butterflies.
  • April 13 – Nanoscale – Families will discover the Science of the small. They will find out what a nanometer is and perform different activities to observe how things behave differently when they are at this scale.
  • March 9 – Simple Circuits – Families will find out how to make a simple circuit and will also test to find out what materials are electrical conductors or insulators. They will then create their own paper circuit.
  • February 9 – Physics of Flight – Families will explore Bernoulli’s Principle by performing some fun demos. They will then construct  a hoop and/or paper airplane and see how far they can get it to fly.
  • January 12 – Electrostatics- Families will explore the phenomena and properties of slow-moving or stationary charges. They will be able to see a Van de Graaf generator in action, as well as make a static flyer and an electrophorous.
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