Follow along with these engaging videos to do fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities at home. Download a supply list and step-by-step instructions for each video.
This set of videos highlights inventors and inventions as they relate to our Mothers of Invention exhibit, which you can also explore virtually on our website. Everyone says that necessity is the mother of invention, but at the Cade, we see inventions born from all of these Mothers of Invention: Necessity, Curiosity, Imagination, Iteration, and Serendipity.
The playlist below includes the audio tour stops plus the activity videos. See more on our YouTube.
Learn more about inventions of necessity, inventors bringing their imaginations to life, and all the iterations it took to find success! For ages 6+, with parental supervision.
Lists of Supplies & Step-by-Step Instructions
Cade Activities - Lessons 1-9
Lesson 1: Washy Washy Soap “Washy washy” is a term many teachers use with their students to remind them to wash their hands. The invention of soap helps us stay healthy and avoid spreading germs and disease. Whether you are washing your hands, the hair on your head, or taking a shower to clean your body, washing with soap is a necessity! We have a fun way to make your own fizzing hand soap recipe with everything you have in your kitchen. View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 2: Newton's Coin Tower Challenge When it comes to scientific muses, Sir Isaac Newton is near the top of our list. Have you ever seen the classic magic trick where a tablecloth is pulled out from under dishes without disturbing them? This trick explores the properties friction and inertia without risking your fine china. Using a butter knife, you’ll remove the bottom coin from an entire tower of coins. What’s the secret? Perform the project to find out! Can you see Newton's laws of motion in things that happen around us all the time? Curiosity is an inventor’s best friend and can lead to discoveries large and small. View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF Lesson 3: Stretching Hair Gel Not every great discovery is a product of luck or a dramatic breakthrough. Many inventions are the result of diligent iteration or improvements on existing ideas. Material science engineers work every day trying to create new materials and methods for creating them. Many of us have made slime before, but have you tried making it with corn starch and hair gel? Let’s take a fun experiment and iterate on it using new materials. Once we’ve tried it, we can iterate again, adjusting the amounts of our ingredients to see how the outcome changes! View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 4: Water, Glasses & Vibrations: Let's Make Some Music You probably know Benjamin Franklin as one of America’s founding fathers, but did you know he was an inventor too? He’s credited with the invention of the lightning rod, bifocals and even a musical instrument called the glass harmonica or armonica. After seeing someone playing wine glasses as a musical instrument, Franklin imagined a way someone could play many glasses at once instead of just two. It became popular enough that both Mozart and Beethoven composed pieces for it! In today’s activity, we’ll be exploring the science behind Franklin’s inspiration: musical wine glasses! View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 5: Inertia Spinners Sir Isaac Newton was brilliant man, but serendipity played a role in his discoveries too. Have you heard the story of how Newton came up with his theory of gravity when an apple fell out of a tree and onto his head? While the part about it bonking him on the head is likely an embellishment, the story itself seems to be true. Sometimes even mundane events happening at the right place and time can be the inspiration for great things! Today we’ll build our own tops to explore one of the laws of motion Newton discovered: inertia. View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 6: Growing Synthetic Crystals Nature is a masterful artist, creating so many materials that enable us to achieve new things. The first laser used a red ruby which takes thousands of years to form naturally in the Earth, but mass-producing lasers meant finding a new source for crystals. Out of necessity, we began using lab-grown crystals instead, which take only months to make and can then be used in laboratories and industries across the world. In today’s activity, you’ll be making your own artificial crystals in your refrigerator! View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 7: Recycled Sound Amplification Devices When designing a prototype, you often don’t have loads of money to create exactly what’s in your head. Instead, let’s explore how we can reuse materials around us to create a proof of concept for a new creation. In this activity, we’ll make a device that can amplify the sound from your phone for listening to music or spoken word. If that piques your curiosity, figure out how to improve the device on your own or create a prototype of your own invention. To the recycling bin we go! View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 8: Fabric Diffusion T-Shirts We call them permanent markers for a reason. Unlike their washable counterparts, permanent markers can’t be easily removed with soap and water because the ink in them isn’t water soluble. However, the ink is alcohol soluble - meaning it dissolves in alcohol – which will allow us to use it for this art project! Using markers, isopropyl alcohol, a T-shirt and your own imagination, you can make a shirt with the power of diffusion! View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 9: Negative Space T-Shirts In this activity we’ll be using painter's tape. Like Post-its, the tape is designed to be sticky enough to stay in place while in use, but not so sticky that it’s hard to remove once the job’s done. Our activity will have us cover parts of our creation in painters’ tape, create a design on top of it and then remove the tape to create something incredible using "negative space". View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF
Lesson 10: Catapults This activity involves launching projectiles. Using some common craft materials, you’ll be able to make a surprisingly powerful catapult to launch small objects! These launchers are great for demonstrating Newton’s laws of motion. View or Download Supply List & Instructions PDF