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PopUP SCIENCE is fun!

Check out our gallery of past PopUP SCIENCE events and see how families in the Chicago Southland area learn together during our free science activities.

To learn about volunteering at 

PopUp SCIENCE events

Click here

For a full line-up of  

upcoming events

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Science of Healthy Choices with

PopUp SCIENCE "Science of Healthy Choices" was held from 10am-1pm on Saturday September 28th, 2019.


With our partners from Intense Conditioning Homewood and Serendipity Yoga, families enjoyed workouts and meditation they can do at home. We had hands-on activities to highlight human anatomy, hand-washing, and sugar consumption.

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PopUp SCIENCE "Bubble Bash" was held from 10am-1pm on Saturday August 24th, 2019.


With our partner Dober go hands-on with bubble exploration activities for the whole family!

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 PopUp SCIENCE "Metal Mania"was held on Saturday July 27th, 2019 with partners Gaby Iron & Metal,  Governors State University, and Trialco.


Would you ever build a car out of ceramic? Or a plane out of plastic? Find out how metals and materials differ and are used for different purposes.  See how metals work together in everyday systems like a dishwasher or a bike. Learn how professionals in the metal industry use the periodic table in their everyday work! 


Express yourself through art and make a wind chime or metal sculpture with metal scraps. Join our metal mania groupies in decking out a community art exhibit using metal and recycled materials. Make an aluminum foil boat and guess that metal with Trialco!

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Go Green!

How environmentally conscious are you & your family? Do you recycle? Do you reuse things that most people only use once? Do you reduce the amount of waste that enters and exits your home? 

If not, this free Go Green! event is the perfect opportunity for you and your children to learn fun and creative ways to help make your home less wasteful and more conscious of the environment through crafts, science experiments, and so much more! 


Our middle school conservation ecology interns will show off the native garden they worked hard to plant! 

Thank you to our partners at Chicago Region Trees Initiative, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and Homewood Disposal.

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Time to lay a foundation!
PopUp SCIENCE Building Basics was an exciting event for our future engineers & architects to learn the basics of construction & structural design! Thank you to our partners Homewood Public Works and Scully ADA Consulting for inspiring scientific wonder, learning, and pursuit.

Click here for upcoming events!

Saturday September 29th, 2018

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Bring your family and drop in on Saturday September 29th, 2018 from 10am-1pm at Homewood Science Center, 18022 Dixie Highway, for PopUp SCIENCE Take Flight! Take Flight celebrates aviation sciences with help from AeroStar, a non-profit that encourages students to pursue education and careers in the aerospace industry. Explore principles of aviation with our flight simulator. Build and test an airplane of your own in our STEAM Studio. Learn the story behind the Lansing Municipal Airport and examine the history and innovation behind aircrafts with model planes. PopUp SCIENCE is free and families are encouraged to drop-in, no registration required.

Come for the science, stay for the street fest! Be sure to stick around for Village of Homewood Fall Fest!

Saturday August 18th, 2018

PopUp SCIENCE "Bubble Bash" is presented with Dober from 10am-1pm at Homewood Science Center. Bubbles are fascinating and fun, and there is a world of science supporting their existence! Explore with us as we look at topics like surface tension, chemistry, and geometry by using bubbles! 

Saturday July 14, 2018

Do you know how much water your body needs on a daily basis? Are you satisfying your sweet tooth beyond the recommended daily dose? Are you building your dinner plates with the nutrients your body needs? How much exercise does your family need and what are the easiest ways to have fun while moving! 


Drop in for hands-on making and experimenting and take part in a fun family fitness routine led by The Trainer's Workshop!Take a look at your family's choices and figure out how you can make them healthier!


Presented with Franciscan Health and Healthy ChoicesIllinois Action for Children, and The Trainer's Workshop!  

Special Demonstrations

10am | 11am | 12pm: Family Fitness 

10:30am | 11:30am | 12:30pm 

"Nutrition and Numbers Game Show"

Drop into Homewood Science Center, 18022 Dixie Highway, for PopUp SCIENCE "Metal Mania"

being held from 10am-1pm on Saturday June 9th. With partners Gaby Iron & Metal,  Governors State University, and Homewood Disposal, go hands-on with metal exploration activities for the whole family.


Would you ever build a car out of ceramic? Or a plane out of plastic? Find out how metals and materials differ and are used for different purposes.  See how metals work together in everyday systems like a dishwasher or a bike.

Ever wonder how metal is recycled? Find out with hands-on demonstrations with Homewood Disposal!


Express yourself through art and make a wind chime or metal sculpture with metal scraps. Join our metal mania groupies in decking out a community art exhibit using metal and recycled materials.

Did you know that complex equipment like trains and cranes are made from combinations of simple machines?  

Homewood Science Center is partnering with Mi-Jack Products, Inc. a south suburban company that has been engineering durable and reliable material handling equipment for more than 60 years. Learn how Mi-Jack Products' modern, sophisticated products were influenced by concepts from simple machines invented in 3rd Century BC.  We'll explore simple machines like the lever, wheel and axle, pulley, screw, wedge and inclined planes. In the STEAM Studio families create their own simple machines using household and recycled items.

Be sure to stop in the HF Auditorium for Village of Homewood's Rail Fest!

Homewood Science Center featured activities that highlighted STEAM in police work: a fingerprint matching game and a police sketch challenge. 

FREE! Saturday February 17th

Drop in! No registration necessary.

Stop by for a few minutes or a few hours.


Have a sweet tooth? So do we! Drop into Homewood Science Center on Saturday February 17th from 11am-2pm during Village of Homewood’s Chocolate Fest for PopUp SCIENCE Sweet Shoppe Science & Math. For young mathematicians, we are featuring a DIY hot chocolate make & take math game and a M&M balancing scale activity. Just how light is your favorite chocolate bar?  Test its buoyancy in a sweet sink or swim experiment! Decorate an apron with the Village of Homewood Community Relations Commission in our STEAM Studio.


Polar Express Party

@Homewood Science Center

Friday December 1st  | 5pm-8pm

During Homewood's Holiday Lights

Drop in for a few minutes or a few hours.

No registration necessary.

All ages.

"Ready, Set, Experiment!"
@Homewood Science Center

Saturday September 16th | 10am-1pm

Homewood Science Center Founders' Club member, Dober, has an exciting event in store for you!

PopUp SCIENCE "Ready, Set, Experiment" featured several stations of hands-on activities, led by chemists from Dober!

  • Make your own bouncy ball in our STEAM Studio

  • Elephant Toothpaste: Kids will learn about properties of chemical reactions through a fun expanding foam demonstration that resembles a toothpaste that elephants might use.

  • Ask a Dober chemist a question!

  • Interactive model airplane display

  • Mystery Toys: Children learn about making observations and forming hypotheses by trying to identify mystery toys.

  • Wild Water: Learn about the properties of water such as surface tension, adhesion, polarity and refractive index through a series of short, fun experiments.

In partnership with:
NASA Live Stream Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
August 21st |  10:30am-3pm
FREE | All Ages!

Over 400 people gathered at Homewood Science Center to celebrate the celestial wonder of the solar eclipse! We featured NASA live stream of the ‘Path of Totality’ in the Michael Wexler Theater. Our STEAM Studio featured making activities including solar viewers and solar masks with American Astronomical Society approved viewing film

and camera obscuras. 

According to the Adler Planetarium, the eclipse will begin at approximately 11:54 am. At 1:19pm, the Moon will block 87% of the Sun.The eclipse will end at approximately 3 pm. At 11:54 am, the Moon will start to block Chicago’s view of the Sun, eventually covering 87%, and creating something spectacular—a solar eclipse. The last time Chicago was this close to the path of totality (100% blockage of the Sun) for a total solar eclipse was in 1925—92 years ago! 

Krazy for K-9's
with the Cook County Sheriff Department's K-9 Unit
August 19th |  10am-1pm

Homewood Science Center welcomed the Cook County K9 Unit for #PopUpSCIENCE “Krazy for K9’s” on Saturday August 19th as part of Village of Homewood’s Giant Block Party.


People had a chance to meet K9’s that sniff out narcotics and bombs and a bloodhound who assists in locating missing people! How amazing to watch the live training demonstration. These brave dogs detect and deter!


If you have questions about these furry and friendly K9 officers, now is your opportunity to ask the Cook County Officers on duty for this event!


For more information on the Cook County K9 Unit, visit them online.

"Botany and Bees"
@Homewood Science Center's Garage

Saturday August 12th | 10am-12pm

We explored botany and bees! One of the greatest ways to learn about plants is to observe their structures and use them to make art. We created botanical art by making plant chromatography bookmarks.

Bees get a pretty bad reputation, but they are essential for our food supply! People got their questions answered by master beekeeper at this Mini PopUp and ask away! We will have a hands-on activity on how bees make honey.

Homewood Science Center
at Village of Homewood's National Night Out
@Irwin Park | 18120 Highland

Tuesday August 1st | 5pm-8pm

Think Globally, Act Locally: You Can Make a Sustainable Difference
at Homewood Science Center

Saturday July 22nd

In partnership with:
Sponsored by:
Schneider Electric Project Based Internship
Sustainability Stories: Farmers Market

Schneider Electric collaborated with 12 high school interns at Homewood Science Center  designing hands-on activities to explore energy conservation and energy efficiency! Kudos to our interns! Job well done!

Homewood Science Center, along with filmmakers Anne Colton and Amy Eagle of Studio 604 will highlighted "Sustainable Stories" in our newly renovated Michael Wexler Theater.

You can make a difference in the world, starting in your own home! PopUp SCIENCE "Think Globally, Act Locally: You Can Make a Sustainable Difference" explored sustainability topics including energy, water, food, and waste. We'll show you how being green can save the planet and save big bucks!

Did you know that water is a renewable resource?  The staff microbiologist from Metropolitan Water Reclamation District  brought their microscopes and showed off water samples from each stage of the water cleansing process. We learned about the Deep Tunnel Project and how water is stored in the ground. Kids made their own natural water filter out of recycled water bottles. 

How far does your food come from? Our Kids Committee determined that some of our food comes from really far away places like New Zealand! We made seed starting pots out of newspaper and planted lettuce seeds to take home.


Even our youngest scientists learned about being green during our Sustainability Storytime led by Homewood Public Library. All in all, we learned that we can create healthy habits to help the Earth.

Sugar Shock, a mini PopUp SCIENCE
in Homewood Science Center's Garage

Saturday June 17th


We showcased three activities from our past PopUp SCIENCE, "Fitness & Nutrition by the Numbers."

Did you know that most kids consume 49 pounds of sugar in a year?! We helped people calculate how much added sugar they might consume in a day. Kids made a a MyPlate, to practice building a well-balanced meal. 

"Science of Film: Then & Now" explored photography and filmmaking with hands-on activities and exhibits for the whole family!

Families went back in time and became an animator using a zoetrope and animation strips. Also, as a tribute to Anna Atkins, the first person to publish a book of photography, we used light-sensitive sunpaper to study flowers and make images. 

Everyone loved meeting the folks at Keslow Camera as they displayed movie making equipment from then & now! What a showcase of how cameras have evolved throughout the years.

A team from Governors State University was on hand showing kids how film is used in science with a microscope and camera combination.

We celebrated the brand new Michael Wexler Theater with 3D movies. People admired our community photography gallery that we hosted with help from Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College.

Science of Film:

Then and Now

During Homewood's Art & Garden Fair

Saturday June 10th

Hosted in partnership with:

Railroads and Roller Coasters
@Homewood Science Center

During Homewood's Rail Fest

Saturday May 20th

Homewood Science Center was open during Homewood's Rail Fest! We featured a video about on Homewood's John Miller, a roller coaster inventor in the 1920's. Kids challenged their imagination by building a model roller coaster and candy trains. The little ones loved our set of Magic Tracks!

In addition, HF Robotics had a cool display featuring the math it takes to make rollercoasters work! Ever wonder about the velocity behind the giant drops that send you soaring down dips on roller coasters? HF Robotics helped people measure potential and kinetic energy and calculate the velocity behind those dips and drops!

Did you know that our region thrives with railroad history? Our Thrall collection showed how Thrall rail cars are a rich part of the South Suburban rail history!

Science at the Ballpark
@Homewood's Izaak Walton Preserve

Saturday April 22nd

PopUp SCIENCE “Science at the Ballpark” explored the physics and engineering design of baseball and softball. From running to hitting, we calculated speed and covered Newton's laws, brining an interest in science to America's favorite past time!


Thank you to 

Chicago White Sox sportscaster Jason Benetti

for making a special appearance!


Thank you to

Chicago White Sox and Homewood Bat Co.

for sponsoring our donation campaign!


Thank you to

Izaak Walton Preserve and Homewood Baseball & Softball

for making this PopUp possible!

Crazy for Cacao
@Homewood's Chocolate Fest

Saturday February 18th

Homewood Science Center presented PopUp SCIENCE “Crazy for Cacao” during Village of Homewood’s Chocolate Fest 2017. Kids learned all about the cacao bean- from its origin in the jungles of Central America to how it is used to make chocolate. Check out a diorama of Central America and a model of a cacao pod. Use a corn grinder to grind cacao nibs, and discover how cacao is turned into hot chocolate! Explorers tasted an old-Aztec recipe for a hot cacao drink and compared it to our modern day hot chocolate.  People “Crazy for Cacao” loved this chocolate lover’s edition of PopUp SCIENCE. 

Did your New Year's resolution include fitness or nutrition goals? We made it a family affair and took a mathematical approach! Homewood Science Center partnered with Franciscan Fitness Center in presenting PopUp SCIENCE "Fitness & Nutrition by the Numbers: A Mathematical Approach to Family Wellness"


Families went hands-on with numbers and nutrition labels, investigated sugar shocking facts with our sponsor  Lisa Grant Orthodontics , measured the amount of water your body needs on a daily basis, and decorated a MyPlate to take home. Franciscan Fitness Center had families moving with indoor exercise including a family fitness obstacle course and family yoga workshops. 

Sponsored by:

Fitness & Nutrition by the Numbers 
@Franciscan Fitness Center

Saturday January  28th

In partnership with:

Janet Gustafson’s Cookie Construction 

A Gingerbread Engineering Marvel

Sunday December 11 

Janet Gustafson has created magical gingerbread villages in her Flossmoor home for 40 years. She starts baking in June to create a village complete with figurines, tiny trains, lights and music. This year, her cookie construction was a tribute to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and her late husband's expertise in structural engineering.

Kurt Gustafson was rushed to the scene as an expert advisor when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. Homewood Science Center partnered with Janet to explore the science of the season and bring light to the engineering aspects of her gingerbread construction.  

Check out what ABC 7 news had to say about Janet's creations in 2012!

In partnership with:

Snowflakes &  Circuits

December 2nd, 2016

@Homewood Science Center 

In partnership with:

Video produced by Haley Atherton

Music by

Families warmed up and explored at Homewood Science Center for PopUp SCIENCE “Snowflakes and Circuits”

during the Village of Homewood’s Holiday Lights festival.

Our partners, Schneider Electric & SouthWorks Maker's Lab  illuminated our understanding of circuits with hands-on activities for the whole family. Kids learned to solder and made a homemade light up holiday card by creating their own circuit. Our giant snowflake circuits sparked an interest in science as people held hands to complete the circuit and light our display

Our Snowflake Theater was a great stop to check out videos about the science of snowflakes while sipping punch and munching marshmallows. We even had a sneak peak of our upcoming program, Cardboard Creations, with our life-size Gingerbread Robot, made with recycled cardboard and Makedo tools. Thanks to all who decked our halls with a paper snowflake community art display!

Spooky Science & Autumn Ecology

 October 23rd, 2016  

@Izaak Walton Preserve during WALK WALTON, a PopUp SCIENCE Fundraiser

Video produced by Haley Atherton and Jon Levert

Music by

Homewood Science Center hosted a double dose of PopUp SCIENCE at our first major fundraising event, WALK WALTON, A PopUp SCIENCE Fundraiser at Homewood’s Izaak Walton Preserve“Spooky Science” a Halloween edition of PopUp SCIENCE was a hit! Kids mixed potions and made slime at our Mad Scientist station, explored bones and a section of a real human brain with Gross Anatomy, and spooked their families at our Pepper’s Ghost optical illusion. 
“Autumn Ecology” took a seasonal look at what lives in our local forests. Folks at Irons Oaks Foundation were on hand to help kids handle furs and learn about the flora and fauna of our forests.  Kids tested their inner engineer by constructing marshmallow catapults.

Homewood Fire Department Open House

 October 1st, 2016  

@Homewood Fire Department

Homewood Science Center will be popped up at the Homewood Fire Department Open House! Kids enjoyed an afternoon filled with hands-on activities, featuring our Hometown Hero Dress-Up station. Our "Seatbelt Eggsperiment" explored seatbelt safety, inertia, and data collection. Homewood's firefighters sure did light things up with a live burn demonstration.

HF Life Aquatic

 September 17th, 2016

@Homewood Science Center 

A dive into the local waters with professors from The University of Chicago Drs. Cathy Pfister and Tim Wootton and their team of Ph.D. students guided families through hands-on activities using real marine biology equipment.

Exhibits focused on comparing and contrasting live, tanked fish from Butterfield Creek, measuring the oxygen levels in local waters and exploring how plant life affects the quality of local water.

A rare collection of mussels from The Field Museum highlighted the history behind harvesting mussels for buttons.​


HF Life Aquatic

Video produced by Haley Atherton

Music by

Video produced by Haley Atherton

Music by

Presented by the Illinois Association for Aggregate Producers (IAAP) and Hanson Material Services (management for Thornton Quarry). Talk with the presenters about the mining process and the MWRD (deep tunnel) project protecting local communities from flooding during significant rain events. Can you match mined materials to your favorite household product? Learn all about the Thornton Quarry, an amazing natural resource and engineering marvel in Homewood's backyard. Bryan Environmental of Homewood showed off their collection of mined materials.

If it Can't be Grown, It Must be Mined

 September 10th, 2016  

Video produced by Haley Atherton

Music by