The Dr. Richard E. Anderson Education Wing

The new Bell Museum offers four full-size classroom/lab spaces in the Dr. Roger E. Anderson Education Wing. The Web, Nest, Hive, and Den offer state-of-the-art scientific equipment and labs meeting many of the MN state standards by grade.  Lab content spans Astronomy, Earth Science, Physics, Life Science, Nature of Science and Engineering, Arts, Physical Sciences, and Engineering Practice, with offerings spanning Kindergarten through High School. The lab offerings include experiential learning opportunities where learners will explore the engineering design process while collaborating with their peers to problem solve and investigate in a student focused environment. Prior to your visit, literacy and modeling activities will be provided for teachers who would like to implement them and for after their visit, activities geared toward processing and reflection will be provided to enhance and enrich the learning process.

Kindergarten - Grade 1 Labs

Honey Bees, Pollination and Our Food

The most important environmental issue we face today may be the global disappearance of pollinators. This hands-on experiential learning lab ushers students through the connections between honey bees, pollination, and our global food sources. Students will learn about the anatomy, classification and life cycle of honey bees by observing them in their hives and under microscopes.

Life Science  Earth Science
0.4.1.1.2   1.4.1.1.1  1.4.2.1.1  1.4.2.1.2  1.4.3.1.1

Natural Inspiration: Art, Non-living Specimens, and Human Made

Students will explore the lines, textures and balance of the landscape through the creation of a large-scale collaborative piece constructed by students using their observations about physical properties of human made and natural made objects. This laboratory experience provides learners an opportunity to use tools for problem solving while constructing a piece of art that requires the use of the scientific method in order to create. Through the lens of their perception of their schoolyard, students will explore the concepts of living versus non-living and construct their own observations and insights.

Nature of Science and Engineering    Life Science    Art    STEAM
0.1.1.2.1     0.1.2.1.1     0.2.1.1.1     0.4.1.1.3     0.4.2.1.1
1.1.1.1.1     1.1.3.1.1     1.1.3.2.1     1.3.1.3.1     1.3.1.3.3

Grades 2 & 3 Labs

Mission to Mars: Motion and the Scientific Method

Using real data from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, students learn how rovers navigate the terrain of Mars and what information they have collected so far. After making observations and collecting data about Martian soil and terrain, students design and engineer a “rover”. Students then test their design on our simulated Curiosity Rover pathway and collect data on distance travelled and time to determine speed achieved.

Nature of Science and Engineering    Earth Science    Physical Science
2.1.1.2.1     2.1.2.2.1     2.2.1.1.1     2.2.2.1.1     2.2.2.1.2     2.2.2.2.1
3.1.1.2.1     3.1.1.2.4     3.1.3.2.1     3.1.3.2.2     3.1.3.4.1

Honey Bees, Pollination and Our Food

The most important environmental issue we face today may be the global disappearance of pollinators. This hands-on experiential learning lab ushers students through the connections between honey bees, pollination, and our global food sources. Students will learn how pollination works in plants by dissecting the parts of the plant and how a range pollinators participate in the process.

Life Science    Earth Science
2.1.1.2.1     3.4.1.1.1     3.4.1.1.2     3.4.3.2.1     3.4.3.2.2

Grades 4-6 Labs

Nature’s Engineers

Engineering takes many forms when investigated through the lens of natural history. This lab first explores the process of engineering and then demonstrates engineering links of animal behavior (beavers and their dams) and nature itself (the process of evolution by natural selection). Using examples of engineering found in nature, learners will delve into the topic of biomimicry and explore human-made products that use principles found in nature to create new and innovative products. This hands-on laboratory experience utilizes specimens from our collection, collaborative peer interactions to consider engineering in several contexts, and builds connections between natural history and the engineering process.

Life Science    Physical Science    Practice of Engineering
4.1.2.1.1     4.1.2.2.1     4.1.2.2.3
5.4.1.1.1

Honey Bees, Pollination and Our Food

The most important environmental issue we face today may be the global disappearance of pollinators. This hands-on experiential learning lab ushers students through the connections between honey bees, pollination and our global food sources. Through collaborative learning stations, students will circulate learning about topics while interacting with peers and staff in small group instruction with an emphasis on systems biology and human interactions with natural systems.

Life Science    Earth Science
4.1.2.1.1
5.3.4.1.3    5.4.1.1.1     5.4.2.1.1     5.4.2.1.2

Grades 7-8 Labs

Observations in Biodiversity

Students explore and compare aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Posed with the question: “Which ecosystem has a higher biodiversity of organisms: wetlands or grasslands?”, learners form a hypothesis by predicting an answer and justifying their prediction. Using scientific tools, learners explore the biodiversity of ecosystems, collect data and make observations, classify data as quantitative or qualitative, and distinguish between abiotic and biotic factors. Finally, students build and present original, collaboratively created dichotomous keys as they learn the value of the scientific process and the necessity of communicating scientific ideas.

Earth Science    Physical Science    Life Science
7.1.1.2.3     7.1.3.4.2     7.4.2.1.1     7.4.2.1.2     7.4.2.1.3     7.4.2.2.2
8.1.3.4.2     8.3.4.1.2

Honey Bees, Pollination, Our Food and Pollinator Garden Design

Students learn about native plant species and their relationship with the many pollinators that work together. Through these interspecies interactions, survival is ensured. In addition, human survival is maintained through agriculture reliant on pollinators. Learners will explore environmental issues related to pollinators and their disappearance. Peer driven collaborative learning culminates in the design of a pollinator garden that takes into consideration native vegetation, needs of pollinators and diversity of pollinators.

Life Science    Earth Science
7.4.2.1.2     7.4.2.1.3     7.4.2.2.2     7.4.3.2.3     7.4.4.1.2
8.1.3.4.1

Grades 9-12

Escape Room: The hunt for Earth-like planets

In the distant future, our Sun will die and the Earth itself will no longer be a hospitable world. In this escape room–style lab*, students are tasked with finding a new home planet—using only the properties of light— before the dying Sun ends life as we know it. Methods utilized in the lab include spectroscopy, luminosity and temperature of stars, and comparative planetology. *No students will be locked into a room. They will answer questions to determine the codes to boxes, revealing clues to find a new home planet.

Astronomy    Earth Science    Physics
9.3.3.2.3   9P.2.2.1.3   9P.2.3.3.4    9P.2.3.3.6