Pop-Up Programs | Dec. 26 – 30

Pop-Up Programs at the Adler Planetarium | December 26 -30

This winter break, guests visiting the Adler can enjoy STEAM-focused (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programming from partners across the city during our second annual Pop-up Programs event!

Each day, three to four different programs designed to spark engagement, curiosity, and fun for the whole family will “pop-up” throughout the museum.

While no two-days of Pop-up Programs will be the same, guests can enjoy a drop-in engineering or art workshop in Curiosity Classroom from 11 am–3 pm every day, as well as science experiments, technology and coding, dancing and physical games, and other hands-on activities in exhibit spaces on the upper level of the museum.

This event is free with admission.

Partner Organizations

Analytics Lounge  •  Crazy 8s Math Club  •  Design Dance  •  Engineering for Kids  • Galileo Camps •  High Touch – High Tech  •  NeuroKitchen’s Curiosity Club  •  Power Up Tech Academy  •  Project Exploration  •  Project SYNcERE  • Pumping Station: ONE •  SciTech Hands On Museum  •  Seventh Green Circle  •  Steve and Kate’s Camp  •  TechGirlz  •  Wonder Works Children’s Museum

Tuesday, December 26

Pumping Station: One

Curiosity Classroom, 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Engineering

Making Things Move

Explore various ways of making things move with both simple and clever machines. Use springs, gravity, balloon, rubber band power, or micro-controller-driven machines—just get things moving! 

Crazy 8s Math Club

Solar System Gallery, 1:00–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Math

Shooting Stars

Do the math! Make your own origami shooting stars and then see how far they can fly.

Power Up Tech Academy

Mission Moon, 2:00–4:00 pm
Program Focus: Technology

Lunar Landing Coding

Rockets are full of computers and they need code to blast off, steer through space, and safely land. Work with Power Up Tech Academy’s coding experts to write your own animations and games that guide a rocket to land safely on the Moon!

Wednesday, December 27

Seventh Green Circle

Curiosity Classroom, 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Art

Space – Art Sculpture

This activity combines art, architecture, and math. Participants will create “space” in an artistic and unique way by using colorful quality paper and watercolor pencils to create transparency and an organic feel.

Wonder Works Children’s Museum

Planet Explorers, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Program Focus: Science

Rocks for Play and Learning

Lots of rocks to investigate and identify: big rocks to touch, smaller rocks to sort, and tiny rocks to sift from the sandbox. You’ll even get a rock to take home!


Mission Moon, 1:00–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Technology

Programming a robot…vroom, vroom!

Learn to program an Edison robot using EdBlocks and an iPad. EdBlocks is a fully icon-based robot programming language that is perfect for introducing anyone to programming. Think of Edison as
Santa’s sleigh without the reindeer!

SciTech Hands On Museum

Our Solar System, 2:00–4:00 pm
Program Focus: Math


From a beetle’s wing to a satellite’s solar panel design, topology is a mathematical study that can explain it all. SciTech will provide various hands-on activities, including large and small puzzles, that dive into the study of interacting solids as they fold and bend.

Thursday, December 28

Project SYNcERE

Curiosity Classroom, 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Engineering

Wind Powered Car Design Challenge

Using the Engineering Design Process (and the materials provided), you will design, construct, and test a wind-powered car. Will yours be able to travel at least six feet, powered only by the air of a fan?

High Touch – High Tech

Mission Moon, 12:00–2:00 pm
Program Focus: Science

Edison’s Workshop

Explore the amazing world of electricity. Learn what’s “current” as you build circuits and much more! Try a Van der Graff generator to get all the hair-raising facts about static electricity!

Design Dance

Our Solar System, 2:00–4:00 pm
Program Focus: Art

Dancing Through the Solar System

Move your way through the Solar System! Participants will play games, learn movement, and work together to demonstrate and gain an understanding of planetary motion.

Analytics Lounge

Atwood Sphere hallway, 1:00–4:00 pm
Program Focus: Science

What Is It Made Of?

Explore what things around us—including historical artifacts, rocks, and coins—are made of using portable X-Ray Florescence!

Friday, December 29

NeuroKitchen’s Curiosity Club

Curiosity Classroom, 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Art

The Invisible Universe of Dark Matter

Stars and galaxies and other things we can see in space make up only a tiny fraction of the matter in the Universe. There are lots of invisible components. Come explore Dark Matter and discover the invisible web that supports the structures of the cosmos on the largest scales. You will help to build a large, three-dimensional fabric installation representing Dark Matter, and then decorate it with tiny galaxies.

Steve and Kate’s Camp

Mission Moon, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Program Focus: Technology

Stop Motion Animation

Create a space-themed stop-motion animation movie. You get to choose your characters, setting, and how long or short you want your movie to be!

Project Exploration

Our Solar System, 1:00–4:00 pm
Program Focus: Engineering

Engineering at Its Best!

Interact with several engineering challenges in a fun and engaging way, and build something to take home!

Saturday, December 30

Engineering for Kids

Curiosity Classroom, 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Engineering

Incredible Flying Machines: Paper Airplanes

Exploring the principles of flight and aerodynamics, join us to make and test your own paper airplane.

Engineering for Kids

Our Solar System, 1:00–3:00 pm
Program Focus: Engineering

Incredible Flying Machines: Rockets

Exploring the principles of flight and aerodynamics, join us to make and test your own rocket to launch.

Galileo Camps

Mission Moon, 1:00–4:00 pm
Program Focus: Engineering


Learn about circuits and conductivity by making a BristleBot (simple robot) with Galileo Camps.

Pop-up Program Partners 2017