The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation welcomes you and your school group to the Draper Spark!Lab, a place where visitors get the opportunity to Explore, Create, Innovate, Collaborate, and Problem-solve!
Spark!Lab hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Closed Tuesdays and on Dec. 25)
Supervision is required for children under 12.
No food or beverages are allowed in the space (bottled water is permitted).
Students are expected to share materials and space during high volume.
WHAT MAKES SPARK!LAB A MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE?
- Participating in hands-on exploration and activities
- Being actively engaged
- Learning something new—big or small
- Sharing successes with our staff and volunteers or your group—"Look what I did! Look what I made!”
- Being involved in the invention process
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Please be advised that due to space restrictions, we may not be able to accommodate your whole group at one time. If your class is larger than 10 students, consider splitting into smaller groups beforehand to visit other areas of the museum with proper chaperone supervision. Check out the Teacher Resources section of this guide for a list of exhibits related to invention and innovation to enhance your visit. One adult chaperone is required for every 10 students; however, we recommend one for every 5 to make for more enriching group interaction at each activity.
We recommend that you allow 30-45 minutes for a visit to Spark!Lab to ensure your group has time to explore all the fun activities in the space.
Although the target age for Spark!Lab is 6-12, we welcome children and adults of all ages! Depending on the theme, there might be specific activities appropriate for children under 6 or teenagers. Please ask facilitators in yellow aprons for activity suggestions. Next to Spark!Lab is Wegmans Wonderplace, appropriate for children between the ages of 0 and 6.
HOW TO GET HERE
Spark!Lab is located on 1 West on the First Floor of the National Museum of American History. Please check out the museum website for information on directions and parking.
Spark!Lab has made strides to incorporate an inclusive environment for individuals with different styles of learning and abilities. Our volunteers and facilitators are trained to engage people of all abilities and learning styles in having a fun and memorable experience. All of our activities involve multisensory experiences, allowing different levels of engagement based on needs and comfort. Check out our website for more information on accessibility resources.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
A facilitator in a yellow apron will greet your group and assess how many students and chaperones can be admitted at that time. The greeter will orient you and your group to Spark!Lab and provide a brief overview of what you can do during your visit. Facilitators will be on hand to assist, engage, and experiment with your group as needed, but the responsibility of supervising the students remains with teachers and chaperones.