• SolarQuest

Combo ticket discounts will be applied when all items are in your cart at the end of checkout.

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Science on the Road

For more info on this program or any of our offerings, call 412.237.3374.


Content themes:
Zoology, Physics, Engineering, Regional Science


Blast into orbit around the Earth with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO. The SDO is our latest, greatest satellite for exploring the Sun! In this show, students embark on a SolarQuest – a quest to learn about our star, the Sun! Students learn how the Sun works, how we study it with our satellite, and how the Sun interacts with the Earth and makes life possible.

Key Messages

Our Sun...
Our Sun is a star, made of mostly hydrogen in a plasma state Our Sun is active, producing light, heat, magnetic energy and space weather events such as sunspots and solar flares. Our Sun centers a Solar System, a neighborhood of rock, gas, and ice.

Our Earth...
Our Earth is the only planet situated in the goldilocks zone – just right for life. Our atmosphere protects us from the Sun's harmful energy, while allowing the Sun's helpful energy to nurture living things.

Tools of Science
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is our "eye on the Sun," our tool to study its light, sound, and magnetic activity. This helps us predict space weather that will influence Earth.


Ethanol Fire Rocket: Our mission begins as we explore the chemistry behind the powerful Atlas V rocket that carried SDO to space. We've even got an 8-foot-tall inflatable model of the rocket!

What's The Sun Made Of? Colorful exploding balloons introduce the elements inside the Sun. Then students learn about what the Sun is REALLY made of…hotter than fire…PLASMA! Electricity demonstrations show how we encounter plasma here on Earth.

Color and Light (younger kids): A volunteer aims and combines different colors of light to make new color combinations, all while wearing a whimsical satellite costume. Students about the different colors of light that come from the Sun, and what color the Sun would appear if we could see it in space.

Sound Fire Tubes: Fires travel through different sized tubes and we hear the results! Students explore the connection between wavelength and pitch. Students learn how the SDO actually studies sounds inside the Sun

Magnetic Maps (older kids): As students manipulate magnets, onscreen virtual magnetic field lines are instantly animated around their hands in real time. Students learn about the Sun's magnetic nature.

Fire Tornado! What happens if you spin a flame? You get a rotating column of fire! Students learn the physics that makes this work on Earth. Then we take a look how a whole different kind of tornado can form on the Sun.

The Solar System (younger kids): Volunteers come on stage to model the planets of the Solar System. The audience sings along to an adaptation of "Do-Re-Mi" to learn about the different planets and why Earth is the only one just right for life.

Earth's Atmosphere: Demonstrations explore how the Sun's magnetic energy causes auroras, how the ozone blocks harmful ultraviolet light. Students see themselves in infrared and learn how our atmosphere traps infrared energy to warm the Earth.

Photosynthesis: What will a green laser do to red, blue, and green balloons? This demonstration introduces photosynthesis with a BANG! Students learn how red and blue light from the Sun start the process in plants that makes life possible on Earth.

SolarQuest All-Day Adventure

Keep the excitement going all day long! The extraordinary journey begins with the SolarQuest assembly show, then moves to 10 Adventure Stations that reinforce the concepts of the show with hands-on activities that kids love. Our staff will be at your site for a full day. We can do All-Day Adventures for up to 480 students per day, two hours per class. $850, all inclusive!

What You'll Need:
  • Two separate spaces, one for the assembly and one for the Adventure Stations
  • 15–20 adult volunteers or high school students (Your Carnegie Science Center presenter will conduct a training workshop for volunteers 45 minutes before the first scheduled group.)
Grades: 1–8 Length: two hours per class. Science on the Road is at your site for a full day. Capacity: 480 students per day. Fee: $850, all inclusive

SolarQuest Hour-Long Adventure

If you're short on time or space, try one of these smaller (but still mighty!) assembly shows. Turn one of our all-day experiences into a program that works with your schedule and budget. These programs come with lots of great bells and whistles, just like our day-long programs. These short assemblies will make a huge impact on your students!

Capacity: 250 students
Time required: 45-60 minutes
Fee: $475, includes set-up and one presentation
$225 for each additional presentation

Our shows also are customized for the appropriate grade level and are aligned with national and Pennsylvania academic standards and anchors to help support your educational goals. We request that you do not book one of our programs for more than three consecutive grades at a time. To let your whole school in on the fun, book an All-Day Adventure or a multiple assemblies program.

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