Science? Walk outside. Watch a building as it is constructed. Splash around in a creek or river or lake. Eat an apple. Plant some seeds.

Science isn’t a list of facts you have to memorize for a test. It’s all around you. In fact, you could say that science makes the world go around—because it does. Or at least it explains how and why it goes around. Along with how everything on it—natural and human-made—functions.

Many of the most basic scientific principles are explored in ScienceWorks, the sprawling gallery on Level 4 of The Children’s Museum.

ScienceWorks consists of six areas:

  • Nature’s Backyard: In this area, visitors find a replicated Indiana freshwater pond complete with native plants and animals, as well as a watershed table and the habitats of underground animals.
  • The Construction Site: Using child-sized versions of some of the tools (from shovels and wheelbarrows to a bulldozer and a dump truck) used on actual construction projects, visitors can explore the principles of form, function, design, and simple machines.
  • The Dock Shop and Dock Shop Creek: A 30-foot-long winding creek invites visitors to experiment with changing water levels and use toy boats to explore such concepts as fluid motion and surface tension.
  • Rock Wall: There’s no better way to find out about some of the principles of physics than to climb a rock wall. Wearing helmets and safety harnesses, visitors scale a 20-foot-tall simulated rock wall following one of three climbing routes.
  • Health House: From a video game that promotes physical activity and a refrigerator that encourages good food choices to tips about brushing your teeth and getting enough sleep, this part of the gallery was designed with input from medical professionals to teach children and families the importance of developing healthy habits.
  • Biotechnology Learning Center: This 1,500-square-foot space is used for teaching school classes, families and other groups about such topics as nanotechnology, DNA to cloning and plant reproduction.

As an extension of ScienceWorks, the museum also offers SciencePort, which consists of staff-led hands-on science activities, as well as follow-up resources and online activities that teachers and families can use at school or home. The SciencePort room is at the rear of ScienceWorks, on the second level.

ScienceWorks was made possible by many generous donors and supporters. Learn about the museum transformational donors.

Through the years, ScienceWorks has consistently been one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.
The construction site in ScienceWorks.
The Biotechnology Learning Center in ScienceWorks is a popular spot for school groups and families.
A family looks at what lives beneath the surface of an Indiana pond in ScienceWorks.
Dock Shop Creek is a popular favorite in ScienceWorks.