8 ways to avoid Summer Brain Drain

Sponsored by Museum of Science and Industry

School’s out, but summer vacation doesn’t have to mean a break from learning. Instead, your kids can become science superheroes and defeat the evil Dr. Brain Drain using the powers of STEM!

Summer Brain Games, an annual program from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, offers eight weeks of free and fun experiments families can do at home with kids of all ages using items found around the house. This year’s theme is superhero science – children will experiment with chemistry, physics, math and other STEM subjects as they use their creativity to save the day.

“Kids shouldn’t spend the first few weeks of school this fall relearning the same concepts they learned the previous school year because of brain drain,” said Bryan Wunar, the Museum’s director of community initiatives. “We’ve designed Summer Brain Games experiments to help kids and parents see that science really is fun, is everywhere in their daily lives and can even be done in your backyard.”

Instructions are available at msichicago.org/summerbrain. Here’s a peek at what’s in store:


Create a foaming chemical reaction using dish soap, yeast, water and hydrogen peroxide. It makes a great origin story for how kids get their superhero powers!


Design a mask to give your hero a recognizable identity, and then make a signal light so that you can be alerted in times of need.


Control the wind by making a balloon-powered cannon that blasts a stream of air powerful enough to knock down obstacles. It’s a cool lesson in Bernoulli’s principle: the faster air moves, the lower its pressure.


Make a can move with the power of your mind! Build a comeback can that transfers potential energy to kinetic energy as it rolls in a predictable manner.


Learn a math-based predictive card trick to make people think you can read their minds as you identify the card they secretly selected. Magic? No, it’s math!


Build an infallible fortress and learn about engineering design using materials like newspaper and tape. What shape is the strongest and can help make the tallest home for a superhero?


Race a vehicle made from a paper towel tube along a string to explore the science of force and motion.


Make some gadgets fit for a hero’s utility belt, like a compass and stethoscope. All you need is a cork, needle, magnet, cardboard tube, funnel and balloon!

Families who register at msichicago.org/summerbrain will receive weekly emails with step-by-step instructions and a voucher good for one Museum Entry ticket per household, so you can continue exploring science this summer.

Summer Brain Games is sponsored by Adobe / CDW.

This sponsored post is part of an advertising partnership between Museum of Science and Industry and Chicago Parent Media.

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