Life’s a lab

Science is all around and a group of experts plus 140 partners want to help you and your kids rediscover its excitement and magic through Science Chicago, the world’s largest science celebration.

During the year-long celebration, families get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore science hands-on, “whether it’s through natural resources, local museums or some of the world-renowned national laboratories or research facilities,” says Cheryl Hughes, executive director of Science Chicago.

Science Chicago, conceived by the Museum of Science and Industry, plans events from now until the end of summer, including 10 lab festivals in the city and suburbs that feature hands-on experiences and science experiments. Along with behind-the-scenes tours and activities, it also offers Junior Science Cafes that allow young people the chance to meet scientists in a casual setting.

“Learning about science doesn’t just happen in a classroom,” Hughes says. “We’re trying to remind people it impacts everything we do.”

Science Saturdays programs in April

• Dig It at the Oriental Institute, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., April 18. Age 9 and up. You’ll meet Oriental Institute archaeologists and learn the secrets of famous discoveries, including the 17-foot-tall statue of King Tut. Go behind the scenes to take part in an archaeological dig in the new Kipper Family Archaeology Discovery Center.

• Geocaching: Skokie Lagoon, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., April 18. All ages. Using a GPS device, you’ll explore the environment while learning about geographic coordinates and satellite technology. Experts will help guide you. GPS devices will be provided.

• Aviation Up Close, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., April 18. Age 9 and up. At the Chicago Executive Airport, communicate with planes from the Air Traffic Control Tower and climb inside an airplane for an up-close look.

•Register for Science Saturdays at www.sciencechicago.com. Tickets $7. The Web site changes often.

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