• STEM at Home

    Discover science and connect to the natural world while staying safe and healthy at home!

    Check out our virtual programming schedule and browse through our list of resources, activities, crafts, videos, and more to help continue to bring science into your world.

  • Summer 2021

    Let our in-person virtual distance learning programs and family experiences provide a COVID-safe educational experience for your school or community group! We have modified some of our most popular programs to address the health and safety of all our community. 

  • Field Trip

    More than 250 interactive science, technology, energy and health exhibits await students of all ages.  We’re experts at making sure that bringing your group to the Museum is smooth sailing all the way. Discounted admission for groups of 15 children or more!

  • ScienceWorks

    Your students become scientists during our ScienceWorks Labs. All programs align with National Science Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and Common Core State Standards. Labs are available year-round for preschool to middle school students and are led by an instructor.

  • Outreach

    Our Outreach staff brings the Museum to you—at schools, libraries, community centers, and festivals—by delivering hands-on programming customized to your schedule and curriculum interests.

  • Distance Learning

    Experience live, interactive Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum programs right in your classroom! Our educators use videoconferencing technology to share science and math activities with your students, engaging them in a dynamic, hands-on learning experience.

  • Scouts

    The best place for Scouts to explore STEAM! 

  • Summer Camp

    Through the Unity in Learning partnership, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Leslie Science & Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum now offer families incredible day camps at two fantastic locations in Ann Arbor and Belleville.

  • Birthday Parties

    Have a STEM-tastic birthday party with us at the museum! Join us on Saturdays as we help you and your guests celebrate your special day at the museum.

Back to Programs

Engineering Design (K-2nd)

Engineer your way through multiple problems. Design solutions while you experience the engineering process through questioning, planning, building, testing, and analyzing your creation. Register today!

Cost: $6 per student

Standard labs are booked for a minimum of 15 students with a minimum price of $90.

Next Generation Science Standards

K-2-ETS1: Engineering Design

  • k-2-ETS-1-1: Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool
  • K-2-ETS1-2: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an objet helps it function as needed to solve a given problem
  • K-2-ETS1-3: Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
  • K-PS2-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object

Engineering Design Pre-Visit Information

During Your Visit to the ScienceWorks Lab students will be expected to:

  • Sit in tables of 6 students and (at least) 1 adult
  • Students should be prepared to give their attention to the Lab instructors when requested.
  • Work both individually and with a partner
  • Follow the hands-on procedures just as the Lab teacher or assistant explains them
  • Handle materials and equipment carefully

It is important that teachers and chaperones:

  • Help to focus the students’ attention
  • Assist students with the hands-on activities and experiments when necessary
  • Turn off cell phones during the class


Engineer: A person who designs, builds, or maintains technical equipment.

Engineering Process: The process that engineers use to help them problem solve

Brainstorm: produce an idea for solving a problem

Design: To decide upon the look and function of an object, typically by making a detailed drawing

Test: To try out a design and see if it works

Analyze: To make careful observations while testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t

Engineering Design Post-visit Activity:

Post-visit activities will help reiterate new concepts and tie the ScienceWorks Lab experience to your classroom curriculum. Below you will find a classroom activity and a list of suggested resources for further information. We hope that you enjoyed your field trip. Visit us again!


Remind students of the 5 steps of the engineering process. Ask (what’s the problem), Brainstorm (ideas for solving), Design (make a plan, draw a picture, list materials), Create (build or make), Test and Analyze (try it and pay attention to what is working or not). Introduce the challenge of needing to build a tall structure that can hold up a book.


  • Toothpicks
  • Connector material of your choice (gumdrops/mini-marshmallows/clay/playdoh/poster putty)
  • Something to use as a weight (book, basket, etc)
  • Paper and pencil for designing


  1. If students are going to work in teams, break them into teams.
  2. Show the student the supplies and introduce the challenge of building a tower. Set the height goal and the weight goal.
  3. Students need to brainstorm ideas. Remind them how triangle shapes were helpful for their bridge.
  4. Students draw their design.
  5. Students build their tower.
  6. Students test and analyze their structure.
Engineering Design (K-2nd)



50 minutes



Still not sure we have the experience you want?

Visit unityinlearning.org to open a gateway to hands-on discovery, exploration of the natural world, and experiences that take flight.

Through the Unity in Learning partnership with the Ann Arbor Hands-On MuseumLeslie Science and Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum we provide over 100 different  programs at our facilities, on site at your location, or through interactive video conferencing.