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SMO at Home

SMO at Home

Welcome to #SMOatHome, a space we're jam-packing with science-based activities and experiments you can do with common household items!

We launched #SMOatHome in the wake of the museum's temporary closure in response to COVID-19. We're working to add more content here every week, so check back often and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see the latest! If you try an activity or just like what you see, let us know using #SMOatHome.

Check out the science of suds!

Have more plastic bags than you can ever use? Try plastic fusion!

Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold and special guest Fergus the Astrocat take us on a journey to the Moon!

Rumble is a basketball master — but what happens when he adds in a softball, a golf ball, and a little bit of physics?

Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold takes us back into the Realm of Galaxies this week in The Real Sky as we explore M104, also known as the Sombrero Galaxy.

Perfect the some classic at-home engineering - paper airplanes!

No matter how old you are, there’s just something cool about seeing things fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

Create some space-inspired art with shaving cream marbling!

So you have a microwave, an empty bag of chips, and some time ... what are you going to do?

Many of us are trying to live more sustainably, but these days you may be even more likely than before to be handed a plastic disposable cup! Instead of putting it in the recycling bin after you enjoy the refreshment, check to see what recycling number it is - you might be able to shrink it into art!

Explore inertia with Rumble! Can you complete this challenge without breaking an egg?

We're off to the Milky Way this week in The Real Sky with Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold!

From budding blossoms to emerging butterflies, the world around erupts in a vibrant spectrum this time of year. Using things around your house we can make colors emerge using a process called chromatography, and just for fun we can turn those colors into stunning butterfly art!

Can you sort salt and pepper that's all mixed together? It's easier than you'd think!

Bison love STEM, too! Check out the first experiment the Oklahoma City Thunder's Rumble the Bison tried at his arena home. It's all about centripetal force!

Make a hailstone and learn how hail is formed in this icy #SMOatHome!

Rainstorms are one of the most exciting parts of the spring and fall in Oklahoma. To know exactly how much it rained, you’ll need a special instrument called a rain gauge — and you probably have everything you need right around your house to make one!

You probably have everything you need to make a barometer at home. Try making your own weather instrument in this #SMOatHome!

This week in The Real Sky, we're off to see a trio of galaxies in the constellation of Leo through Science Museum Oklahoma Kirkpatrick Planetarium Tom Arnold's home telescope!

Our Moon has eight distinct phases. In this #SMOatHome, we're exploring two ways to look at all eight phases!

May the fourth be with you! You can use static electricity to manipulate the world around you — this is no Jedi mind trick. This is science.

May the fourth be with you! Make some portion bread and explore kitchen science with this recipe from a galaxy far, far away.

Have a telescope at home, some binoculars, or just like peering up at the sky with the naked eye? Check out these skywatching tips for May 2020 from Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold!

Take a look at our fascination with the Red Planet and how our exploration of Mars has evolved with the Kirkpatrick Planetarium team. 

Create art inspired by cosmic clouds with one special tool from your kitchen!

Create your own homemade “gravitational lens” with light refraction.

With a few simple supplies and some imagination, make your own night sky of stars and create some new constellations!

See how craters are made and how rocks from deep with the Earth get moved to the surface when a crater is made!

Make some slime that's out of this world!

Get an outside look at the immense universe using just a balloon!

Simulate the way rocks can be studied chemically to find out what they are made of when you make fizzing “moon” rocks!

A rocket with serious launching power fueled by nothing more than water and dish soap? Yep, that'll work!

You've seen a vinegar and baking soda volcano, sure. But what about a rocket? Check out how you can launch a rocket with fuel from your kitchen in this #SMOatHome.

Modify a bike pump to create a vacuum pump to do cool space experiments for Space Day!

Venus, the Moon, and a trio of planets are on display in this week's segment of The Real Sky.

Camera obscuras date back to about 2,500 years ago where scholars in China, Egypt, and Greece used camera obscuras to study light. Try making your  own!

Using the lint from the dryer, old newspapers, dried plant parts, seeds, worn out tights or nylons, and a few other items around the house you can make paper that can be used for greeting cards, art projects or just planted in a flower bed.

Environmentally-friendly, eco-conscious, cost-effective, and science? DIY detergent has it all. DIY laundry detergent is simple to make and can be easily modified to fit your personal needs and preferences.

Make your own invisible ink to write and reveal secret messages! This activity teaches us some interesting things about chemistry.

Check out a special live presentation of Gardening 101! This 7-part series leading up to Earth Day was interrupted by our temporary closure, so we're bringing it all to you online!

We're celebrating Hubble's 30th birthday with a look at some of our favorite images from the last 30 years.

Shrinkies are a fun way to make an cool keepsake or piece of art while saving some plastic from the recycling bin or a landfill! We made Shrinkies with Steve Spangler when he visited SMO to film Xploration DIY SCI, and you can make some too!

Feeling a little cooped up? Spring is a great time to get outside and go for a nature walk, and this time of year just happens to also be a great time to find morel mushrooms!

Straws aren't getting much love these days. But there are some straws that deserve attention — xylem and phloem!

Plants have several really neat methods of getting their seeds out in the wild. It's called seed dispersal, and it can include air, water, animals, and more!

Next time you see a pine cone on one of your walks, consider picking it up. There’s a lot to discover!

Spring is the time to divide plants! Learn how in this quick tutorial with Becca from the SMO Gardens team.

It can be difficult to truly see how absolutely amazing insects are because they are seemingly constantly in motion. With just a few things you can make an observation station to get a better look!

Ready to try growing your own food? You can turn disposable, single-use containers into seed-starting vessels!

April is a great time for birdwatching in Oklahoma! In this activity, upcycle a bird feeder from a few materials in your house or yard and hopefully attract some new feathered friends to your yard.

Venus will be bright in the sky this week, and it's a great time to get a look at M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold shows us how long-exposure photograpy can do just that in this episode of The Real Sky.

Combine art and science with water marbling!

Revealing the wonder of weather — and in this case, vortexes — is something we can all do at home. After you complete this project, you’ll have your own tornado in a bottle!

Jacob Hashimoto's Minecraft-inspired "The Other Sun" is the centerpiece of Science Museum Oklahoma's "Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space" in smART Space and was recently featured on "Meet a Minecrafter."

Sometimes the severe weather we see in the spring brings us a rainbow — in this activity you can create a “walking” rainbow in your own kitchen!

What if we told you that you could turn an ordinary raw egg into a “silver” egg? Wouldn’t that be am-EGG-zing?

How far can you drop a raw egg without it cracking?

Looking for an egg-cellent way to explore osmosis and acid-base chemical reactions? This is a fun kitchen activity that takes time, not thyme, and a couple of things you can probably find at home.

Imagine holding an eggshell in your hand, then suddenly bending it to fit flat between your two closed hands without breaking. Wouldn’t that be eggs-treme?!

Low-pressure systems are associated with wind, clouds, and even precipitation. By using air pressure to crush a can, we can investigate why this is!

Disruption can be beautiful! Magic Milk shows us how molecules that we can’t normally see are hard at work and makes some beautiful but temporary artwork at the same time. 

Let's blast off to the moon! Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold is taking us to the lunar terminator through one of his home telescopes.

Bring a little rain cloud inside with shaving cream, water, and food coloring!

Learn what creates thunder and lightning and then make some lightning with things you have at home!

Meteorologists use a lot of data! You can keep a log of the weather and try to make predictions based on historical data with this #SMOatHome activity.

It's hard to think about spring in Oklahoma without thinking of wind! Spring in Oklahoma means wind, and a wind vane is just the tool to tell us the direction of all that wind. This instrument points the direction the weather is coming from, or wind direction. Let's make one!

Evaporation, condensation, preciptation, collection — with just a window, some water, and a resealable bag, you can create your own water cycle!

We often don't see what affects our daily lives, like air. When we think of air and weather, we may often think about high- and low-pressure systems. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could actually visualize these high- and low-pressure systems and the convection currents that result when they meet?

We got the weather science started today with a trip to the SMO Gardens and learning about the challenges of Oklahoma weather and gardening – now we’re going to make a cloud in a jar!

Did you catch our ocean motion in a bottle #SMOatHome this week? With one addition you can use the same supplies to make a lava-less (but still groovy) chemical reaction! Let’s get started.

This #SMOatHome activity is perfect to help a young scientist make observations about the air-quality-improving, wildlife-harboring, beautiful parts of our landscape: trees!

Get out of this world with moon sand!

A quilt isn’t just a layer of batting or stuffing between two layers of pieced together fabric — a quilt is one of the most resourceful, eye-catching, problem-solving, and geometry-using forms of tinkering there is.

Since we’re all practicing our social distancing skills, Isaac who takes care of our Oceanarium thought now would be a good time to take a lesson from the pros: fish!

We’re going to have some temperature swings this weekend — you can make your own weather instrument to measure the atmospheric pressure with just a few supplies like this one that Kirsten, one of our museum educators made at home! 

Happy World Flour Day! Wheat can’t believe we aren’t celebrating this holiday together, but our early childhood educators Candace and Devon cooked up a recipe for homemade play dough so that you can celebrate at home with some chemistry.

Using just a flashlight and materials like a CD, a glass with water and a mirror, a crystal, and glass knick-knacks, we made all sorts of rainbows. If you pick the mirror and glass of water method, you’ll need to have a mirror that can fit *inside* the glass of water.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We asked Annie, our programs camp manager, what she’s doing to keep her spirits up when she’s missing the spring break campers who were supposed to be at SMO this week.

Cygnus the Swan is one of the most recognizable constellations in the sky. Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold and Fergus the Astrocat are back with this episode of The Real Sky to teach you more about Cygnus and the celestial gems that form the constellation.

Have you begun to notice the days getting shorter? That is due to the equinox. An equinox is commonly regarded as the moment at which the center of the Sun is directly above the Earth's equator. In this segment of The Real Sky Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold explains the equinox and the autumnal equinox.

This week in The Real Sky, we continue to explore the wonders of the southern Milky Way, completing the constellation of Sagittarius and moving upward into Serpens Cauda. Join our exploration of the mysteries found here in the deep sky.

Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold takes us on a journey through the southern constellations this week in The Real Sky to reveal some of the wonders they hold.

Want to buy a telescope and don't know where to start? Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold has the answer on this week's episode of The Real Sky.

The comet NEOWISE will be visible again this week and it's a sight you won't want to miss!  Check it out with Tom Arnold, director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium in this week's segment of The Real Sky.

The comet NEOWISE will be visible this week and it's a sight you won't want to miss! Check it out with Tom Arnold, director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium in this week's segment of The Real Sky.

On this week's episode of The Real Sky, learn how craters and rays are formed on the moon!

This week on The Real Sky we’re taking a deep dive into the summer solstice! Learn about the longest day of the year and its impact on history – all the way back to Stone Age.

Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold and Fergus the Astrocat are back with this week’s episode of The Real Sky to answer the question: Why is the Moon so different from the Earth?