Afterschool Expeditions

Weekly drop-in program for K-8 students during the school year

Afterschool Expeditions is a free drop-in program for students in grades K-8 to explore, engage and discover science from UW–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research with structured hands-on activities. This program takes place at two locations during the spring semester.  

Afterschool Expeditions at the Discovery Building
330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI 53715

The program takes place Monday afternoons during the school year from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and includes two 45-minute guided activities. Spring semester dates are every Monday from February 8 to May 9.
Register for Afterschool Expeditions at the Discovery Building.

Afterschool Expeditions at the South Madison Partnership Center
Villager Mall, 2312 S. Park St., Madison, WI 53713

The program takes place select afternoons during the spring semester from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and includes two 45-minute guided activities. Spring semester dates are February 25, March 3, March 10, March 17, March 31, April 7, April 14 and April 21.
Register for Afterschool Expeditions at the South Madison Partnership Center.

Selections vary from week to week. Each activity is led by a trained staff member or volunteer and includes interactive, hands-on activities.  

Our activities cover a broad spectrum of scientific topics. In one 45-minute activity, students may learn about: 

  • Engineering: How can I design and improve something to solve a problem?
  • The Microscopic World: What are the tiny things that make up the world around us and how do they interact with one another?  
  • Earth and the Solar System: Learn about things that took place long ago and discover what is happening far away.
  • Environment: How do living things interact with each other and how do I impact the environment?
  • Campus Connections: Hear from special guest presenters and go on field trips to exciting campus locations.
  • And more!

When You Arrive
Activities will start promptly. Please consider arriving a few minutes early so you are prepared to begin on time.

Upon arrival, please check in with a staff member at your Afterschool Expeditions location. Once you are checked in, you will be directed to your first 45-minute activity. Once that activity has been completed, participants will switch to a second activity. Staff will lead participants to their activity location during the switch. Participants are requested to stay at their activity for the full 45 minutes.

Participant Expectations
Participants are encouraged to listen and follow directions of Afterschool Expeditions staff, volunteers and/or group chaperones.

Chaperones and parents are expected to stay with their youth at all times. Additionally, chaperones and adults are encouraged to assist in activities, ask questions and assist with keeping youth engaged.

For participants at the Discovery Building, we encourage youth to view the interactive science displays and have fun, but please keep in mind that the Discovery Building is a research facility and professional workplace.

Transportation Reimbursement
Limited funds are available to reimburse all or part of the cost of transportation for qualifying groups to bring school-aged children to Afterschool Expeditions. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis for programs that support students eligible for free/reduced lunch. Groups can indicate their interest when they register for Afterschool Expeditions.

Parking at the Discovery Building
Low-cost parking is available across University Avenue in lot 20. Low-cost parking also is available behind Engineering Hall in lot 17.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact Becky Balistreri at or 608.316.4382. If you have general questions about the program, please contact Anna Boone at or 608.316.4675.

The Afterschool Expeditions program is made possible through financial support from the Monsanto Fund.

Register now!

Register for Afterschool Expeditions at the Discovery Building.

Register for Afterschool Expeditions at the UW South Madison Partnership.

Adult supervision is always required, with at least one adult (18 years or older) chaperone per 10 youth.

Registration is requested for individuals and groups. For smaller groups and families, registration is encouraged, but drop-ins are accepted. There is no cost to participate.

Call for Presenters!

Interested in presenting at Afterschool Expeditions? Sign up here.

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Would you like to receive emails about specific programs taking place in the Town Center of the Discovery Building? Sign up here.