The fall program will be held on select Mondays: September 30, October 28, November 11 and December 2 (a special expo day).

  Register for fall 2019 Afterschool Expeditions  

Afterschool Expeditions is a free 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 during the fall and spring semesters. 

TO REGISTER:  You pick your adventure! The registration page will have different activity options for each date. You may select only ONE activity per date. This lets us know which activity you will be participating in when you come. Pregistration is required as spots are limited.

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

Afterschool Expeditions

330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI 53715
The program takes place on select Monday afternoons during the school year from 3 to 4 p.m. and includes one 45-minute guided activity.

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 activity, students may learn about: 

  • Kinetic Energy Sticks: How can we physically show how kinetic energy works? Use Popsicle sticks to build shapes/structures high in kinetic energy to learn about and visualize the effects of kinetic energy.
  • Light Up the Dark Side of the Moon: Use engineering principles to complete the challenge in the most efficient way (fewest number of pieces).
  • Brain Activities: In this station, participants will develop a greater understanding of neuron parts and their function. They will use microscopy to record observations of brain-related samples and develop an understanding of certain sensory mechanisms controlled by the nervous system.
  • Aerodynamics: In this station, participants will use wind tunnels to test the aerodynamics of different sport balls/equipment. For an added challenge, participants can test speed and spin in the wind tunnels.
  • Ozobots: How can we use robots? Program a small robot to model a process and explore how robots are used in research.
  • Gravity/Zipline: How do gravity, potential energy, kinetic energy, force and friction work? Participate in a design challenge to create a vehicle that can complete an obstacle course and observe how gravity dictates the movement of celestial bodies using the Gravity Well.
  • Hovercraft: Engineer your own model of a hovercraft to test and race against your peers.
  • Wild Water: Experience how water changes reactions when different elements are added.

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 at the information table across from the Discovery Building welcome desk. Once you are checked in, you will be directed to your activity. Participants are requested to stay at their activity for the full hour. 

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.

We encourage youth to view the interactive science displays at the Discovery Building 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 have general questions about the program, please contact Jerrod Buckner, 608.316.4675.


3:00 pm
December 2
Town Center

Afterschool Expeditions

This event is free and intended for elementary and middle school students. Adult supervision is required; registration is requested for both individuals and groups.

Students are invited to explore, engage and discover science from UW-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research with structured hands-on activities.

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Afterschool Expeditions is supported by the Morgridge Institute for Research, UW–Madison and WARF.

Are you interested in participating in Discovery Building programs? 

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