Summer Expeditions has concluded for the year. We hope to see you in 2017!

For K-8 programs during the school year, please visit our Afterschool Expeditions and Saturday Science pages.

Summer Expeditions is a free program for students in grades K-8 to explore, engage and discover science at UW–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research with structured hands-on activities. The program takes place on Wednesday afternoons during the summer from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and includes two 45-minute guided activities. Summer Expeditions runs from June 28 through August 9, 2017. 

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 do I design and improve something to solve a problem?
  • The Microscopic World: What are 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 happened long ago and what is happening far away.
  • Environment: How do living things interact with each other and what is my impact on the environment?
  • The Process of Science: How do scientists answer questions about the world around them?
  • Campus Connections: Special guest presenters and field trips to exciting campus locations.
  • And more!


When You Arrive

Activities will start promptly at 1:30 p.m. Please consider arriving a few minutes early so you are prepared to begin on time.

Upon arrival, please check in with a staff member who will be located near the welcome desk at the Orchard Street entrance. Once you are checked in, you will be directed to your first 45-minute activity. At 2:15 p.m. all participants will switch to a second activity. Discovery Building 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 from Discovery Building staff, volunteers and/or group chaperones.

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. 

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.

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 the Discovery Building for Summer 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 on the registration form.


If you need immediate assistance, please contact Becky Balistreri at or 608.316.4382. If you have general questions about the program, please contact Dan Murphy at or 608.316.4656. 

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