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Director’s Challenge offers families free Saturday entertainment at the Idaho Museum of Natural History

June 3, 2016

POCATELLO — Leif Tapanila, director of the Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University, has created a summer programming series beginning June 11 aimed to give families a creative avenue to learn about science and solve problems.

“I wanted to create an activity where families could solve a challenge together,” Tapanila said. “I’m always surprised at home how much my kids learn through play. We hope to give families that experience here at the museum. ”

Families will be provided a challenge such as “make a musical instrument” and supplies to accomplish the challenge. If the family is able to complete the goal, the museum will provide a modest reward.

A total of six challenges will be offered on several Saturdays throughout the summer from 1 to 5 p.m. Participating in the Director’s Challenge is free, but participants will still need to pay admission if they want to visit the museum gallery.

The schedule for the challenges is as follows:

• June 11, Parachute Challenge – Use household items to construct a parachute for toy dinosaurs, army men, or other toys. 

• June 25, Protect the Egg Challenge – Use household items to construct a landing module for a dropped chicken egg.

July 2, Paper Engineering Challenge – Use office supplies to construct a structure that can hold a book six inches above the ground.

• July 16, Musical Instrument Challenge – Use household items to make a musical instrument.

August 6, Solar Oven Challenge – Construct a solar oven and cook a s’more using energy from the sun.

August 20, Nest Challenge – Engineer a bird nest and see how many eggs it can hold.

More information on “The Director’s Challenge” can be found at imnh.isu.edu.