Wulfenite – Collected from Sonora, Mexico

Wulfenite is a mineral which often forms stubby, pyramidal, or thin tabular crystals of a bright orange-red to yellow-orange color. It is a unique mineral, easily distinguished from almost all other minerals thanks to its vivid crystal coloring and the localities where it is found. The vibrancy of its color makes wulfenite a highly sought… Continue reading

Collections – Azurite mineral specimen

The distinctive blue color of azurite makes it a popular mineral among collectors. People throughout history have used azurite for beads or jewelry, cut them into ornamental objects, or ground them for use as pigment in blue paint. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use azurite for pigment, but azurite was commonly used by… Continue reading

Self-Watering Garden

In this at-home activity, learn to utilize the forces of capillary action to make a planter at home that will water itself. Plants use capillary action to draw water from the ground up into their roots and stems in order to survive. Capillary action is able to work against gravity because the forces that keep… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 7

Unbury Your Underwear What did the soil do to your underwear? ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION At this point, you have learned quite a bit about soil. The arthropods you exposed, the seeds you germinated, the song you sang, and the art you made all relate to the characters in your soil’s story. Healthy soil supports a diversity… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 6

Paint with Soils Use the diverse colors and textures of soil to make art. ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION Did you know that you can paint with soils? Many cultures have used soils as pigments for pottery, textiles and storytelling. Next time you see a road-cut, an exposed bluff, or even when you unbury your underwear during Activity… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 5

Soapy-Water Flush Bring the insects in your lawn to the surface. ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION Scientists who study insects sometimes use a “soapy-water flush” to bring insects to the surface. The soap irritates the insects’ exoskeletons, forcing them to crawl up from their homes to the tips of grass blades. With this activity, you can play with… Continue reading

Soil Your Underwear Challenge
Activity 4

Berlese Funnel Discover and collect the arthropods in your soil. ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION Italian entomologist Antonio Berlese invented this insect-collecting device in 1905. It’s still used today to extract arthropods from soil samples. It uses a heat source (in this case a light bulb) to dry the sample, forcing the insects through a screen and into… Continue reading

Saint Louis Science Center Collections A to Z

The Science Center’s Collections Department cares for and preserves a wide variety of artifacts, some of which may surprise you! From animals to fossils, ancient pottery to meteorites, space toys to medical tools, here you can discover a selection of wonderful things from A-Z. Connect with curiosity!