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Life Science Lab

The Life Science Lab is a space dedicated to educational programming, offering up unique and scientifically authentic experiences in the areas of genetics, biotechnology, agriculture, medicine and health.

You can discover the life sciences using artifacts and tools, and engage in experiments and hands-on, inquiry-based explorations.

Here you’ll find self-guided and self-paced hands-on activities where visitors get the unique opportunity to wear lab coats, safety glasses and gloves to work with the real tools of scientists.

Guidelines & Hours of Operation

  • Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am-3:15 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am-3:30 pm
  • Visitors must be at least 5 years old to enter the activity bench area. Visitors 5-9 years old must work with an adult (3 children per 1 adult). Visitors 10 and up may work by themselves.
  • All visitors are required to wear a lab coat and safety glasses. Gloves may also be required depending on activity.
  • Benches can accommodate up to four(4) people. All school groups are required to have one(1) chaperone for every three(3) students.

Activities include:

  • See DNA Without a Microscope – isolate and observe DNA from wheat
  • Put Your Finger On It – examine your fingerprints and discover details in fingerprints that investigators use in forensics science while you solve a mystery
  • Seeing Cells – see your very own cheek cells under a microscope
  • Be a Crime Scene Investigator – solve a crime using paper chromatography
  • Life in the Lab – meet isopod and other model organisms that scientists use in their studies of biology
  • Transfusion Confusion – determine the blood type of a patient undergoing surgery

Through the large glass window, you can get a behind-the-scenes look into the workings of a real laboratory. This area is open only to staff and volunteers. Some of the exciting things on display in the laboratory are:

Model Organisms – Model organisms are any type of organism that scientists use in the lab to help them understand more about life on Earth. At the Life Science Lab we have several examples of model organisms! Stop by to check out our fish, salamanders, frogs and invertebrates. At each visit, you might see something different!

Microbiology- Living organisms can be so small that you can only see them under a microscope!  In the laboratory window, you can find microscopic life found in the phytoplankton and copepod reactor, where photosynthetic algae and microscopic crustaceans abound in a lighted aquatic chamber.

Lab sessions maybe closed due to private programs, call 314.289.4400 to be sure the lab is open.

This area is for visitors of all ages and offers many educational programs. Check the calendar for free events that may be happening in the Lab Classroom.

Looking for on-site Life Science programs? We offer hands-on, activity based programs for schools, scouts, and community groups.

During the Spring, Fall, and Winter seasons, the Life Science Classroom is open most days for visitor exploration. Rotating hands-on activities allow for self-guided learning about ecology, health science, and genetics

For more information, please visit our program guide.

The Pacific Coral Reef aquarium is open to the public in the Life Science Lab Classroom. Visitors are welcome to step into the Classroom any time it’s not in use and learn about the Pacific reef ecosystem. If you’re not sure where to look, just ask a staff member and they’ll be happy to show you the aquarium. See if you can “find Dory,” see our live corals or spot a brittle sea star.

Use our new touch screen exhibit to identify our reef organisms and learn about the many symbiotic relationships they form. Life Science staff facilitate daily feedings while answering questions about the reef and ocean ecology. Please check the board near the aquarium for specific times.

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