Traveling Science Shows

The Traveling Science staff posing with the TSS car in front of the steps of The Franklin Institute.

Want to experience The Franklin Institute’s brand of interactive science in your school or community? Book a show with our Traveling Science Team!

Each of our Traveling Science Shows was created with one goal in mind: to generate an enthusiasm for science that spills over into your elementary or middle school classroom. (Psst … we even have special programs for preschool.)

Traveling Science Shows are also ideal for scout events, parties, community events, and any other occasion that calls for some interactive and fun science for kids.

Information and Pricing

Maximize the educational value of your Traveling Science Show and find out about discount opportunities. 

Sign up for any of the 10 dynamic shows, all designed to involve students from preschool to eighth grade in discovering new aspects of science. All generate an infectious enthusiasm that spills over into the classroom. And The Franklin Institute provides pre-show classroom activities for all shows to reinforce concepts and expand learning.

All shows and classroom materials are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.

Shows are available year round for schools, scout gatherings, corporate fun days, mall, or community events.

  • For more information about Traveling Science Shows contact:
    Paul Taylor, Traveling Science Show Manager
    tss@fi.edu / 215-448-1169

  • Energize your students with science! We bring exciting, hands-on, engaging science fun to your school, with programs for large or small groups.

    Reserve Now

    One Show: $525
    Additional Shows: $265 same topic / $395 additional topic
    Travel fees added to all shows; rates vary by location. Email tss@fi.edu for specific information.               

    What You Need to Know:
    Shows are 45 minutes in length
    Maximum audience size is 250 students
    We strongly recommend school audiences include three or fewer grade levels per show
    Up to 4 performances per booking
    Up to 2 topics per booking
    30 minutes between topics necessary to change set-up
    Early morning fee: $75 for shows beginning before 9:00AM
    Split day fee: $125 for one morning and one afternoon
    Weekend fee: $150 for shows performed on Saturday or Sunday

    Traveling Science Show Topics:

    New! Summer READS Show 2019

    It’s time for liftoff like its 1969!  Embark on a trip to the Moon and explore the scientific and engineering challenges of getting to space, living and working in orbit, and safely returning to Earth as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: gravity, orbit, action-reaction, air pressure

    Weather

    Lightning, twisters and hail—oh my! This dynamic show reveals the science of weather—to the extreme. Where does our weather come from, and what factors make it a sunny day or a blustery one? We will discuss the water cycle, explore thunder and lightning, and even make a cloud. We promise a stormy ending to this show as we demonstrate how tornados are formed!

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: water cycle, thermodynamics, air masses, fronts

    Hot and Cold – a great first-time show!

    Turn your students into molecules as we explore the three states of matter and challenge students' ideas about what is hot and what is cold. Make balloons shrink, bubbles freeze, and a rubber ball shatter by using liquid nitrogen (N2).

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: states of matter, molecules, temperature

    Life in Space

    It’s time for liftoff! Embark on a trip to space and explore the scientific and engineering challenges of getting to space, living and working in orbit, and safely returning to Earth.

                    Pre-Show Activities  |   Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: gravity, orbit, action-reaction, air pressure

    Flight – best done indoors with a high ceiling

    Explore the exciting history of flight From Leonardo da Vinci to the space shuttle. Investigate the Bernoulli principle, and learn how airplane wings provide lift. Mechanical birds, hot air balloons, gliders, and even a rocket launch are used to demonstrate the forces of flight.

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities

    Science concepts: air pressure, forces of flight, aviation history

    Sound, Music and Math

    Explore how vibrations produce waves in air and how those waves are related to our sense of hearing. Discover the science behind the making of music, because the scientific principles that allow us to craft sound into art can be as beautiful as the music itself.

    Science concepts: vibration, waves, pitch, ratio

    Chemistry

    Kaboom! The Chemistry show explores everything from everyday chemistry to the chemical “detective” work performed by laboratory scientists.

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: physical/chemical changes, acids and bases, polymers, combustion

    Motion and Machines  - requires a raised platform or stage

    Roll, slide, and spin! Investigate the basic physics of motion in this interactive show. We’ll use rubber balls, bricks, and wooden blocks to introduce and understand Newton’s Laws of Motion. Then, witness these laws in action in a lever, pulley, and student-driven hover car.

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: Newton’s Laws of Motion, simple machines, friction

    Electricity – Grades 2-8, offered September through May

    Your students’ hair will stand on end as we unravel the mysteries of electricity. Explore static and current electricity. Watch as electricity travels through the air to power fluorescent light bulbs—turning students into a human “circuit.”

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities

    Science concepts: static and current electricity, electrons, magnetism

    Human Body – Grades K-5

    Come with us on a wild journey through The Human Body. Discover how nutrients in the food we eat are converted into the energy that keeps us on the move. We’ll learn how our muscles work, and what our blood actually accomplishes as it flows through our veins and arteries. Plus, there will be a special tribute to that duo that protects us from illnesses: skin and mucous!

                    Pre-Show Activities  |  Post-Show Activities 

    Science concepts: body systems, digestion, circulation, immune response

  • The Franklin Institute has special Traveling Science programs for preschool groups! Choose from these specially-designed programs for children ages three to five. Programs feature song, dance, puppetry, and hands-on activities.

    Reserve Now

    One Show: $250
    Additional Shows: $150
    Travel fees added to all shows; rates vary by location. Email tss@fi.edu for specific information.

    What You Need to Know:
    Please note that preschool shows are designed for small groups. There is a maximum size of 30 students per Preschool show.
    Preschool shows are not available outside of the Philadelphia metro region. 

    Traveling Preschool Show Topics:

    Build It Up
    Huff and puff! Can you blow the house down? Explore the story of The Three Little Pigs from a new point of view, and predict which building materials are the strongest. Then, work together to build some structures and test them with the mighty Wolf 3000!

    Water, Water, Water
    Drip, sip, and splash! Sing along with the fish, the bird, and the tree to find about how we all need water to live and grow.

  • Our traveling tabletop explorations are great for science festivals or fairs!

    Reserve Now

    One Exploration: $600 small format / $100 per hour after initial 3 hours
    Travel fees added to all explorations; rates vary by location. Email tss@fi.edu for specific information.

    What You Need to Know:
    Exhibit available for up to 3 hours of fun
    2 tables
    2 traveling scientists
    Ideal for science fairs and festivals

    Traveling Tabletop Exploration Topics:

    Electricity Tabletop Exploration
    Let our tabletop exploration be your guide through electrifying experiments! This interactive display can include favorites such as the Van de Graaff generator, plasma balls, jumping rings, and the Tesla coil.

    Structures Tabletop Exploration
    This hands-on tabletop exploration is loaded with interactive devices demonstrating basic scientific principles behind structures such as bridges, arches, and trusses.

  • Samson STEM Learning Initiative Scholarships

    Made possible by a gift from the Marvin Samson Foundation, a limited number of Traveling Science Show scholarships may be available for qualifying Title I schools in Philadelphia, Chester, and Camden counties.

    Scholarships will cover a Traveling Science Show of your choosing for 250 students and the travel fee. Additional performances may be requested to accommodate the school population.

    To qualify for scholarship consideration, schools must: 

    • be located in Philadelphia, Chester, or Camden county

    • be an elementary or middle school

    • be classified as Title 1 with at least 50% or more of the student body qualified to receive free/reduced lunch

    ​• complete the Traveling Science Show Scholarship Request

  • Traveling Science Sensory Alerts
    Our Traveling Science Shows are uniquely designed to present complex science topics in fun and entertaining ways. These demonstrations sometimes result in a flash of light or colored light, fire, a loud concussive sound, or a puff of smoke.  Please review this document prior to your scheduled performance.

    Traveling Science Show Custodian Form
    This form outlines the supplies and preparations needed for the performance space prior to the arrival of the Traveling Science presenter(s).

    Traveling Science Shows Evaluation Form
    To help us better gauge your impression of our show, please take a few minutes to respond to these questions after your show. Your detailed comments are taken seriously as they help us to improve the quality of future performances.

  • To reserve your Traveling Science Show or Traveling Science Tabletop Exhibit, complete the Traveling Science Reservation online form.  A representative from The Franklin Institute will contact you shortly to confirm your show.