Citizen Science Lab

The Citizen Science Lab at Independence Seaport Museum hosts hands-on, interactive experiences centered around water, with a focus on the Delaware River's biology, ecology and chemistry, plus language arts, history and basic engineering. 

Public demonstrations for the whole family take place every Saturday at 2 p.m. and 3:30, and Sunday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30, with additional weekday sessions from May through August. 

On-demand programs make great additions to Museum field trips. Our Lab is a cool way to introduce kids to the natural and technical worlds around us - and adults can have fun while discovering nature, too.

Current programs and demonstrations include: 

Aquatic Acidification 
Draw carbon dioxide from the air we breathe and oxygen from the water we drink to experience the triggers of global climate change and ocean acidification. Learn how changing pH affects life in the Delaware River and what can you do to help keep our waterways healthy. 

    Teachers click here for subjects and standards

     

 

 

Classy Plankton
Explore what's happening in the busy microscopic world of plankton collected from the Delaware River. Create an artistic representation of your discoveries as you classify these tiny essential organisms by plant versus animal. 

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Cloning Bacteria 
Ever wish there was more than one of you? The bacteria in our River have this figured out. Discover their hidden world and the secrets lurking within by becoming a microbiologist for the day and creating clones of bacteria from the river and the world around you. *Seasonal Program

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Dissecting the Delaware 
Poke around and get an in-depth look at the anatomy and body structure of several animal species found in and around the Delaware River, from headwaters to bay, from invertebrates like mussels and sea stars, to frogs, to various fish like catfish, skate, or sharks. 

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Ecology of the Delaware
We're on an ecological investigation using chemistry, biology, and environmental science to uncover the native wild inhabitants of the Delaware River and determine the health of their community. 

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EXPLOSIONS! When Good Ships Go Bad 
KABOOM! Shake up your knowledge and burst with wisdom after we explore the effects of pressure, containment and ignition that have led to some of the worst disasters at sea. 

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Fouling Community 
VIP stands for Very Icky Particles. The slimy, smelly, slippery sludge sticking to the docks, boats and pilings in the Delaware River is teeming with life, full of plants, worms, crustaceans, plankton and mollusks competing for daily survival. Check out our "Catch of the Day" as we observe the awesome microscopic world of our dock's very important Fouling Community. *Seasonal Program

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Make a Mess with Mud and Detritus 
All hands on deck for good, old-fashioned muddy fun with some learning thrown into the mix. Kids will use (almost) all of their senses to understand the River's muddy bottom from its smooth silty texture to its funky smell. There's a lot to discover in the muck! Available during spring, summer and warm weather. 

    Teachers click here for subjects and standards

     

 

 

Plant Dissection 
Anchored to the banks, floating on the surface or somewhere in between, plants are an essential member of the life cycle in our waterways. Plant seeds of knowledge as you discover the structure and function of local plant species and how plants attract and repel animals. 

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Want to volunteer in our Citizen Science Lab? Here's how.