Liberty Science Center (LSC) has brought the excitement of science and technology to people of all ages for more than 20 years.

Located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City side of the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Science Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education through interactive exploration.

A popular field trip destination, many New Jersey educators are familiar with LSC’s hands-on exhibitions, 3D theater, and IMAX dome Theater. But educators who have not visited recently may not be aware of some of the museum’s special programs and features.

And what many people may not know is that LSC has an array of rich curriculum-related special programs, a wide selection of professional development offerings and a Traveling Science program.

Curriculum-Linked Programs

During a time when student mastery of STEM has never been more important, Liberty Science Center offers a full portfolio of age-appropriate, curriculum-linked STEM programs suitable for preschoolers through technical school students, including pupils with special needs.

Like Liberty Science Center’s exhibitions, each of our educational programs has been developed to align with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Information about the standards is readily available to help educators identify programs that best meet their curriculum goals.

Field Trips

A field trip helps reinforce in-classroom learning and spark students’ interest in STEM concepts. At Liberty Science Center, students gain powerful new perspectives on four floors of exciting exhibitions designed to appeal to all ages and stages of learning. Topics cover a wide area of STEM subjects from the environment and earth science to health and “green” energy choices.

Students come face-to-face with a family of squirrel-sized monkeys called cotton-top tamarins to learn the importance of conservation, experience hurricane-force winds and rain to explore engineering, and navigate a pitch-black tunnel to get in touch with their senses.

Field trip admission includes full access to all of LSC’s exhibitions and free science demonstrations. Lessons for teachers that can be used in school before and after their trip to help students make the most of their offsite adventure are provided in advance. Scavenger hunts are also available to add an extra level of excitement for students as they explore LSC.

For a very limited time, guests can celebrate the 40th anniversary of the world’s most beloved puzzle toy in Liberty Science Center’s newest exhibition Beyond Rubik’s Cube. They’ll use cubes to compose poetry and music; program tiny robots to run a maze; create amazing digital patterns with your family and friends; and see a robot solve your scrambled cube in this exciting exhibition before it departs on an international tour this November.

Enhanced Programming

While field trip admission includes full access to all of LSC’s exhibitions and free science demonstrations, many teachers choose to add structured activities including Laboratory Workshops, IMAX and 3D films, or Live from Surgery programs to enhance their visit.

Laboratory Workshops make use of LSC’s fully-equipped laboratories as well as other teaching tools like the inflatable planetarium, Global Microscope, and 110 species of live animals.

They are available for students in third through twelfth grade and can be booked as a 45-minute session or four-hour experiences across one or two days. The curriculum-aligned lessons allow students to explore complex subject matter in a way that is inspiring and memorable. Programs support multiple learning styles and can be configured to the needs of individual classes.

Young Learner Workshops designed to promote scientific thinking and reasoning are available for students in kindergarten through second grade. These interactive workshops are presented in the Young Learner Lab, an area outfitted especially for LSC’s youngest guests.

Live From Surgery

What if your students could visit an operating room, peer over the shoulders of the medical team, and talk to them during surgery? They’d remember the experience forever, and many of them would consider careers in healthcare or biotech. Liberty Science Center makes it possible for teachers to provide their classes with this kind of amazing opportunity in the Live from Surgery program.

From LSC’s Interactive Theater, students peer through a large videoconference “window” into the OR to converse with doctors, nurses, and technicians working area hospitals, from the first incision to the last suture. Currently, there are six surgery options available: cardiac, neurosurgery, kidney transplant, robotic, orthopedic, and pediatric orthopedic.

Students learn about the educational paths and responsibilities of each person in the operating room. They can also ask questions and gain extraordinary insight into surgical procedures, anatomy, risk factors, and careers in technology and health care.

LSC’s trained facilitators move among students in the theater during the approximately 2.5 hour session, shaping the conversation and structuring developmentally appropriate questions. Samples of medical equipment, models of human organs under discussion, and other manipulatives are passed around as they are used in the operating room. Students also have the opportunity to practice on simulators used by surgeons as they prepare for robotic-assisted surgery at the da Vinci Surgical Robot exhibit.

Science-to-Go

Through the Traveling Science Program, Liberty Science Center brings memorable science activities directly into schools. Traveling Science Assemblies are high-energy presentations designed for up to 300 students at a time while Traveling Science Classroom Workshops provide more in-depth learning for groups of 30. Both options engage, excite, and educate students on a wide range of science topics and include plenty of audience participation. Liberty Science Center’s Traveling Science Programs are available within a 140-mile radius of Jersey City.

Schools outside the traveling area often choose to partner with Liberty Science Center through the Electronic Field Trip program. LSC’s dynamic instructors visit schools around the world virtually via videoconferencing technology to deliver exciting, cross-curricular programs. The Live from Surgery program can also be presented in this way.

Teacher Professional Development

The Science Center’s mission is expose learners of all ages to the excitement of science and technology. While we do this through fun immersive experiences and engaging in-depth educational programs, we’ve found one of the most impactful ways to fulfill our mission is to partner with teachers through professional development programs to help improve science learning and teaching in their schools. LSC is a registered professional development provider with the New Jersey Department of Education

Whether schools are equipped with great teaching tools and teachers could use additional instruction on using them, or if there is a bare bones science budget and teachers need new ways to conduct engaging activities using inexpensive materials, Liberty Science Center can help.

LSC offers half- and full-day teacher workshops for educators with grades K-12. Each workshop is designed to directly support Core Curriculum standards and caters to multiple learning styles and modes of inquiry. As experts in working with major science curricula and kit-based modules, Liberty Science Center’s Professional Development Team can modify workshops to align with teachers’ individual instructional products and goals.

Liberty Science Center is a registered professional development provider with the New Jersey Department of Education.

For more information about Liberty Science Center’s offerings, please visit www.lsc.org or call (201) 253-1310.

Mary Meluso is media relations manager of Liberty Science Center.

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