MilliporeSigma leaders say the business has a passion for inspiring the next generation of scientists. And the company, which has a facility in Jaffrey, has brought that passion into the classroom with its SPARK volunteer program, through which employees deliver such initiatives as Curiosity Labs and the Curiosity Cube. Now the provider of lab materials, technologies, and services has launched Curiosity Labs at Home, providing parents with free, simple, interactive experiments to engage their young scientists.
The project was already in the works before the pandemic closed schools statewide, says Jeffrey Whitford, head of corporate responsibility and branding at MilliporeSigma. “It was one of those moments when you are happy the work had already started,” he says. “What we saw immediately was a lot of parents really trying to figure out how to fill the gap. And we said, ‘This is a great thing we have available, let’s figure out how we can make it more accessible and add more depth to it.’”
While there are plenty of experiments and recipes already online, Whitford says the lab report worksheets help promote deeper learning of the scientific process and make it simple to execute experiments. Among the current experiments are Fizzy Pumpkin Play-Doh, Run Away Pepper, Lava Lamp, Elephant Toothpaste, and Self-Inflating Balloon. The experiments are designed to use things people already have around the house.
Whitford says realizing that summer recreation options may be limited, additional projects will be released. “We’ve had our scientists suggest ideas that they feel could be good at-home experiments,” he says. “We are also thinking of doing a public curation where people can submit ideas.”
MilliporeSigma’s videos received more than 1.5 million views, Whitford says. “When you see a smile on a child’s face when that pepper runs away because they have soap on their fingers, or they make the connection to a scientific concept, it is great. Even in these times, we are able to provide those moments,” he says.
To access the MilliporeSigma Curiosity Labs at Home website, visit sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/curiosity-labs.html.