Skip to Content Skip to Search
Young girl wearing protective googles working on a science experiment
Science in the Summer

Inspiring the next generation of scientists

Kids learn best when the lesson is hands-on and creative.

We’ve used salad centrifuges to learn about the components of (simulated) blood, a stocking to learn how food moves through intestines to understand how digestion works, cookies to learn the phases of the moon, UV-reflective beads and sunscreen to show the impact of the sun’s rays, and varied slime recipes to learn what makes them stretchy.

Having fun while exploring and experimenting impacts the way a child learns, builds confidence, and ignites a lifelong love of science. Our free Science in the Summer TM program invites children to play the role of biologist, zoologist, geneticist, chemist and discover the importance of all kinds of science. They learn how science is used in fields as varied as varied as medicine, manufacturing, art, and environmental conservation.

Engaging students in STEM at an early age is critical to fostering the next generation of scientists and innovators, and one of the best ways we can prepare students for lifelong success.

Our science education programs are focused on generating a STEM workforce through projects and activities that inspire young children to pursue careers in science, technology and math. This free science education program helps students learn to love science with hands-on experiments.

Sparking young imaginations to think big with science

Science in the Summer gives kids all over the country a hands-on way to boost their learning and fall in love with the field’s possibilities. Inspiring tomorrow’s scientists today.

Imagine having an idea that impacts 300,000 kids?

In 1986, GSK’s Dr. Virginia Cunningham was among only a few female scientists in her field. She had a vision to get more girls and under-served elementary school students excited about STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and math. 34 years later, and her idea continues to inspire future scientists with hands-on, fun activities. 

Since the start of our program, we’ve brought free science education to over 300,000 students nationwide through local libraries, community centers, and science museums. We’ve explored the science of sport, space, oceanography, our brains, animals, and even hear from some of own scientists.

The start of a new season

We’re getting ready to kick off our 34th season of Science in the Summer™. Look for registration and program details mid-June at

In 2019, more than 20,000 students participated. The program was established in 1986 in Philadelphia, PA, and then offered in the Raleigh-Durham, NC metro area in the summer of 2008. The program expanded nationally in 2017 to an additional 26 sites across the US, and this year it will be available virtually to all students nationwide.

Science in the Summer is administered by the Franklin Institute, and the University of North Carolina’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in cooperation with participating libraries and community centers.