BCM’s New STEM Makerspace

BCM has a new natural science-inspired makerspace: Nature’s Engineers! This innovative space is designed for children to learn from nature and engage in hands-on STEM activities, fostering creativity and critical thinking.

Nature’s Engineers is a unique space where the marvels of natural science and the excitement of STEM education converge. It’s a world where children become makers, inspired by the intricacies of nature and the principles of scientific inquiry. The space encompasses a diverse range of interactive and educational experiences, from exploring live animal habitats to delving into a selection of the Museum’s vast collection of over 30,000 objects, providing children with a diverse and rich educational experience.

The space features a rich array of specimens from the Museum’s natural science collection, including fossils, bird’s nests, and live animals such as tarantulas, colorful isopods, and native garter snakes. These exhibits provide a unique, up-close learning environment that blend the wonders of the natural world with scientific investigation.

In addition to self-guided exploration, Nature’s Engineers offers a variety of rotating programs specifically designed for families and school groups. These programs, led by BCM’s STEM educators, focus on developing skills in close observation, inquiry, and scientific processes. Activities include sorting, grouping, categorizing, matching, and counting, enabling children to dive deeper into natural science concepts. Each month features new programs, adaptable to suit a range of ages from 4-8, ensuring engaging and age-appropriate experiences for young learners.

Nature’s Engineers aims to inspire a new generation of problem solvers and innovators by connecting them with nature’s intricate systems and cycles. With its mission rooted in guided inquiry and creativity, the space promises a unique, hands-on learning experience that blends the exploration of the natural world with STEM principles.

Nature’s Engineers is open Thursdays from 2:30 pm–4:30 pm during the Museum’s Amazon Free Hours, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am–4:30 pm. Entry to Nature’s Engineers is included with general admission.

This Month’s Project

June: Make a Rainbow

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could bring a rainbow inside? Join us during June to learn the science behind light refraction and rainbows, a multicolor arc that forms in the sky made by light-striking water droplets. Finally, by using only light and water, create your own indoor rainbow in Nature’s Engineers.


Earth Science, Meteorology, Physics

Objectives and Learning Alignment:

  • Visitors will ask questions, make observations, and explore light properties (absorption, reflection, and refraction). (Next Generation – K-PS3-1 and  K-2-ETS1-1)
  • Plan and conduct investigations to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light. (Next Generation – Waves – 1-PS4-3)

Upcoming Projects

July: Construct a Skyscraper

Why skyscrapers? Join us to learn about the bedrock that makes Manhattan’s skyline possible. Next, design and build the tallest and strongest skyscraper in 20 minutes. Finally, test it out on our shake table to see if it could withstand the force of an earthquake.


Engineering, Technology, Physical Geography

August and September: Make a Fossil

Calling all paleontologists! Join us during August and September to analyze fossils from BCM’s collection. Visitors will practice describing, measuring, and comparing attributes of objects to understand what Earth was like thousands of years ago. Then, visitors will create their own fossil cast inspired by BCM’s collection of fossils!


Palentology, Math, Object-based Inquiry