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Science fiction art featuring archer figure on a rock shooting an arrow into space

Science Fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Superheroes

There are many ways to incorporate authentic hands-on STEM in science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Superhero events! A compilation of ways to connect STEM activities to the imaginative and creative world of sci-fi!
Sun Earth Universe exhibition launch party with people dressed in Star Wars character costumes at Oklahoma Wondertorium in Stillwater Oklahoma
Sun Earth Universe exhibition
event at the Oklahoma Wondertorium
in Stillwater, Oklahoma
with costumed characters

Star Wars

More activities:


Star Trek USS Enterprise spaceship illustration from wikimedia commons

Star Trek


Photograph of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster from Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from:

Science Fiction

Children with surprised faces and adults using the Frankenstein kit Battery Stack activity  - adults dressed as Mary Shelley and the Monster
Frankenstein event at the
Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, MN
using the Battery Stack activity withwith costumed Mary Shelley
​​​​​​​and Frankenstein's monster



superheroes at Science Museum of Minnesota
Superhero event at the
Science Museum of Minnesota
in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Superheroes and Science Fiction


Building with Biology super organisms activity showing hands cutting out design a super hero paper
  • You ARE a human torch! 
    Heat is transferred between different materials as they come into contact with one another.  How well heat is absorbed depends on the materials’ thermal conductivity.  Observe and experience heat transfer in action with this table-top experiment.
  • Biomimicry: Walking on Walls
    Q: How does that sneaky Spidey do it? 
    A: With a little help from the Van der Waals force and nanoscale-size hairs of course! Still not convinced? Try this sticky experiment and see for yourself!
  • Body Armor
    Move over, clunky exo-suit. Nanotechnologists and materials scientists are reimagining how body armor looks and feels: fabrics that are flexible, lightweight, and will protect against high-impact projectiles. Oobleck looks like a liquid but acts as a solid – check it out! 

  • Size and Scale
    Some superheroes get their powers by being extra large, or extra small.  What would your life be like if you were suddenly expanded to twice your original size? Or shrunk to a tiny size?

Suggestions for connections to hand-on activities

Children using Building with Biology kit of parts activity with colored blocks and cards

Building with Biology Kit

Engaging activities and professional development resources to create conversations about the emerging field of synthetic biology and societal implications.
Frankenstein logo

Frankenstein200 Kit - Contents List

Hands-on activities and professional development resources that encourage creativity and reflection about responsible innovation, developed in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.
Frankenstein200 activity training videos screenshot with presenter dressed as mad scientist


A collection of hands-on STEM activities for creating Halloween spooky science events.
Girl looking at objects in a beaker filled with liquid that appear to be invisible

Exploring Properties - Invisibility

In this activity, learners investigate how glass objects can be "hidden" in some liquids through refraction.
A photoshopped image of people wearing invisibility cloaks hiding everything but their legs

Invisibility Cloak video

In this 4-min video the idea of invisibility cloaks is comedically explored.
Hands holding glass objects on a string in a beaker of liquid

Exploring Nano & Society - Invisibility Cloak

In this activity, learners explore how refraction can be used to make a glass stir rod "disappear" in a cup of baby oil, while having conversations about new technologies.
Two learners and one facilitator look and discuss a space elevator concept that one of the learners drew on paper

Exploring Nano & Society - Space Elevator

In this activity, learners imagine and draw what a space elevator might look like, what support systems would surround it, and what other technologies it might enable.
Two girls discuss their ideas for flying cars with toy car props to a facilitator

Exploring Nano & Society - Flying Cars

In this activity, learners imagine and build a flying car out of small foam pieces while having conversations about future technology.
Facilitator in a black Y2K shirt introducing the presentation

Flying Cars

In this stage presentation, learners explore how people's predictions of future technology change throughout time.
Facilitator and learners discuss their drawn super organism

Building with Biology: Super Organisms

In this activity focused on synthetic biology, learners use the engineering design process to design a single-celled organism to clean up an oil spill to learn more about synthetic biology.
superheroes at Science Museum of Minnesota

Pow! Zap! Crash! – How to incorporate STEM content into an amazing Superhero Science event!

September 30, 2015
Christina Akers
Examples of ways to incorporate STEM content into an amazing Superhero Science event!
Blue logo for online workshop recordings

Online Workshop Recording: Earth & Space Science for Early Learners

Online professional development workshop recording. Includes May the Fourth Be with you event example at 30 minute point in the video (2019).

Annual Events

  • Super Hero movie releases (see Super Hero and Halloween resources above)
  • Star Trek First Contact Day (April 5) (see Star Trek resources above)
  • May the Fourth - Star Wars Day (May 4) (see Star Wars resources above)
  • Halloween (October 31) (see Frankenstein and Halloween resources above)