Summer Brain Games Press Kit


Players receive one free Museum Entry ticket

CHICAGO (June 13, 2019)—Today, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s (MSI) is launching its eighth annual Summer Brain Games program that explores the connection between science and play, letting kids make their own toys with nine science-based activities that are available for free on MSI’s website.

This year’s activities allow children to use common household items to build their confidence – and their own toys – using STEM concepts, including:

  • Vibrations with Sound Sandwiches: Feel the vibration created when a rubber band moves between craft sticks. Use scissors to cut leftover straws to create a musical instrument.

  • Physics with Toothpick Tops: Design a spinning top with toothpicks, scissors, newspaper, a ruler and some tape to discover how to best design a never-ending spiral.

  • Engineering with Kites: Explore engineering and build your own kite using a large, heavy-duty trash bag. See how experimentation and creative ideas can make this basic design even better.

    “Studies* show that on average, students lose about one to three months of learning by the time they return to school in the fall,” said Bryan Wunar, MSI’s director of community initiatives. “Summer Brain Games counteracts this deficit by providing students and their families access to free science learning opportunities through fun at-home experiments and games.”

    Families must register online to receive emails with detailed instructions on nine science games to play along with. Each game can be done at home with some adult supervision, using easy-to-find supplies.

    Summer Brain Games, sponsored by Wintrust, is a free program for families. Those who register online at will receive a FREE Museum Entry voucher (one ticket per household).

    *John Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning found that on average students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months. 

About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Welcome to Science Initiative, the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit or call (773) 684-1414.

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Kids become environmental scientists and use chemistry, physics and botany to measure, observe and test nature’s behavior.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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Use physics to experiment with water vapor and pressure, creating a puffy cloud using just a two-litter bottle. 

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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Use chemistry, and red cabbage, to make a pH indicator that tests how acidic or basic household items are, including baking soda, soap, and vinegar. 

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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Go green and become a gardener—using science! Create your own paper that will sprout into flowers when planted in a pot or garden.

[J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

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