Philadelphia-area Program

Be a chemist at home this summer!

GSK Science in the Summer Be a Chemist! is now offered virtually in the greater Philadelphia area. This program consists of at-home experiments where children take on the roles of four different chemists to solve real-world problems: medicinal chemist, materials chemist, water chemist, and color chemist. The program also includes introductory videos and live virtual research team meetings with Franklin Institute educators to share results from the at-home experiments. Be a Chemist! is designed for children ages 7-13, and we invite your whole family to explore together at home!

Virtual Program Details

The recommended sequence for participating in the virtual Be a Chemist! program is:

  1. Watch short introductory videos! Visit our Be a Chemist! page to watch short introductory videos that help your child(ren) set up their at-home lab space and learn about their chemistry research project.
  2. Do at-home science experiments! Follow the activity guide to explore your chemistry research project, using the science materials listed in the activity guide. Remember to follow the safety guidelines during all activities. Many of the materials can be found in your kitchen! 
  3. Join a live virtual chemist team meeting! After your family completes their at-home experiments for one or more of the Be a Chemist! activities, sign up to join one or more live virtual research team meetings, hosted by educators from The Franklin Institute! These meetings will be live interactions where your children can share the results of their research with other program participants. Visit each chemist’s page to see what dates and times team meetings will be hosted and to sign up! 

Important Dates

June 29, 12:00 pm: Lottery for science materials opens. (closed)

July 8, 5:00 pm: Lottery for science materials closes. (closed)

July 13-17: Families are notified about outcome of lottery.

July 20-26: Families who are selected pick up science materials.If you are not selected to receive free science materials, all program resources are available online so you can still assemble your own kit and have fun being chemists at home! 

July 27-August 14: Do at-home Be a Chemist! activities using the activity guides, videos, materials! Activities should be completed before attending live virtual team meetings. 

July 29-August 14: Participate in one or more live virtual team meetings with Franklin Institute educators and other program participants, that complement each of the Be a Chemist! activities. Pre-registration for each live event is required. Visit each chemist’s page to see what dates and times team meetings will be hosted and to sign up! 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How old does my child have to be to participate?

    While the program is designed for children ages 7-13, families with children of all ages are welcome to experience the program together at home. It is recommended that parents and caregivers supervise the use of science materials during Be a Chemist! experiments.

  • What does my child do to participate in the virtual program?

    The Be a Chemist! program consists of at-home activities where children take on the roles of four different chemists: medicinal chemist, materials chemist, water chemist, and color chemist. All program resources are freely accessible on the Be a Chemist! page! Watch the videos, download an activity guide, gather materials, and start your chemistry research safely at home! After completing an experiment, sign up to join a live virtual research team meeting with a Franklin Institute educator.

  • How does my child sign up for a live virtual research team meeting?

    Click on the picture of the chemist whose activity you are doing at home. At the bottom of the page there are links to sign up for the live virtual research team meetings. All research team meetings are free and open to any kids or families who have done the activity! You will need to sign up prior to the event start. Sign ups will automatically close when the event is full. 

  • When is the program happening?

    The online resources will be freely available on our website beginning this July! Live virtual team meetings will be hosted on specific dates between July 29 - August 13, 2020. Check each chemist’s page to sign up for specific dates and times.

  • What happens if my family is selected in the lottery to receive science materials?

    If selected to receive free science materials, you will receive notification between July 13-17. In this email you will be notified where and when to pick up your science materials. After picking up your materials, follow the sequence of activities outlined in Program Details for one or more of the chemists! 

  • What happens if my family is NOT selected in the lottery to receive science materials? 

    If you are not randomly selected to receive science materials, you can still have fun being a chemist at home! All program resources are freely available on the website. We recommend starting with one chemist and gathering the materials  to do the activity at home! Many of the materials can be found in your kitchen. Then follow the sequence of activities outlined in Program Details for one or more of the chemists. 

  • Where do I find the materials needed for each activity?

    Materials are listed in each downloadable activity guide. All the guides contain links to options for purchasing the items but you may already have many of the materials at home! 

  • Will there be a family day at The Franklin Institute this year?

    Unfortunately we will not be hosting a Family Day at The Franklin Institute this year. However, the science materials provided via the random lottery each include 1 ticket for a child under 18 to visit The Franklin Institute! Tickets must be used within one year and all children must be accompanied by an adult.