Be an Engineer at home this summer!

The GSK Science in the Summer™ Be an Engineer program is offered virtually in the greater Philadelphia area. Through online videos and at-home experiments, children take on the roles of different engineers to solve real-world problems. Children then join virtual research team meetings with Franklin Institute scientists and educators to share their results. Be an Engineer is designed for children ages 7-13, and we invite your whole family to explore together at home! 

Families in the greater Philadelphia area may enter an online lottery from  May 3 – May 21, 2021, to receive a free kit of science materials from their local library. Kits will include materials for the Environmental and Electrical Engineer activities. Additional online content is available for continued exploration with the Structural and Biomedical Engineer activities. Please note that if you are not selected in the lottery, all activity guides, materials lists, and videos will be shared online, so you can still assemble your own materials and have fun being engineers at home!  

Virtual Program Details

The recommended sequence for participating in the Be an Engineer program is:  

  1. Watch short introductory videos. Visit our Be an Engineer page to watch short introductory videos that help your family set up an at-home lab space and learn about your engineering projects.  

  1. Do at-home experiments. Follow the activity guides to explore your engineering projects, using the science materials listed in the guide. Always follow the safety guidelines during all activities. Remember, if you are not selected in the lottery, many of the materials can be found at home. 

  1. Join a live research team meeting. After your family completes the at-home experiments, sign up to join one or more live research team meetings, hosted by scientists and educators from The Franklin Institute!  

Online Lottery for Science Materials

Enter your family in the Be an Engineer online lottery for a chance to receive a free kit of science materials for the Environmental and Electrical Engineer activities. Please follow the lottery instructions below. 

Step 1: Anytime between 12:00 pm on Monday, May 3 and 5:00 pm on Friday, May 21, click “Enter the Lottery”.   

Step 2:  After selecting your county, you will be prompted to create an account. If you entered the lottery last year, you will be able to access the account created at that time. Information provided in the account will be used to notify you of your lottery selection status. You will be able to select your pick up location (your local library) as part of the registration process.  

Step 3: Families will be randomly selected and notified via email between Monday, May 31 and Friday, June 4, 2021. 

Step 4: If selected, you will receive information on how to pick up your kit from the library location you selected. All pickups will be between June 14 – July 2, 2021. If you are not selected, you can still access the materials list to create your own kit and have fun being engineers at home! 

Important Dates

May 3, 12:00 pm: Lottery for science kits opens. 
May 21, 5:00 pm: Lottery for science kits closes.
May 31 – June 4: Families notified about outcome of lottery.
June 14 – July 2: Selected families pick up kits at their local library. If you are not selected, all program resources are available online, so you can still assemble your own kit and have fun being an engineer at home!  
June 14 – July 11: Families do at-home Be an Engineer activities using the activity guides, videos, and materials! 
July 12 – August 6: Participate in one or more live virtual team meetings with Franklin Institute scientists and educators. Visit each engineer’s page for dates and times of team meetings 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 an Engineer experiments.

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

    The Be an Engineer program consists of at-home activities where children take on the roles of four different engineers: environmental, electrical, biomedical, and structural engineers. All program resources are freely accessible on the Be an Engineer pages! Watch the videos, download the activity guides, gather materials, and start your engineering research safely at home! 

    Please note that if you are chosen to receive materials via the lottery, your kit will contain materials for the environmental and electrical engineers. Materials for the biomedical and structural engineers may be gathered for additional exploration! 

  • When is the program happening?

    The online resources are freely available on our website (coming soon). Select the Be an Engineer activities you would like to do at home, gather the materials, and enjoy at your own pace! 

    Please note that if you are chosen to receive materials via the lottery, your kit will contain materials for the environmental and electrical engineers. Materials for the biomedical and structural engineers may be gathered for additional exploration! 

  • 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! 

    Please note that if you are chosen to receive materials via the lottery, your kit will contain materials for the environmental and electrical engineers. Materials for the biomedical and structural engineers may be gathered for additional exploration!