Science on Wheels

5th Grade

Matter of Fact – The Smaller Picture

In this supercool lesson we will use liquid nitrogen to show how solids, liquids and gases are affected by extreme changes in temperature. Students will observe the relationship between temperature and volume for each state of matter, and see various substances transition from one state to another. We will explore the differences between physical and chemical change, shrink balloons down by 700 times (and grow them back again!), and see how super cold temperatures combined with a superconducting material can make a magnet actually levitate!

Standards Connections:  5-PS1-1, 5-PS1-2, 5-PS1-3, 5-PS1-4

Recommended Audience – 5th


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This is an assembly program recommended for up to 200 students per session in a large space. Each session is about 60 minutes long and up to 3 sessions can be booked in a visit.

: A space large enough to fit all attending students either seated on the floor or in chairs plus their teachers. In addition, there must be room for two 6’ long rectangular tables, set up at one side of the room with room in front of and behind the table for the instructor to walk. The instructor will need access to a sink during setup, breakdown and in between sessions. The sink does not need to be in the presentation space. Gyms, Cafeterias and auditoriums work well. Large classrooms, such as Music rooms, can also be used depending on the size of the audience and the room. For smaller groups a regular sized classroom may work. Due to the large amount of setup involved, this program cannot move from space to space once set up. A 3-pronged electrical outlet is needed near the presentation space. Let us know if a projection system is available in the space, or if we should bring our portable system to set up.

1 Session $200
2 Sessions $275
3 Sessions $350

Outside Greenville county a travel fee of $0.95 per mile applies.

This program can be combined with other assembly programs. Our Combination Pricing Options

This program can travel up to 2.5 hours from Roper Mountain for a single day trip. Sites farther from Roper Mountain (up to 5 hours) can request an overnight visit. A flat $200 per night fee is added for each night to cover hotel and meals for our instructor. There is a travel fee of $0.95 per mile for all sites outside of Greenville county. We use Google Maps to calculate drive times and distances. It can be beneficial for more distant locations to team up with other sites in your area to combine trips and split travel fees.

Maximum of 3 sessions in a day. 60 minutes is required for setup. 30 minutes is required for breakdown. 15 minutes is required to reset the program between sessions. If the programs extend through lunch time, a 30 minute or longer break between programs is requested so the instructor can eat lunch.

Greenville County schools: First session can start as early as 8:15 a.m.

Out of County Schools: Calculate the drive time from Roper Mountain Science Center to your school, then add that amount of time to 8:00 to determine your earliest assembly start time. If it is a one hour drive from Roper Mountain to your school, add one hour to 8 a.m. and the earliest start time is 9 a.m.

Portable Planetarium – Our Place in Space

The Portable Planetarium allows us to see how the movement of the Earth affects what we actually see in our sky from day to night, night to night, and season to season. Students will learn how to find their way around the night sky using well known constellations and see how the position of objects change in the sky over time due to Earth’s rotation and revolution. We will also discuss how our location on the Earth affects what we see in the sky and how gravity impacts our perceptions of up and down.

Standards Connections:  5-PS2-1, 5-ESS1-1, 5-ESS1-2

Recommended Audience – 5th


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The portable planetarium is an inflatable dome that participants enter and can comfortably fit about 25 students at a time plus their teacher and our instructor. It is set up in a large indoor space. If needed, we will accommodate a single class of up to 30 students, but for health safety reasons we do not allow combining classes at this time even if the classes are very small. At least one teacher or other school staff person is required to enter the planetarium dome with each class in order to assist our instructor with managing behavior. For safety reasons, students are not permitted to exit and re-enter the dome once the program has begun. For this reason, we recommend having all students use the rest room prior to their scheduled start time.

The portable planetarium dome requires and indoor space with open floor space that is a least 20’x30’ in size and ceilings at least 11’ high. If your space is just a little bit smaller than these dimensions, it is worth asking as we may be able to make it work depending on the exact dimensions. All furniture must be cleared from this area and nothing can be suspended from the ceiling into this space. A working 3-pronged electrical outlet is needed to power our equipment. No other activities can take place in the room where the dome is set up during program times. Other activities may be okay during setup and breakdown times, and in between program time depending on the activity. If the room can be divided with a sound insulated barrier, then activities throughout the day may be okay if they are not too loud.

Gyms are usually ideal, but we have successfully set up in many other spaces including cafeteria’s, stages, music rooms, media centers and even some regular classrooms (with especially high ceilings)..

1 Session $175
2 Sessions $235
3 Sessions $295
4 Sessions $355

Outside Greenville county a travel fee of $0.95 per mile applies.

1st and 4th or 5th grade Portable Planetarium programs can be combined into the same visit or multiple day visits

For multiple day visits a one session discount will be applied to the total for each additional day if we are permitted to store the equipment at the school in between visits.

This program can travel up to 2.5 hours from Roper Mountain for a single day trip. Sites farther from Roper Mountain (up to 5 hours) can request an overnight visit. A flat $200 per night fee is added for each night to cover hotel and meals for our instructor. There is a travel fee of $0.95 per mile for all sites outside of Greenville county. We use Google Maps to calculate drive times and distances. It can be beneficial for more distant locations to team up with other sites in your area to combine trips and split travel fees.

Sessions are 50 minutes long depending on booking site’s choice. Maximum of four sessions in a day. Multiple days can be scheduled if needed to accommodate all classes. 45 minutes is required for setup. 30 minutes is required for breakdown. 10 minutes is required to reset the program between sessions. If the programs extend through lunch time, a 30 minute or longer break between programs is requested so the instructor can eat lunch.

Greenville County schools: First session can start as early as 8:15 a.m.

Out of County Schools: Calculate the drive time from Roper Mountain Science Center to your school, then add that amount of time to 8:00 to determine your earliest assembly start time. If it is a one hour drive from Roper Mountain to your school, add one hour to 8 a.m. and the earliest start time is 9 a.m.

Builder Workshop – The Great Coaster Challenge

Participants in this hands-on program will act as Theme Park Engineers to design and build a prototype roller coaster for our theme park. Engineers will work in groups of 2-4 to plan and build their coaster. They will need to manage materials and resources, as well as time to build a functioning roller coaster. At the end of the activity, we will give each group of engineers the chance to demonstrate their creation, and we will evaluate the success of each coaster.

Standards Connections:  K-2 – ETS1-1, K-2 – ETS1-2, K-2 – ETS1-3, 3-5 – ETS1-1, 3-5 – ETS1-2, 3-5 – ETS1-3

Recommended Audience – 2nd, 3rd, 4th 5th


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This is a single class program (up to 32 students) that must be setup in one location and have classes come at their scheduled times. Students will be working in small groups and will be required to design and build prototype rollercoasters. They will be using tape and scissors. The program is 60 minutes long and up to 4 sessions can be scheduled in a visit. Schools with more than 4 classes in a grade will need to book multiple days.

A room large enough for all of the students, seated in chairs, with room to work in groups and build their prototypes. Generally, a standard sized classroom will work, but larger spaces like gyms can also be used. It is helpful if some furniture is available, at least chairs for the students. Due to the large amount of setup involved, this program cannot move from space to space once set up. A 3-pronged electrical outlet is needed near the presentation space. Let us know if a projection system is available in the space, or if we should bring our portable system to set up.

1 Session $175
2 Sessions $235
3 Sessions $295
4 Sessions $355

Outside Greenville county a travel fee of $0.95 per mile applies.

For multiple day visits a one session discount will be applied to the total for each additional day if we are permitted to store the equipment at the school in between visits.

This program can travel up to 2.5 hours from Roper Mountain for a single day trip. Sites farther from Roper Mountain (up to 5 hours) can request an overnight visit. A flat $200 per night fee is added for each night to cover hotel and meals for our instructor. There is a travel fee of $0.95 per mile for all sites outside of Greenville county. We use Google Maps to calculate drive times and distances. It can be beneficial for more distant locations to team up with other sites in your area to combine trips and split travel fees.

Sessions are 60 minutes long. Maximum of 4 sessions in a day. Multiple days can be scheduled if needed to accommodate all classes. 60 minutes is required for setup. 30 minutes is required for breakdown. 15 minutes is required to reset the program between sessions. If the programs extend through lunch time, a 30 minute or longer break between programs is requested so the instructor can eat lunch.

Greenville County schools: First session can start as early as 8:15 a.m.

Out of County Schools: Calculate the drive time from Roper Mountain Science Center to your school, then add that amount of time to 8:00 to determine your earliest assembly start time. If it is a one hour drive from Roper Mountain to your school, add one hour to 8 a.m. and the earliest start time is 9 a.m.