Afterschool & Summer Expeditions

Weekly program for K-8 students

Afterschool Expeditions takes place Monday afternoons during the school year from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and includes two 45-minute guided activities. Summer Expeditions program takes place on Wednesday afternoons during the summer from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and includes two 45-minute guided activities.

This is a free program for students in grades K-8 to explore, engage and discover science at UW–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research with structured hands-on activities.

Selections vary from week to week. Each activity is led by a trained staff member or volunteer and includes interactive, hands-on activities.

Our activities cover a broad spectrum of scientific topics. In one 45-minute activity, students may learn about:

  • Engineering: How can I design and improve something to solve a problem?
  • The Microscopic World: What are the tiny things that make up the world around us and how do they interact with one another?
  • Earth and the Solar System: Learn about things that took place long ago and discover what is happening far away.
  • Environment: How do living things interact with each other and how do I impact the environment?
  • Campus Connections: Hear from special guest presenters and go on field trips to exciting campus locations.
  • And more!

When You Arrive

Activities will start promptly. Please consider arriving a few minutes early so you are prepared to begin on time.

Upon arrival, please check in with a staff member. Once you are checked in, you will be directed to your first 45-minute activity. Once that activity has been completed, participants will switch to a second activity. Staff will lead participants to their activity location during the switch. Participants are requested to stay at their activity for the full 45 minutes.

Participant Expectations

Participants are encouraged to listen and follow directions of Afterschool Expeditions staff, volunteers and/or group chaperones.

Chaperones and parents are expected to stay with their youth at all times. Additionally, chaperones and adults are encouraged to assist in activities, ask questions and assist with keeping youth engaged.

We encourage youth to view the interactive science displays at the Discovery Building and have fun, but please keep in mind that the Discovery Building is a research facility and professional workplace.

Transportation Reimbursement

Limited funds are available to reimburse all or part of the cost of transportation for qualifying groups to bring school-aged children to Afterschool Expeditions. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis for programs that support students eligible for free/reduced lunch. Groups can indicate their interest when they register for Afterschool Expeditions.

Parking at the Discovery Building

Low-cost parking is available across University Avenue in lot 20. Low-cost parking also is available behind Engineering Hall in lot 17.


If you have general questions about the program, please contact Dan Murphy, 608.316.4656.

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