Hands-On Science Showdown - a Free Interactive Field Trip for Students

Hundreds of Students are invited to a Free Interactive Field Trip in Downtown Pittsburgh

August 31, 2022

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Science Center and the Association for Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) are teaming up to showcase live science demonstrations from around the country on September 14, 2022

Science educators from around the country will join local organizations to offer their favorite science and maker demonstrations and activities to hundreds of students from the Pittsburgh region at the Hands On Science Showdown. This one-of-a-kind program will be on the Ninth Street Rachel Carson Bridge from 9 am to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, September 14.

More than 1,000 science and technology museum professionals are expected in Pittsburgh for the ASTC annual conference, held this year at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from September 11-15, with many of the organizations participating in the event. The conference itself is co-hosted by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Science Center.

This has been years in the making, with delays due to the pandemic.

The event features hands-on demonstrations from leading educators and local organizations, with opportunities to make steamroller prints, take apart electronics, and see STEAM-based activities up close. Hundreds of students in grades two through eight are registered to attend.

“We love to introduce memorable and interactive experiences when we are fortunate to welcome peers from around the globe to Pittsburgh,” says Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. ”Having conference attendees and local organizations demonstrate spectacular scientific concepts and engage with local students in the most iconic of Pittsburgh locations, one of the three Sister Bridges, allows us to bring all of these resources together as we aspire to transform education.”

This is a free field trip and learning experience. Teachers/schools should reserve their spot at: The event is also open to the public, and local food trucks will be available for a variety of lunch options.

“This is a unique event because most international conferences do not engage with the community in such a meaningful way,” says Jason Brown, Henry Buhl, Jr., Director of Carnegie Science Center and Vice President of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “One of the reasons the Science Center is so excited to co-host this conference is because we share in the common aspirations that will be articulated: building stronger communities, providing equitable access to educational and professional opportunities, and bringing hope and optimism for a better future.”

Pittsburgh-based Squonk will perform Hand to Hand, a humorous, uplifting visual extravaganza propelled by Squonk's rollicking music. The show features two giant purple puppet hands, each the size of a house and rigged like a sailing ship. While Squonk’s musicians create melodious madness, audience members are invited up to power the giant fingers.

"We are thrilled to share Hand to Hand with students from all over Pittsburgh," said Jackie Dempsey, Co-Artistic Director of Squonk. "As part of Squonk's performances and demonstrations, students will handle the world's biggest puppet-hand puppets! They'll experience the stunning creative power of the human hand, a masterpiece of evolutionary engineering. And they will be propelled by community, working together."

In addition to the participants, the organizers would like to thank the sponsors of the event, including Richard King Mellon Foundation, PNC, Grable Foundation, PPG, Alco Parking, The Rangos Family Foundation and media sponsor SLB Radio Productions.

More information is available here: