Investigator Challenge — Pre-K–12

Want to get the most out of Neutrino Day?

Pre-K—12 students can download a grade-appropriate Investigator Notebook to help navigate all our Neutrino Day events. Of course, you can take part in any Neutrino Day event that captures your curiosity, but consider your Investigator Notebook as a general guide. 

By completing the suggested number of activities in your Investigator Notebook, students can enter to win a Neutrino Day Prize pack, unlock the Future Scientist certificate and take the Future Scientist pledge. 

Small Particles, Big Science

Neutrinos are the most abundant matter particles in the universe, yet very little is known about them. This animation shows how the Department of Energy’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility will power the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment to help scientists understand the role neutrinos play in the universe. DUNE will also look for the birth of neutron stars and black holes by catching neutrinos from exploding stars.

Oscillating neutrinos — Create your own neutrino trihexaflexagon

Neutrino's come in three types, or "flavors." This trihexaflexagon craft is a fun way to model how neutrinos oscillate, or change, from one type to the next as they travel through space. Print out the template and follow along with the video to make your own oscillating neutrino!

What you'll need:

  • printer
  • clear tape
  • colored pencils or crayons or markers
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • ball point pen

The Science of Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream is a Neutrino Day favorite. Although we'll miss eating our ice cream cones this year, Micheal Dowding and the Society of Physics Students at South Dakota School of Mines share a bit about the science behind this tasty treat! 

Nectar Connectors

Dr. Raeann Mettler of Black Hills State University created a short tutorial to show youth and/or families how to track flowers that are important to pollinators using the Nectar Connectors program, part of the citizen science project called Nature's Notebook. Get outside and explore how plants and animals are related with Nectar Connectors!

What you'll need: 

  • computer with WiFi or smartphone (App required)

S is for Science—A science resource guide

Starbase of South Dakota offers a compilation of science activities families can do together at home and at any time.

What you'll need: 

  • internet access
  • simple supplies around the house         

Physics Activities:

Visit the American Museum of Natural History's website. Click on Ology: A Science Website for Kids, then print out the Light Quest game or join the "Nobody's Perfect" story.

Virtual Field Trip: 

How small is a neutrino? - LIVE

This live activity explores neutrinos, the most abundant particle in the universe and how their incredibly small size makes them so incredibly difficult to detect. Presented by Dr. Peggy Norris, Sanford Lab Education and Outreach. 

What you'll need:

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • a transparent cup of water
  • a spoon
  • a ruler
  • a toothpick
  • magnifying glass (optional)

Here are a few links you'll need during the event:

Artemis: The Next Lunar Landing

In 2024, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon. NASA plans to use innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before, collaborating with commercial and international partners. They will use what they learn to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

Join the Journey Museum in Rapid City to view a recorded discussion with a NASA engineer who is working on the Artemis program to learn more about how this mission will unfold: Preparation, launch structures and sustainable exploration methods.

Bad Science Jokes

Please note: All ages are encouraged to participate in this activity. However, the contest portion is open to only Pre-K–12 students.

Got a clever science joke?

Whether it makes your audience laugh or groan, we want to hear it! It might be funny enough to win the grand prize.

Prize? What prize?

Science Steve

Toilet paper flies, balloons pop, children laugh and kids discover a fascination for science during scientific demonstrations by “Science" Steve Rokusek. A South Dakota Public Broadcasting education specialist, Rokusek makes science fun for audiences of all ages. He does it by using humorous demonstrations that bring to life the laws of physics, chemistry, anatomy and more.

Rokusek has been a mainstay during Sanford Lab's Neutrino Day celebrations. This year, even though he will be recording his demonstrations from his own backyard, marks his 12th year at Neutrino Day.