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A Scientific World of Discovery With Your Younger Grandchild

Program No. 22895RJ
Delve into Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math with your grandchild during hands-on experiments and activities with scientists and art experts.

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At a Glance

Step into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) — where butterflies flutter freely and you can become an astronaut for the day. Explore a place where science and art experts use hands-on experiments and projects to discover lessons your grandchildren will love. Put on your lab coat and become a scientist, engineer and artist, and inspire discovery in the eyes of your grandchild in the exciting city of St. Louis and its charming, historic neighbor, St. Charles.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Considerable standing, 2-3 miles of walking per day and boarding buses.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Head to the famous St. Louis Science Center where you’ll work together with your grandchild to create a “Scribble Bot” robot.
  • Experience the magic of 1,000 live tropical butterflies flying freely at Sachs Butterfly House.
  • Embrace your inner astronaut at the Challenger Learning Center’s simulated spacecraft before tackling hands-on projects that explore the possibility of life on Mars.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 6-8. For a program for older grandchildren (ages 9-11), check out "To Missouri & Beyond: Space & Robots With Your Grandchild" (#21935).
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on, a website that supports local bookstores.
While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Check In, Registration, Orientation, Dinner, Mad Science
St. Charles
Country Inn & Suites

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the Breakfast Room off the main lobby to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID protocols and will adhere to applicable requirements and guidelines throughout the program. We will learn from a series of local experts who will give lectures and lead field trips. Program-related travel and transfers will be via private bus (no restroom aboard) unless noted otherwise. Meals will feature mostly locally-owned restaurants and caterers. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Mad Science! Members of the Mad Science team will lead us through an exciting, interactive, hands-on experiment. Mad Science is an educational enrichment source that uses fun approaches to getting kids excited about science. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

St. Louis Science Center Field Trip
St. Charles
Country Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 50 miles throughout the day, approximately 1.5 hour riding time. Walking during field trip at St. Louis Science Center, a 3-story facility with elevators. Extent of walking and other activities during independent time according to personal choice. Seating available.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board our bus for a field trip to the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC), one of the top five science centers in the nation. There, grandkids with help from grandparents will build our very own DIY robot — a Scribble Bot — using a low voltage DC motor, copper wire, batteries, markers, and a few household items. Then we’ll create art using our robot! After our directed learning session is over, we’ll have time to explore the Science Center on our own. The SLSC was recently named one of the Top 10 Science Centers for Families by “Parents” magazine. There are more than 700 hands-on exhibits from Amazing Science Demonstrations to a life-sized animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex and much, much more.

Lunch: At the Science Center, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our field trip at the Science Center with an interactive science-themed story followed by a hands-on activity related to the book’s themes. We’ll then ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We’ll remain where we are and watch “Monument to the Dream,” a short movie about the creation of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Arch that stands today as the nation's tallest arch and national monument. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure for a swim in the pool (with grandparents present), spending time with new Road Scholar friends, or just relaxing.

Sachs Butterfly House, Play-Well TEKnologies at SCC campus.
St. Charles
Country Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 40 miles throughout the day, approximately 1.5 hour total riding time. Walking up to 3 miles.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll take a field trip to the Sachs Butterfly House in Faust Park, a component of the Missouri Botanical Garden. More than 1,000 live butterflies representing more than 60 species fly freely in the glass conservatory building. A docent will lead us in a hands-on, student driven investigation examining the world of arthropods up close — designed to foster a greater understanding of their importance to the balance of life on Earth. We’ll use living animals and real specimens, not easily obtained for classroom use. After the study sessions, we will visit with the butterflies.

Lunch: On the grounds of the Butterfly House, we will have box lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll drive to St. Charles Community College and let our imagination run wild with thousands of LEGO parts and meet with Play-Well TEKnologies experts to learn about renewable and nonrenewable resources.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to swim in the pool (with grandparents present), spend time with new Road Scholar friends, or just relax.

Challenger Learning Center Field Trip, Free Time
St. Charles
Country Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 25 miles throughout the day, approximately 1 hour riding time. Walking and standing at field trip site.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll set out for a day of space adventures at the Challenger Learning Center. We will take on the roles of astronauts in the simulated spacecraft and work as a team to keep the crew safe and launch a scientific probe. We’ll think like planetary scientists as we complete hands-on projects to explore the possibility of life on Mars. We’ll ride back to the hotel after our field trip.

Lunch: The bus will return to the hotel after the Challenger Learning Center. Lunch has been excluded from the program costs and is on your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to make suggestions. There are many choices on Main Street in St. Charles.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration. You might like to take this opportunity to explore the historic St. Charles area. To mix a bit of history into our science experiences, walk in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark in the river town where their expedition began, visit Frontier Park, or do whatever appeals to you.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. There are numerous choices on Main Street in St. Charles.

Evening: At leisure.

St. Louis Arch, Aquarium at Union Station
St. Charles
Country Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 50 miles throughout the day, approximately 1.5 hours total driving time. Walking approximately 3 miles and standing during field trips. Seating available.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will set out on a field trip to explore the Gateway to the West at the St. Louis Arch. We’ll learn more — remember “Monument to the Dream”? — about the engineering marvel of this iconic structure. We’ll take a tram ride to the top for panoramic views of the Mississippi River, Busch Stadium, and the St. Louis Courthouse. We will have a Park Ranger-led presentation and activity about the history of westward expansion and confront some of the same choices early pioneers faced while traveling west from St. Louis to Oregon.

Lunch: At the Arch café

Afternoon: Next, we will take the bus to the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. We’ll learn about aquatic life in the 120,000-square foot aquarium, packed to the gills with more than 13,000 animals across 44 exhibits. In a classroom setting, we’ll learn about St. Louis’ closest water system: the Mississippi River and how the river has been impacted by human habitation and come up with our own solutions to reduce pollution. We will then have an expert-led exploration of the aquarium, followed by some independent time to see what interests each of us most at Union Station. Optional activities are available at additional cost.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure for a swim in the pool (with grandparents present), spending time with new Road Scholar friends, or just relaxing. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Program Concludes
St. Charles

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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