“Museum of Science & Industry Launches 2020 Summer Brain Games”

      The Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry announced on Thursday, July 9, A.D. 2020 that it was launching its 9th annual Summer Brain Games program “with new ways to provide access to science learning.  Summer Brain Games invites kids and their families to discover and explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) through Chicago’s neighborhoods with hands-on activities in English and Spanish and free tickets to visit the Museum.”[1]  For the first time, this year the Summer Brian Games will include free science kits that families can pick up at certain Chicago Public Library facilities.

      “The new Summer Brain Games Science Kits are the perfect opportunity to further the Museum’s goal of reaching students wherever they are – especially directly in their neighborhoods,” stated Rabiah Mayas, Ruth D. and Davee Vice President of Education at the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.).  “MSI is excited to continue our longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Library system to help even more families do science together.”

2020 Summer Brain Games

      The 2020 activities for the Summer Brain Games enable children and their families to use common household items to gain a better understanding of the city with S.T.E.M. concepts.  “Engineering with Skyscrapers” is an opportunity to play architect and design your own skyscraper.  Planning and experimenting will lead you to the construction of buildings that can withstand conditions Mother Nature might throw at it.  With “Understanding Scale and Mapmaking,” you choose a space; conduct a land survey; plan and scale a map; and discover how cartographers, geographers, and city planners decide where to build.  Make your own breeze on a hot day and learn about Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion at the same time with “Laws of Motion with Balloon Racers.”   Challenge someone to a race, experiment with different balloon types, and even make your racer into a Chicago “L” train car.

      Summer Brain Games is a free program for families.  Those who register online at www.msichicago.org/summerbrain will receive a family four-pack of Museum Entry (general admission) tickets gratis.[2]  There’s a limit of one voucher per household.  

Science Kits at the Chicago Public Library

       The Summer Brain Games Science Kits are available in twenty-three library branches with three activities inside.  Each kit contains instructions and materials to complete each activity – no purchase necessary.  Inside each kit, the activities include

  • Who Did You Eat? – Learn about biology with owl pellet dissection. Use gloves and dissecting tools on an owl pellet to separate the bones from the fur and feathers of animals eaten by an owl. 
  • Garden in a Glove – Plant Seeds and watch them sprout in about a week.
  • Buzz Buzz – Use a bee hummer to generate sound vibration; discover how sound energy gets produced with the vibrations of a rubber band and index card.

      The Summer Brain Games Science Kits will be available in late July for pick-up in the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and twenty-two library branches while supplies last.  Check www.msichicago.org/summerbrain for more details and updates.  The libraries are

Austin, 5615 West Race Avenue[3]

Back of the Yards, 2111 West 47th Street[4]

Blackstone, 4904 South Lake Park Avenue[5]

Brainerd, 1350 West 89th Street

Budlong Woods, 5630 North Lincoln Avenue

Chinatown, 2100 South Wentworth Avenue[6]

Coleman, 731 East 63rd Street

Dunning, 7455 West Cornelia Avenue

Kelly, 6151 South Normal Boulevard

Logan Square, 3030 West Fullerton Avenue

Merlo, 644 West Belmont Avenue

North Austin, 5724 West North Avenue

Portage-Cragin, 5108 West Belmont Avenue

Pullman, 11001 South Indiana Avenue

Scottsdale, 4101 West 79th Street

Sherman Park, 5440 South Racine Avenue

South Shore, 2505 East 73rd Street

Thurgood Marshall, 7506 South Racine Avenue

Toman, 2708 South Pulaski Road

West Chicago Avenue, 4856 West Chicago Avenue

West Englewood, 1745 West 63rd Street

Woodson Regional, 9525 South Halsted Street[7]

Wrightwood-Ashburn, 8530 South Kedzie Avenue

Figure 1 Credit: Caption: This is Adobe Stock Photo that depicts the west portico of the Museum of Science and Industry’s Central Pavilion.  Please note that it is not a public entrance.  The photo was taken on June 27, 2014.


The sponsor of Summer Brain Games are Wintrust and the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project. Located in the northeast corner of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park in Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry stands on 57th Street at the intersection with Lake Shore Drive. The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637. 

      Normally, the M.S.I. is open every day of the year with two exceptions – Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day – but it was closed for about four months due to the novel cornavirus (COVID-19) pandemic-induced statewide lockdown.  The M.S.I. announced Thursday, July 16, A.D. 2020 that it would re-open to Members on Wednesday, June 29, A.D. 2020 and to the public on Saturday, August 1, A.D. 2020.  For the time being, the M.S.I. will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Normally, on most days, it would be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but during peak periods (including summertime and Christmastime) it would be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.


[1] Note, to the best of my knowledge every other organization uses S.T.E.M. to mean science, technology, engineering, and math, but the Museum of Science and Industry uses S.TE.M. to mean science, technology, engineering, and medicine.

[2] Movies in the Giant Dome Theater are not covered by Museum Entry.  Nor are the Fab Lab, admission to special exhibits, and parking in the underground garage.

[3] I posted “The Austin Branch of the Chicago Public Library” on August 5, A.D. 2018.

[4] I posted “The Back of the Yards Branch of the Chicago Public Library” on October 30, A.D. 2018.

[5] I posted “The Blackstone Branch of the Chicago Public Library” on June 29, A.D. 2017.

[6] I posted “The Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library” on August 2, A.D. 2018.

[7] I posted “The Carter G. Woodson Regional Library” on June 19, A.D. 2020.

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