Everybody can envision the “Eureka!” moment of invention, where the idea suddenly strikes and—BOOM—there’s a new product ready to change the world. Spark!Lab, the newest hands-on space for families and others visiting the National Museum of American History shows the real story behind an inventor’s work.

Invention is a process, from creative ideas all the way to successful marketing, and the Lemelson Center’s Spark!Lab uses fun activities to help kids and families learn about the history and process of invention. You can play games, conduct science experiments, explore inventors’ notebooks, and even invent! Visit the Spark!Lab Web site to start exploring! Spark!Lab will also feature a regular series of speakers, including contemporary inventors, to let you know just how they got the “invention bug” and put their creativity to use.

In addition to Spark!Lab, the Lemelson Center also offers an interactive exhibition for families, Invention at Play, in the new Lemelson Hall of Invention.  To learn more, visit the Lemelson Center Web site.Spark!Lab Closing October 5, 2011
The National Museum of American History will soon be undergoing renovations to its West exhibition wing. To prepare for construction, Spark!Lab—the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation’s hands-on invention activity center—will close Oct. 5. 

For those looking to “spark” their inventive creativity while the space is closed, the Lemelson Center encourages the public to: 

  • Participate in a Spark!Lab cart activity at the National Museum of American History (schedule TBD).
  • Find fun, inventive activities to do at home at and on Spark!Lab’s Facebook page.
  • Sign up for our monthly e-newsletters to find out about Lemelson Center public programs and events, our podcast and new at-home activities.
  • Visit the first Spark!Lab off the National Mall, opening at the Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, Nev., September 10.
  • Visit a Smithsonian Affiliate museum participating in the Spark!Lab Outreach Kit Program. Partners include the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.; the Annmarie Garden in Solomons, Md.; the Western Science Center in Hemet, Calif.; the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Fla.; and the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Non- affiliate Discovery Space Children’s Museum in State College, Pa., is also a partner.

Spark!Lab will re-open at the National Museum of American History following the renovations. During closure, Lemelson Center staff will be hard at work inventing new and improved activities. 

Please note, the National Museum of American History will remain open during renovations.Contact

E-mail: Contact form