University of Maryland Extension

Adventure in Science

What is Adventure in Science?

Adventure in Science (AIS) is a hands-on science education activity for children ages 8-15 running on Saturday mornings from late October to March.

Dr. Ralph R. Nash began the program in his basement in Gaithersburg, Maryland in the early 1970's to provide science adventures for his daughter, and over the years AIS has introduced the fun of science to hundreds of children.

AIS now meets at five sites in Montgomery County and additional programs have been initiated at several other sites around the country based on the same philosophy and a similar format.

Since the early 1990's the Montgomery County 4-H Program has provided an administrative framework for AIS, using 4-H UME volunteers as site managers.

Our goal is to present science as an exciting activity and a way of thinking about the world, rather than as a compendium of facts. The topics we present reflect the interests of the children and of our volunteers, rather than any prescribed curriculum. Examples have included:

  • Dissection of squids and frogs
  • Examination of pond life under a microscope
  • Genes and DNA
  • Sound and hearing
  • Vitamin C
  • Chemistry of gases
  • Atoms and radioactivity
  • Internal combustion engines (taking apart a lawn mower)
  • Jet propulsion (assembly of model rockets and launching them)
  • Crystal radios
  • Polarized light; vision and the eye
  • Immune wars; breathing and the lung
  • Counting infinities
  • Slime and other polymers
  • The fourth dimension

Any person who is a currently appointed University of Maryland Extension (UME) 4-H volunteer providing a service to or on behalf of UME, engaged in 4-H AIS activities which fall within the categories of actions in the Maryland Tort Claims Act would be covered under the state liability insurance.

For more information or to register please go to

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