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Free Science Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Ithaca, NY that provides a supportive, community-based space for low-income and under-represented youth to explore their world, and expand their capabilities, through science and creativity.


Kids and Their Adults

The Free Science Workshop is a free-choice environment youth can walk in and direct their own education. They can pursue what interests them the most from a wide range of opportunities including electronic tinkering, woodshop and construction. caring for plants and animals, and designing their own projects.

Open drop-in hours are always free to attend. Adults are welcome to participate, but not obligated to attend.

We ask that participants:

  • Attend because they are interested in the opportunities offered
  • Are at least 6 years old if attending without an accompanying guardian
  • Are willing to comply with our conduct guidelines
  • Are able to leave if and when they wish to

Free Science Workshop prioritizes serving historically marginalized and under served low-income youth. We have limited resources and serve those most in-need of and able to benefit from the opportunities we offer. We ask families to self-identify as eligible for our services.

“The Free Science Workshop provides our group with opportunities and learning experiences that are not available anywhere else in our city. Our children have been exposed to interesting and innovative science lessons and given many opportunities to think creatively. They go home with amazing creations every week. The lessons were created with our children’s ages and interests in mind and they looked forward to coming every Monday. The Free Science Workshop is an incredible community resource!”

– C. Thomas, Lead Teacher DICC

New to the Free Science Workshop is our budding collaboration with area schools. Through a combination of bringing workshop components into the classrooms and bring students themselves into the Workshop, we are able to supplement traditional curricula and provide access to professional quality equipment, materials, and instruction. Content can be tailored to fit your grade level, unit, schedule, and student ability. For all scholastic related inquiries, please be sure to include your class size, areas of interest, student ages, and transportation abilities.

FSW in Schools

Community Partners

“[The kids] truly feel as if they are part of science and the community  by having such a wonderful place to go on a weekly basis.”

– R. Cornell, Urban 4-H Program Director

Weekly visits from partnering organizations expand the reach of Free Science to youth and families living beyond a walk-able distance. Building up from small take-home engineering and science projects to bigger, long term challenges and group projects, our community partner groups make full use of our available resources and opportunities and connect individuals to a larger network of community based collaboration.

If you are associated with a local Ithaca community organization and are interested in utilizing the Free Science Workshop with your group, we would love to hear from you!

“What’s it like to hold a large ball python? Look at skin cells under a microscope? Dissect a fish 2-3 feet long? It’s pretty exciting and empowering… the magic and wonder of real science. I’m so happy to be a part of this wonderful experiment.”

– P. Shea, Community Volunteer

Our volunteers make more than just projects, they make a difference!

Though the Free Science Workshop relies on donations of all kinds, the donation of one’s time is often the most immediately evident to our participants. We are currently looking for community minded individuals who are interested in sharing their love of science, nature, tinkering, or empowering youth to join our team.

Consider lending a helping hand as:

  • A Program Facilitator
  • A Mentor
  • A Content Developer
  • A Special Guest
  • Organizational Support

Hands on Volunteering

Not only do our children love going [to the Workshop] but I have watched their creativity, confidence, and abilities expand. We are grateful to live in a neighborhood that encompasses a safe, social justice oriented space like the Free Science Workshop.

– Parent email, 2019


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Make things at Free Science they are proud of

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Feel more capable after attending our program

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Come up with their own ideas and try them out at the Workshop