Dear Diary,

Recently, I asked my daughter what was her favorite subject in school, and she quickly shouted science. Her answer threw me for a loop. I expected her to say English. She’s always toting a book in her bag and a pen and pad in her hand. Plus, I’m a former reading teacher–been reading to my little scholar since she was in the womb. So when she said science, I was surprised. She then preceded to tell me that her class grew kale in the school’s garden, and when ripened, they made chips in the lab. She loved learning new things, conducting experiments and getting her hands dirty–sometimes slimy. I loved that in today’s society, girls are encouraged to take an interest in science and close the gender gap in the once male dominated field. So when Caitlynn turned five, we celebrated her birthday at Mad Science Lab in Etna.



Mad Science is suitable for children ages five to 12. When your party guests arrive, they can play freely and explore the lab. The kids ran up to the sand table and got busy building castles. They also played games, used magnifying glasses and looked through a microscope.

I recommend that you tell your guest to arrive 20 minutes before the party officially begins. The lab’s located in an industrial park, so you can easily get lost navigating past the warehouses. The mad scientist can come to your house, but we opted for a hassle-free party and hosted our event at the lab.  The Cupcake Crew delivered green cupcakes, and we brought the party favors and decorations.



The highlight of the party–the interactive experiments! The 45-minute science show included 8 to 10 experiments and a dry ice shower. The show went on the road with a soda pop and mentos geyser erupting outside the building.


What’s a science party without making some snacks? The mad scientist whipped up cotton candy for the kids.  Mad Science parties also include pizza, popcorn and lemonade.

Mad Science Sign

Hey DFTM Fam–Want to book your own party, attend a workshop of go to camp? Call 412-359-9035 or email

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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