K-12 Classes

Bring the museum to your students through frameworks-oriented programs! Each program is taught by a museum educator.

Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is now open.

Virtual classes are offered during the school year from October 2021 through June 2022.
Recommended capacity: 25 students (50 student maximum)
Fee: $150

Classes in the Museum are available January though June 2022.
Class capacity: 50 students
Fee $250 for up to 25 students (includes admission to museum galleries), each additional student is $10.

Choose Grade Grouping

K–2 programs

Welcome to the Forest (In-Person Only)

Who lives in a forest? What sights, smells, and noises make a forest special? Young students will use their senses to explore life in a New England forest. By engaging in group discussion, movement activities, and examination of real specimens of plants, animals, and fungi, students will uncover relationships between living things in their local environment.

Strongly supports standards: PreK-ESS2-1(MA), PreK-LS1-1(MA), PreK-LS1-3(MA)

Also supports: PreK-ESS2-3 (MA)

Animal ABCs (Virtual or In-Person)

On an imaginary walk through the park, students will explore differences and similarities in birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians. By examining live animals, fur, feathers, eggs, and other natural objects, students will observe how animals look, grow, and behave. We will construct a model comparing life cycles, parental care, and special characteristics that make each group unique.

Strongly supports standards: K-LS1-2(MA), 1-LS1-2

Dig into Fossils (Virtual or In-Person)

Students will engage in science practices using a compelling topic—fossils! How do ancient animals such as dinosaurs and woolly mammoths compare to living things today? What clues can they give us about the environments where ancient animals lived? Students will become paleontologists as they examine rocks and fossils, and practice making meaningful observations to create an evidence-based picture of Earth’s history.

Supports standard: 2-LS4-1

Home Sweet Home (Virtual or In-Person)

Students will take a tour around the globe, from lush rainforests to frozen tundra, in search of the plants and animals who call these different places home. Using live animals, plants, and other natural objects, we will explore the individual features and behaviors of these organisms and compare how they survive and thrive in their environments.

Strongly supports standards: K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1, 2-LS2-3, 2-LS4-1

Bug World! (In-Person Only)

Through close observations of museum specimens and live animals, students will investigate the diverse world of insects, spiders, and their relatives and discover the special features that allow them to live in varied habitats all over the world.

Strongly supports standard: 1-LS3-1

Grades 3–5 programs

Rocks and Minerals (Virtual or In-Person)

Students will become geologists as they discover the characteristic properties scientists use to identify minerals. Through observations and comparisons of mineral samples, they will learn how properties such as color, shape, hardness, reflectivity, and magnetism are not only used to distinguish minerals but also impact how minerals are used in our everyday lives.

Strongly supports standard: 5-PS1-3.

Forest Ecology (In-Person Only)

By examining structures of leaves, fungus, animal skulls, and other natural objects, students will investigate life in a New England forest. Using plants and photosynthesis as a foundation, students will explore how matter moves among producers, consumers, and decomposers. From tiny insects to towering trees, from sun to soil, students will construct a model of the connections between living and nonliving components of an ecosystem.

Strongly supports standards: 4-LS1-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1

Inside Skeletons (Virtual or In-Person)

What do all vertebrates have in common? What are the advantages of having bones? In this program featuring live animals and skeletons, students will compare frogs, snakes, and turtles with humans to see basic characteristics shared by all vertebrates and specialized structures that support their behavior, growth, and survival.

Strongly supports standard: 4-LS1-1 Also Supports: 3-LS4-3

Jaws and Claws (Virtual or In-Person)

What do sharks and dragonflies have in common? They are both amazing predators! Students will observe museum specimens and live animals to construct an argument for how specialized behaviors and structures, including teeth, jaws, eyes, and wings, are used by predators to find and capture prey.

Strongly supports standard: 4-LS1-1 Also Supports: 3-LS4-3, 5-PS3-1

The Changing Earth (Virtual or In-Person)

Rocks, fossils, and landforms provide clues about the geologic history of our region over the past 600 million years. Through meaningful observations and guided discussions, students will use evidence from geologic materials, maps, and models to discover how oceans, volcanoes, plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, and mountain building have all shaped New England’s landscape.

Strongly supports standard: 3-LS4-1, 4-ESS1-1, 4-ESS2-1 Also supports: 4-ESS2-2

Mineral Lab (In-Person Only)

Students will become mineralogists as they explore the characteristic properties of minerals in a lab-like setting. Students will use scientific tests and careful observations of properties such as color, hardness, reflectivity, density, and magnetism to carry out investigations. By interpreting evidence and constructing arguments, students will identify minerals the way geologists do.

Strongly supports standard: 5-PS1-3

Grades 6–12 programs

Under Our Feet:The Geology of New England (Virtual or In-Person)

The rocks, fossils, and landforms we see around us provide evidence of how the Earth changes on scales both large and small. With a focus on New England geology, students will interpret geologic materials, maps, and models to discover how Earth processes such as plate tectonics, weathering, and erosion gave rise to both past environments and the landscape we see today. Recommended for grades 6-8.

Strongly supports standards: 6.MS-ESS2-3, 6.MS-LS4-1, 7.MS-ESS2-2

Also supports: 6.MS-ESS1-4

Exploring Evolution (Virtual or In-Person)

How does a population change over time? How can mutations result in new traits? What role does environmental change have in driving evolution? Through guided classroom discussion based on observations of fossils and museum specimens, students will consider three examples of the process of evolution through natural and artificial selection. Recommended for grades 6–8 or as an introduction to evolution for grades 9–12.

Strongly supports standards: 8.MS-LS4-4, 8.MS-LS4-5, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-5

Climate Change (In-Person Only)

How do we know our climate is changing? What impact is this change having on our planet? How does this differ from extreme climate change in the past? Using evidence from fossils, rocks, maps, and scientific data, students will learn how scientists understand paleoclimates. Together, we will construct a model to compare the temperature, greenhouse gases, and sea level of two ancient time periods with today’s changing conditions.

Strongly supports standards: 6.MS-LS4-1, 8.MS-ESS3-5, HS-ESS2-2, HS-ESS2-4, HS-ESS2-6, HS-ESS3-5

Also Supports: 6.MS-ESS2-3, 7.MS-LS2-4

Human Origins (In-Person Only)

How did environmental changes drive the evolution of our species? Students will act as evolutionary biologists as they analyze and interpret fossil evidence from bones and skulls of our ancient human relatives. By comparing anatomical structures, they will uncover and construct an argument about differences between extinct hominins and ourselves, and the role of environment in shaping evolution. Recommended for grades 6-8.

Strongly supports standards: 6.MS-LS4-1, 6.MS-LS4-2

Also Supports: HS-LS4-1. HS-LS4-5