K-12 Classes

Bring the museum to your students through frameworks-oriented, virtual classroom programs! Each program is taught by a museum educator via Zoom or another suitable platform.

Virtual classes are offered during the school year from October through June. Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is now open.

Recommended capacity: 25 students (50 student maximum)

Fee: $150

Choose Grade Grouping

K–2 programs (35-40 minutes)

Animal ABCs

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

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

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

Grades 3–5 programs (45 minutes)

Rocks and Minerals

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.

Inside Skeletons

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

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

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

Grades 6–12 programs (45 minutes)

Under Our Feet: The Geology of New England

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

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