School Programs

Travel Guide to Space is one of the museum's many school workshops.

School programs are fully booked for this school year. Registration for the next school year begins August 1st.

We offer a wide variety of programs, with subjects ranging from fossils and geology to DNA and particles in the subatomic world. The programs are divided into two main categories, Gallery Activities and School Workshops. Detailed information is available by selecting from the categories below, or you can download a school programs brochure. Bookings must be made at least three weeks in advance. Frequently asked questions about school programs can be found here.

NEW PROGRAM!! Cartoon Guide to Energy*

SCHOLARSHIPS. A limited number of scholarships are available for school groups participating in the museum's school programs. These scholarships cover program fees only. Typically, full scholarships are awarded to schools if 50 percent or more of their students are eligible for a free or reduced lunch program. Schools with less than 50 percent may be awarded a half scholarship. Schools can request a scholarship for program fees by completing a scholarship application. There may be additional scholarships funds to cover up to $250 in bus costs.Please note: programs cannot be scheduled prior to scholarship review.

Showing Gallery Activities, School Workshop, and Scavenger Hunts for the selected grade.

Gallery Activities

Programs use select exhibits to investigate a particular topic.
To book a Gallery Activity call 785.864.4173 Please call 3 weeks in advance.

School Workshops

Programs are hands-on workshops with activities that take place in the museum's education classroom.
To book a School Workshop call 785.864.4173 Please call 3 weeks in advance.

Fossil Fun

This workshop is designed for younger students and provides an introduction to geological time and fossils. Hands-on activities include digging for and identifying fossils, and developing dinosaurs complete with scientific names.

Grade Levels 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, C, D, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Rock Clocks

This workshop provides an introduction to geological time with activities that investigate relative and absolute dating.

Grade Levels 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, High School
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, D, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Hands-on Geology

How can you tell mica from magnetite or granite from gneiss? Students learn identification techniques in this introduction to minerals, rocks and their formation.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, D, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Hands-on Mammals

Explore the characteristics of mammals and their adaptations through a series of demonstrations and activities.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, C, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Cartoon Guide to Energy

What can falling anvils and exploding TNT tell us about how energy works in the cartoon and real worlds?  Using classic cartoon scenarios, students explore how fundamental forces and properties of matter build a framework for thinking about energy across its different contexts.

Grade Levels 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, High School
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards B, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

DNA Discovery

This workshop introduces DNA — what it is and how it works. Hands-on activities include DNA extraction and making DNA jewelry.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, High School
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, C, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Travel Guide to Space

Welcome to Other Worlds Travel Agency. Students explore the solar system from the perspective of alien tourists and are challenged to select the best destination to meet their needs.

Grade Levels 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, B, D, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Matter Matters

Students investigate the properties and classification of matter. Topics include the particulate nature of matter, state changes and temperature.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, B, G
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

How Small is Small?

Discover what the smallest things in the universe are and how small! Explore the concept of scale through giant insects, viruses and chickens.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, B, D, E, G
Math Link Curriculum Standard 1 to 8
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Quarks: Ups, Downs and the Universe

Discover what the world is made of. Investigate atoms, states of matter and electrical charge. Be atoms, build atoms and find out what they are made of.

Grade Levels 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, High School
Number of Participants 15 minimum; 30 Maximum (students)
National Science Standards A, B, D, E, G
Math Link Curriculum Standard 1 to 8
Duration 45 Minutes
Fee $4.50 per person (one adult chaperone free for every 5 students; additional adults $4.50 each; maximum of 8 adults)

Scavenger Hunts

Whether you're a family on a day trip, a school group or university student, you can add to your museum visit with one of our scavenger hunts. These guides to the museum encourage exploration and discovery in the galleries.
Self Guided

Scavenger Hunts are available to help you explore the museum.

Large groups, please call 785.864.4450

Mosasaur Munchies Guide

The largest mosasaur found – discovered in Kansas – lurks over the KU Natural History Museum's lobby entrance. Use this guide to explore the museum galleries and discover what mosasaurs ate. Guide available at Visitor Services, 4th floor, or download and print your own.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Museum Mysteries

Explore the museum using this scavenger hunt, which takes students to all four floors of the museum. Closely examine exhibits to answer questions about glowing minerals, monkeys in the rainforest and insects in Bug Town. Guide available at Visitor Services, 4th floor, or download and print your own.

Grade Levels 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Museum Quest

In this scavenger hunt, examine exhibits to answer questions about Triceratops, insect mouthparts and snakes. Guide available at Visitor Services, 4th floor, or download and print your own.

Grade Levels 6th, 7th, 8th
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Museum Challenge

In this challenging scavenger hunt, closely examine exhibits to answer questions about endangered animals, flying vertebrates, and venomous snakes. Guide available at Visitor Services, 4th floor, or download and print your own.

Grade Levels High School, University Students, Adults
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Cabinets of Curiosity

The odd, the strange and the unusual were prized objects for many early collectors. Use this guide to explore some of the “oddities” on display at the museum. Guide available at Visitor Services, 4th floor, or download and print your own.

Grade Levels 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, High School, University Students, Adults
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Museum Explorer

Touch a fossil, see minerals that glow, and investigate animal feet. This scavenger hunt can be used to investigate select exhibits or as a general guide to the galleries on each floor. Download and print your own.

Grade Levels 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Duration varies; 15-45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Museum Adventure

Compare and count creatures, walk like a dinosaur and more. This scavenger hunt can be used to investigate select exhibits or as a general guide to the galleries on each floor. Download and print your own.

Grade Levels 1st
Duration varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child; $5 per adult (recommended contribution, same as museum admission)

Museum Discovery

Explore shared characters, adaptations and other evolutionary ideas with this scavenger hunt. It can be used in a structured way to investigate select exhibits or as a general guide to the galleries on each floor. Download and print your own.

Grade Levels 6th, 7th, 8th
Duration Varies; 15-45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Your Natural History

The natural history of the human body reflects billions of years of evolutionary history. Come explore some of the characteristics that we share with other organisms as a result of our common ancestry. Download and print your own.

Grade Levels High School, University Students, Adults
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Sexy Science

Explore our exhibits in a new way to investigate the suggestive side of science. Available on request at front desk.

Grade Levels University Students, Adults
Duration Varies; 15 to 45 minutes
Fee $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Puttering around Potter Lake

Explore the life in and around Potter Lake, just a short walk west of the KU Natural History Museum. Download and print your own.

Grade Levels 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Duration Varies; up to an hour (including travel time)
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)

Looking around the Lake

Explore life in and around Potter Lake, just a short walk west of the KU Natural History Museum. Download and print your own.

Grade Levels 6th, 7th, 8th
Duration Varies; up to an hour (including travel time)
Fee $3 per child, $5 per adult (recommended contribution; same as museum admission)