Guided Education Programs for K-12

The museum offers a variety of learning adventures to complement your classroom instruction. Each program is specifically tailored to your students' grade and ability levels. Programs are 60 minutes in length for grades K-2 and 90 minutes in length for grades 3-12. Programs include a hands-on activity in the classroom and a tour and exploration of the associated exhibit hall.

Choose from the following program options:

History and Culture Children in Exhibit Hall

  • Camas Oven (Grades K-2)
    Explore Oregon landscapes and the history of Northwest Native cultures. Build a replica of a camas oven and “cook” camas bulbs - once the most important food staple of the Western Valley.
  • Oregon Archaeology Detective (Grades 3-5)
    Put on your detective hat and uncover clues about Oregon's past. Develop and test your own hypothesis as you tour the Oregon – Where Past is Present exhibit.
  • Cultural Scene Investigation (Grades 6-12)
    Examine artifacts and oral histories – and reconstruct a moment in Oregon’s history! Explore the Oregon - Where Past is Present exhibit hall to help build the scene and learn more about Native Americans in Oregon.

Natural History and Science

  • Fun with Fossils (Grades K-2)
    Discover the natural history and geology of Oregon! Be a scientist for a day, handling and classifying items like fossils and volcanic rocks. See what fossils are on display in the Explore Oregon exhibit.
  • Animal Tracks (Grades K-2)
    Who's been wandering through the museum? Follow the tracks to find out! Learn about different animals and the clues their tracks leave behind.
  • Famous Fossil Find (Grades 3-6)Children in lab coats
    Be a paleontologist for a day! Identify mysterious creatures by piecing together clues found throughout the Explore Oregon exhibit.
  • Ride the Rock Cycle (Grades 3-8)
    Journey through the eons and examine Earth's dynamic geology. From sandstone to serpentinite, you'll learn how different rocks fit into the spectacular story of the rock cycle. Discover what rocks are found in Oregon in the Explore Oregon exhibit.
  • NEW! Wild About Wolves (Grades 3-8)
    Wolves and humans have coexisted for thousands of years. Find out more about our dynamic relationship with these wild creatures while exploring the Wolves & Wild Lands in the 21st Century exhibit. This program will continue to be offered after the exhibit is gone. The exhibit tour will be in the Explore Oregon exhibit hall.
  • NEW! What Do You Know About H2O? (Grades 3-8)
    Investigate how water impacts your daily life and how you impact water on this planet. Explore the Smithsonian’s H2O Today exhibit to learn more about Earth’s most precious resource.
  • Adapt, Move, or Go Extinct (Grades 4-8)
    Investigate Oregon's ecosystems and learn how plants and animals adapt to changing environments. Tour through the exhibit Explore Oregon to see what habitats and animals we have here.


Pre- and post-visit materials and lesson plans can be found on the Teacher Resources page.