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)
    60 minutes

    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)
    90 minutes

    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)
    90 minutes

    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)
    60 minutes
    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)
    60 minutes

    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)
    90 minutes
    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)
    90 minutes

    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.
  • What Do You Know About H2O? (Grades 3-8)
    90 minutes
    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.
    Available through November 21, 2018.
  • Adapt, Move, or Go Extinct (Grades 4-8)
    90 minutes

    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.
  • NEW! Designing for Disasters (Grades 4-12)
    90 minutes
    When it comes to adapting to our changing environment, innovation is key. Investigate the new Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience exhibit, and join in an engineering and design challenge with an eye toward a more resilient future.
    Available starting in January 2019.

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