Young students learning in class


If you’d like to focus on a subject you don’t see in this list, please let us know. Email Karina Weiss or call 802-748-2372.

Education Programs

Our educators are trained naturalists with a passion for inquiry-based learning. Guided instruction happens in our planetarium, galleries, classrooms, and in the field.

Be inspired!

Our educators provide thought-provoking learning experiences designed to ignite curiosity and encourage reflection. We emphasize learning through scientific method: using observation, developing a hypothesis, testing, data collection, analysis, and reflection. 

All Fairbanks Museum education programs are designed to meet appropriate Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and are available in a variety of pricing plans.


NEW: Eclipses (Grades 1-8)
Join us for an out of this world experience as we leave Earth behind in order to view the eclipse from space! This program will also review the different phases of the moon and discuss why events like this eclipse do not occur more frequently. NGSS 1-ESS1-1, 1-PS4-2, 5-ESS1-2, MS-ESS1-1

Choose Your Own Space Adventure! Pick 2 topics from list below (Grades 3-8):

  • Gravity
  • Solar System
  • Moon phases
  • Moon craters
  • Sun
  • Eclipses
  • Life on Other Planets

NGSS 5-PS2-1, MS-ESS1-1, MS-ESS1-2

Constellations & Cultures (Grades K-8)
Constellations are created when people look up at the sky and draw lines between bright stars to create images. Even though we all see many of the same stars each night, every culture creates their own images based on what is important to them. In this planetarium program, we will explore stories from cultures around the world about constellations that are visible in our night sky. NGSS 1-ESS1-1

Bang! Zoom! To the Moon! (Grades K-3)
How does the moon move, and why does it change appearance? The moon is the most easily recognized object in the night sky, as well as the most misunderstood. It changes shape, location and timing, creates eclipses, and is the only other planetary object humans have landed on and explored. The session closes with a viewing of actual moon landings. Pair this class with “The Phases of the Moon: Grades K-3” to spend 30 minutes doing each. NGSS 1-ESS1-1, and 1-ESS1-2

Bang! Zoom! To the Moon! (Grades 3-5)
In addition to the description above, students will see the phases and movement of the moon and learn how sun and shadow affect its appearance. If appropriate, students will be introduced to topics such as the origin of the moon, its gravitational effect and solar and lunar eclipse. NGSS 5-PS2-15-ESS1-15-ESS1-2MS-ESS1-1MS-ESS1-2, and MS-ESS1-3

What’s Up, Tonight Skies (Grades K-8)
Take a tour of the night’s sky with us! During this program, you can expect to be introduced to seasonal constellations, fly to and explore visible planets, and learn about the latest discoveries from space. Better yet, you’ll walk away with an in-depth knowledge of your night sky so that you can identify the wonders of the cosmos in your own backyard. NGSS 1-ESS1-11-ESS1-25-PS2-15-ESS1-15-ESS1-2MS-ESS1-1MS-ESS1-2, and MS-ESS1-3

From Stonehenge to the Great Pyramid: Ancient Astronomy Sites (Grades 3-8)
Observing and measuring the sky had a prominent role in nearly every ancient culture. Most importantly, it created a system of time-keeping, necessary for the organization and growth of a large population sharing similar beliefs and principles. These cornerstone concepts led to the construction of structures capable of measuring and marking significant astronomical events – seasons, cycles, and motions in the heavens. Students will start by exploring the relationship with basic astronomy observations and time. Then, they will consider possible ways to measure elements of the skies. That will lead to a discussion of how ancient astronomers designed structures to track these changes over time, including Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid of Egypt, some ancient Mayan sites, and others. NGSS 5-ESS1-15-ESS1-2MS-ESS1-1MS-ESS1-2, and MS-ESS1-3

Weather & Climate

Weather Basics (PreK – 2)
Explore Vermont’s seasonal changes with us as we pack a suitcase for each of the four seasons. Students will take a look at some different weather instruments, learn about how they are used to create a weather forecast, and make a craft that will help them think about the weather from home. NGSS K-ESS2-1, K-ESS3-3

Living in a Greenhouse: An Introduction to Climate and Atmosphere (Grades 4 – 8)
In order to understand how our climate is changing today, we should begin by understanding how the atmosphere controls our global temperature. Not just on Earth, but also on Mars and Venus! As the Earth’s atmosphere and tilted axis have changed over time, so has the Earth’s climate. How is the human-caused climate change different from the past episodes of climate change the Earth has already seen, such as the Ice Ages and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum? This class will be the first in a two part series about Climate Change. NGSS 5-ESS2-1MS-PS1-3MS-ESS2-5MS-ESS2-6MS-ESS3-5

How to Make a Forecast (Grades 3 – 5)
What tools and skills do meteorologists need to make a forecast? Learn the tools of the trade of observation, instrumentation, satellites, and radar. The basics of making a weather forecast are illustrated.  This class can be adapted to the lower grades, with differences based on their developmental level. NGSS 3-ESS2-1, 3-ESS2-2, and 5-ESS2-1


Environmental Science

The Nest Big Thing (Grades PreK-2)
All birds hatch from eggs but where they hatch and how they develop can be very different. Some birds are ready to move right out of the egg while others need more time to grow. Some baby birds look like their parents while others look very different. In this class we’ll look at nests, eggs, and feathers to learn more about birds and their lifecycle? NGSS: K-ESS2-2, 1-LS3-1, 2LS4-1

Pumpkins and Squash and Gourds, Oh My! (Grades PreK-2)
Fall is a time of harvest! In this class we will explore pumpkins and their cousins in a variety of ways including weight, size, and number of seeds, using different science tools. We will also look at the parts of the fruit and their lifecycle. Be prepared to get messy with this hands-on exploration! NGSS K-LS1-1, 1-LS3-1, 2-LS4-1 Available only in Fall 

Magnificent Metamorphosis (Grades PreK-2)
Butterflies are probably the creatures that come to mind when you hear the word metamorphosis, but there are many other creatures that also go through this amazing process. In this class we will touch on a few of these special insects, learning not only about their metamorphosis, but about their anatomy and behavior, too. Students will look closely at butterfly and moth specimens under the microscope and act out and create their life cycles. NGSS K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, 2-LS2-2 Available only in Fall and Spring 

Seed Science (Grades PreK-2)
This class takes a deep dive into the fascinating world of seeds. From the magic of seed dispersal, to the amazing transformations they make after landing, we’ll explore it all. Students will take a close look at some different seeds they might find in their own backyard, and take guesses as to what they turn into. NGSS K-LS1-1, 2-LS2-2, K-ESS2-2, 1-LS3-1

Dynamic Dinos (Grades PreK-2)
What was Earth like during the time of the dinosaurs? In this class, students will use their five senses to travel back in time and explore the prehistoric world. We will learn how they moved, how they ate, and how they interacted with one another to survive in their changing environments. NGSS K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2

Insects and Imposters (Grades K-3)
Have your students ever wondered what it would be like to be an entomologist? Entomologists are scientists that study the life and behavior of insects. In this class we will discuss how to distinguish between insects and their imposters by learning about what all insects have in common. Students will use some of the tools that these scientists use to take a closer look at a wide variety of critters. Decomposition, metamorphosis, and pollination are just a few of the fun topics we might explore. NGSS: 2-LS4-1 and K-LS1-1

Tracks in the Snow (Grades K-3)
Where do animals go in the wintertime and how do they stay warm? From hibernation, to migration, to special adaptations, this class will explore the different ways creatures in Vermont tackle the cold winter months. Students will also take a close look at animal footprints and use track stamps to create an exciting and mysterious winter scene. NGSS 3-LS4-3 and K-LS1-1 Available only in winter

You Are What You Eat (Grades 1-5)
Get caught up in the food web! This class will explore what animals eat and how they are interconnected within an ecosystem. We will discuss the differences between herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores by looking at their teeth and poop! NGSS 3-LS2-1, 3-LS3-2, 4-LS1-2

NEW: Dinosaur Detectives (Grades 3-5)
Paleontologists are scientists that act like dinosaur detectives, investigating what dinosaurs looked like and how they adapted to their environments long ago. How can they solve these Mesozoic mysteries? This program will explore how they find and study clues in the fossil record. Students will learn and practice their own dinosaur detective skills to better understand these amazing animals!  NGSS 3-LS3-2, 3LS4-1, 4-LS1-1, 4-ESS1-1
Impeccable Beaks and Feet (Grades 3-5)
Over time creatures have evolved to better help them survive in their environment. Bird’s beaks and feet are specialized to help them eat diverse diets and move through their habitat. In this class we will investigate why birds need different beaks and feet through various activities including looking at skulls and pretending to forage for food. NGSS: 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS3-2

The Truth about Bats (Grades 3-5)
Bats have long fascinated, frightened, and inspired people. We will learn about the adaptations of bats through games and activities, and discover why these creatures of the night aren’t as scary as one may think. NGSS 3-LS2-1, 3-LS3-2, 4-LS1-2

Digging Back in Time (Grades 6-8)
Humans have used variations of calendars, clocks, and planners to keep track of days, weeks, months, and years for centuries now, but how can scientists possibly make sense of the 4.6 billion years of Earth’s history? With the help of rock strata and the fossils they contain, scientists have been able to create a geologic time scale to help us make sense of this vast history. In this program, students will explore this geologic time scale and how to figure out when we are in time. There are billions of years to dig through, so let’s get started! NGSS MS-ESS1-4, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2

Animal Homes (Grades K-6)
Do all animals make their own homes, or do they find homes already constructed? Students will begin this exploration in the gallery looking for different types of animal homes and then progress to hands-on activities. NGSS 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, 5-LS2-1, and MS-LS2-3

Fantastic Flowers (Grades K-6)
Using games, story-telling and movement, students are introduced to flowers and their cycle of growth, pollination and seed production. NGSS 1-LS1-1, 1-LS3-1, 3-LS1-1, 4-LS1-1, 5-LS1-1, and MS-LS1-4Available only in Spring

Creature Features (Grades 2-8)
Over time, animals have evolved special features to help them catch their prey, stay safe from predators, and care for their babies. Students will take a closer look at animal pelts, skulls and other bones to help explain how creatures have adapted to survive in a variety of different habitats. NGSS LS1.A, 2-LS4-1, LS4.C, and LS1.C

“And the Mountains Should Crumble to the Sea” (Grades 3-8)
What did our Vermont mountains look like when they had just emerged? Why do our driveways and back roads seem to “disappear” every spring? How do canyons form, and why is there so much sand on the coasts and the bottom of the ocean? In this class, we will explore all of the glacially slow or catastrophically fast ways in which water and erosion shape our world. NGSS 2-ESS1-1, 2-ESS2-1, 4-ESS1-1, 4-ESS2-1, 5-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-4, and MS-ESS3-1

All About Owls (Grades 3-6)
Owls are fascinating animals that have many amazing features to help them survive in the wild. In this program, students will practice life science skills by examining various owl specimens and dissecting their own owl pellets! NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 3-LS4-2

Field Excursions

Forest Life (Grades 1-6)
Students explore the forest habitat and the differences that occur across the seasons. They look for diversity among plant and animal life, the cycles of life and death in the forest habitat, and evidence of the history of land use in the forest.​ NGSS 3-LS4-43-LS1-13-LS3-25-LS2-1MS-LS1-6MS-LS2-1MS-LS2-3, and MS-LS2-4

Meadow Life (Grades 1-6)
Students explore a meadow and are introduced to the creatures they may find in this habitat. They will collect and take a close look at various specimens to help understand the diversity among plant and animal life in the meadow. NGSS 3-LS4-43-LS1-13-LS3-25-LS2-1MS-LS1-6MS-LS2-1MS-LS2-3, and MS-LS2-4

Pond Life (Grades 1-6)
Available in Spring: Students explore a pond site and are introduced to the pond habitat, life cycles, and diversity based on the site being explored. They will collect specimens and describe the density of life they encounter in the pond. NGSS 3-LS4-43-LS1-13-LS3-25-LS2-1MS-LS1-6MS-LS2-1MS-LS2-3, and MS-LS2-4 Available only in Spring

Scavenger Hunts

Contact Karina Weiss if you are interested in a scavenger hunt to go along with your museum visit.