Student Workshops

children in the museum
Education - Workshops


Sign up for fun science and social studies workshops designed for single classes. Programs run for about 50 minutes. Registration and a $3/student, or minimum $45 fee is required.

Fur Trade
Grades 1-3
With artifacts, images, and discussion, students will learn about the economic and cultural interactions between European Americans and Native Americans in the years prior to Michigan statehood.

Pioneer Life
Grades 1- 4
Students can see and try their hands at some of the everyday work of pioneers.  Learn to spin, churn butter or try your hand with a flint and steel (can you make a spark?).

Three Fires Native Americans
Grades 1 - 3
Students learn about the history and culture of Michigan's first people through discussion and examination of artifacts. We recommend scheduling this class with the planetarium show Sky Legends of the Three Fires.

For grades 4-6
Students will isolate their 5 senses in engaging activities and then be challenged to use all 5 senses to experience the Museum’s exhibits in different ways.

Weather Instruments
For grades 4-7; advanced version grade 7
Students learn about the museum’s weather station, examine instruments for measuring weather conditions and learn how they work, construct and calibrate a simple wind vane and anemometer, take home instructions for making a barometer and rain gauge, and learn how to keep a weather diary.

Newton’s Laws
For grades 4-6
Investigate Newton’s three laws of motion through demonstrations and tabletop experiments. Topics include mass, force, velocity, momentum, and acceleration. At the completion of this workshop, students will be able to describe the three laws of motion in their own terms.

Meet the Moon
For grades 5 - 8
Explore the Moon in this interactive workshop that explains the phases of the Moon, lunar and solar eclipses, and relative sizes of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. Students will make and take home a Moon phase visibility calculator.

Archaeology Lab
Grades 5-8
Students will learn the basic recording techniques archaeologists use to catalogue and describe objects and will use these techniques to record important information about an artifact. We’ll look at some fragments of pottery, and students will work together in groups to draw, weigh, measure, describe, and answer questions about their ceramic fragment.

Site on the Floor Workshop
Grades 5-8
Students will learn how archaeologists use scientific methods – inquiry, observation, analysis – to learn about past cultures.  We’ll focus on what has been found and found out at the Fort St. Joseph dig site in Niles, MI.  Students will work independently and in teams to investigate the evidence left behind.

Ancient Observatories: You be the Architect Workshop
Grades 4-8
This workshop links some of our planetarium shows to the field of archaeology.  Students will learn how ancient cultures have understood the phenomena in the sky and how those understandings were incorporated into their practices.  They will work in teams to model solutions to the ancients’ questions about the sky.