When visiting with your students, you bring invaluable expertise to facilitating the museum learning experience. Your knowledge, learning objectives and unique understanding of your students supports a meaningful museum visit.
Here are some ways to prepare for your visit, and some information to keep in mind as you plan your trip.
REQUEST your visit
Review Policies and Pricing, then fill out our Field Trip Request form two months in advance of your preferred date. Please remember that due to high demand, we may not be able to accommodate your first choice selection of date and time.
Browse the unique tours, hands-on experiences, and planetarium shows available for your group.
BEFORE YOUR Visit
We encourage you to introduce students to ideas and information that will connect to what they will see and do at the museum. You might explore related books, films, or other media, or experiment with related materials and processes. See planning resources below. Please also discuss appropriate conduct and clearly set expectations. Remind students and chaperones:
- Food and drink is not allowed in the galleries. Eating and drinking is permitted in several designated areas.
- Some objects are fragile and should not be touched. Other displays are meant to be interacted with and touched. Consult gallery signage or museum staff with questions.
- Large backpacks and bags must be checked.
- Participating actively and creatively is encouraged, but yelling and running are not permitted so as not to disturb other visitors.
The Anchorage Museum offers a range of online resources and publications to support your teaching.
Delve into the Smithsonian Arctic Study Center
Watch video content online
Archive of previous teacher guides
The museum education team is available to provide support as you plan your guided or self-guided visit. Contact the school group coordinator for an informational visit to the museum, or discussion of resources. Email email@example.com or call (907) 929-9280.
A few simple ideas for fostering students’ imagination and critical thinking as you guide them through the galleries.
- Look closely. Take time to observe the objects and notice together what is visually evident. Lots can be learned just from what you see.
- Encourage drawing. Provide materials for students to sketch objects or installations. Lead conversation about what was observed through drawing.
- Invite story-telling. Welcome students to discuss how objects and ideas might connect to their own lives and experiences.
- Inspire creativity. The museum is a great place to experiment with dynamic approaches to looking and learning. Observe objects from different angles, draw comics enliven a science concept, write poems inspired by examining a contemporary artwork. Possibilities are endless.
Below is a summary of our offerings for school groups. We encourage you to see our School Group Request form for our most updated, detailed listings. The tours and experiences we provide are updated with new exhibitions.
Docents and educators guide students in experiences with the objects and exhibitions of the museum. All tours may include hands-on activities. (45-60 minutes)
Alaska Native Cultures
Students learn about Alaska Native cultures including Unangax, Athabascan, Iñupiat, Yup’ik, and Tlingit. Students explore traditional Alaska Native housing, customs, and lifestyles.
Students learn about art of the North through imagery, objects, landscape, and people, and how current exhibitions express different interpretations of living in the North.
Students learn about design and thinking like a designer through engaging with exhibitions and objects in the museum. Through group explorations, students build awareness of design in the world around them. No previous knowledge of design is necessary.
Students explore important moments in Alaskan history through objects on view. Themes and ideas presented in the tour vary depending on teacher goals and objects on display.
Explore culture, history, art, science through unique interactive experiences. Durations may vary but generally run 45-60 minutes.
Through learner-driven inquiry, observation and interaction with one of the population animals in the museum’s living collection and related objects, students will discover how different reptiles live, adapt and thrive in their environments. Animals vary depending on availability. 30 minutes.
Alaska Marine Life
Through a guided tour of the marine life tanks, multisensory activities, and discussion, students learn about what it takes to live in harsh tidepool environments and what is special about Alaskan marine habitats. Students will have the chance to meet one of the marine tank animals. Animals vary depending on availability. 30 minutes.
Art and Experience
Through activities in the museum’s galleries, students engage with what they see through guided close looking, conversation, and making. Students consider creative materials and processes alongside the multiple meanings an artwork may hold over time.
Phases of Matter
Through demonstrations, hands-on lab activities, and observations of dry ice and liquid nitrogen, students explore temperature and energy and witness matter undergoing phase changes. (Balloons are used as part of the demonstration; please let us know if there is a latex allergy.) 3rd grade and up.
Spark!Lab - Invention and Innovation
Explore and test your inventive creativity through a variety of hands on activities that challenge students to work through the process of invention. Activities are designed to appeal to varied learning styles, ages, and abilities; allowing students to practice 21st century skills and incorporate a variety of disciplines. Spark!Lab staff is present to help facilitate the experience in the space through inquiry-based learning techniques, which help students to identify a problem to solve or activity to explore, answer and ask questions, and provide minimal assistance when needed.
Through a guided tour of Camouflage: In Plain Sight, an immersive game, and creative art project, students will understand the diversity of camouflage tactics and how environments and predator-prey relationships shape what animals look like.
LIVE PLANETARIUM SHOWS
Guided experiences facilitated by expert educators.
Explore a brand new type of science: soundscape ecology. Content includes the basics of sound and the science of analyzing sounds. For grades 3-12. 60 minutes.
Design a Mission
Students help to engineer the next unmanned space mission. Content includes NASA historical missions and space exploration. For grades 5-12. 60 minutes.
Explore the solar system and beyond. Content includes planets, their arrangement, and systems around other stars. For grades 2-12. 45 minutes.
Travel around the globe and learn how to navigate using the stars. Content includes historical/modern navigation tools. For grades 4-12. 45 minutes.
PRE-RECORDED PLANETARIUM SHOWS
We recommend that pre-recorded planetarium shows be combined with an interactive experience. If combined, the whole Planetarium Experience is 1 hour. Please check the
Earth, Moon, & Sun
Discover how the Earth, Moon and Sun interact and move with one another. Content includes lunar phases, eclipses, and American Indian star lore. For grades Pre-k –6. Interactive Experience –Imaginative Space collage
Gaze up at the stars and learn about the wonders that are above us. Content includes constellation identification and mythology. For grades Pre-k – 6. Interactive Experience –Arctic starlore
Explore the science, technology, and history of flight. Content includes engineering, forces of flight, and the importance of making models. For grades 2-6. Interactive Experience –Paper airplane engineering challenge
Go planet hunting outside our solar system. Content includes exoplanets and habitable zone. For grades 2-8. 26 minutes. Interactive Experience –How to detect exoplanets
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Travel back in time to witness the separation of the supercontinent Pangaea. Content includes rock types and plate tectonics. For grades 2-8. Interactive Experience – Explorations in rock identification and their origin
River of Bears
Observe Alaska’s iconic brown bears in their natural environment. Content includes bear behavior. For grades 2-12. Interactive Experience – Alaska food web discussion and game
Traverse the whole spectrum of light, visible and invisible. Content includes the electromagnetic spectrum, how we see, and why we see. For grades 4-8. Interactive Experience – Science of color hands-on class
Sit through an Alaskan winter night and observe the beauty of the aurora. Content includes the visual manifestation of the northern lights. For grades 4-12. Interactive Experience – Creating works of Aurora art
Travel back in time and experience massive volcanic eruptions. Content includes volcanic plumes and mass extinctions. For grades 5-12. Interactive Experience – Global map investigation and mini-volcano demos
Into the Deep
Dive into learning about marine biology. Content includes underwater geology and the history of deep-sea exploration. For grades 4-12. Interactive Experience – Observing live marine tank and creating ocean art
The Dark Matter Mystery
Unravel what we know about Dark Matter and how it influences the universe. Content includes the science of dark matter and galaxies. For grades 6-12. 38 minutes. Interactive Experience – Dark Matter Q&A session