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.
SELF GUIDED TOURS
I AM INUIT, Conservation Lab and Visible Storage, and Public Art 1% Collaborative are current self-guided opportunities for visitors, educators and students.
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.
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 Alaska 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 and science through unique interactive experiences. Durations 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
Students explore temperature and energy and witness matter undergoing phase changes through demonstrations, hands-on lab activities, and observations of dry ice and liquid nitrogen. Balloons are used as part of the demonstration; please let us know if there is a latex allergy. For grades 3 through 12.
Spark!Lab - Invention and Innovation
Explore and test 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 through inquiry-based learning techniques, which help students identify a problem to solve or activity to explore, answer and ask questions.
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 through 12. 60 minutes.
Design a Mission
Students help "engineer" the next unmanned space mission. Content includes NASA historical missions and space exploration. For grades 5 through 12. 60 minutes.
Explore the solar system and beyond. Content includes planets, their arrangement and systems around other stars. For grades 2 through 12. 45 minutes.
Travel around the globe and learn how to navigate using the stars. Content includes historical and modern navigation tools. For grades 4 through 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 front desk for the most current schedule.
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 through 6. Interactive experience –imaginative space collage.
Gaze up at the stars and learn about the wonders above. Content includes constellation identification and mythology. For grades Pre-k through 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 through 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 through 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 through 12. Interactive Experience – Alaska food web discussion and game.
Traverse the spectrum of light, visible and invisible. Content includes the electromagnetic spectrum, how we see, and why we see. For grades 4 through 8. Interactive experience – science of color hands-on class.
Sit through an Alaska winter night and observe the beauty of the aurora. Content includes the visual manifestation of the northern lights. For grades 4 through 12. Interactive experience – creating works of aurora art.