Skip to Content

Home School Groups

Fairbanks Museum educators work with home school groups to offer a range of learning activities, making use of our amazing museum galleries, our extensive outdoor campus in Danville, and other environments in St. Johnsbury. Our focus is on experiences that make learning fun and memorable for learners in grades K – 8.

Home school families can come individually or in a group to join one or more of these regularly scheduled programs.

Please contact Leila Nordmann, Program Director, to find out more.

Home School Days for 2017:

  • April 14th-Museum

  • May 26th-Field

  • June 16th-Museum

For Friday, April  14th, here are the classes offered that day:

9:45  Where Stars are Born Planetarium Presentation with Sabra is all ages  

11:00 Insect Biomimicry, grades K-2 

11:00 Extra-Terrestrials, grades 3-8 

12:00 Lunch 

12:30  Intro to Microscopes, grades K-2 

12:30 The Honorable Order of Insects, grades 3-8 

1 class + admission is $8, two classes + admission is $10. Planetarium is $5.  One free adult per child, children ages 5 and up are paying students in each class.

Where Stars Are Born

When we look at pictures of nebulae we can truly imagine the vast beauty of creations made within our universe. What exactly are nebulas made of? When we look at the night sky, where can we find these unique cosmic clouds? From the famous Helix nebula 700 light years away to the beautiful V838 Mon nebula 20,000 light years away, we'll discover how these gigantic deep space objects keep our galaxy forever changing.

Insect Biomimicry

We will discuss the idea of biomimicry and how we can look to nature to help us solve problems sustainably.  By looking specifically at insects and their behaviors we can showcase what we have learned from them.  A few of these include: how insects move, engineer their homes, perform tasks, and live together in large groups to survive.  At the end we will take a look at how insects have influenced the engineering of small-scale robotics. 

Extra-terrestrials:  Finding life beyond Earth

Science fiction and tabloids frequently tease us with stories about aliens and extra-terrestrials.  While you shouldn’t expect a scene out of “Star Wars”, the truth might turn out to be stranger than we thought.  Much of this story begins on the Earth, where discoveries of extreme life forms, thriving in conditions once thought of as impossible, have opened our eyes to the potential for life in many parts of the Solar System.  After establishing a rough framework for living organisms, we’ll explore some possible locations for similar life forms elsewhere, and use this to consider how life forms would have to be designed to survive certain situations.

Intro to Microscopes

Students are introduced to magnification using hand held lenses to examine natural objects.  They are given close instruction in how to orient their eyes in relation to the lens.  The microscope is introduced with attention to its different parts. Students view slides from different natural objects, then make their own slides using newspaper and water. Each observation is reinforced with drawing.

Among the Honorable Orders of the Insects

There are over one million species of insects on Earth, and thousands are newly discovered every year! It would be impossible to describe every species in one lesson, but there are only 30 or so taxonomic orders- an easier number to tackle. This lesson will explore the diversity and complexity of the world of insects through the taxonomic system of classification. We may not cover every kind of insect, but at least students will begin to understand the larger groupings: the Order of Diptera contains all of the flies and mosquitos, the order Mantodea (meaning Sooth-Sayer!) includes all of the praying mantises. Perhaps fascination will conquer fear as students realize that the “creepy-crawlies” of this world are some its most amazing denizens.

For May 26th we will be in the field for a river program at a local, private property on the Water Andric from 12-2pm. 

For Friday, June 16th, here are the classes offered that day:

9:45  Tonight’s Sky focus on Venus and Solar Eclipse Planetarium Presentation with Mark is all ages  

11:00 Introduction to Weather Instruments, grades K-2 

11:00 Real Vampires, grades 3-8 

12:00 Lunch 

12:30  Flowers, grades K-2 

12:30 Ancient Insects, grades 3-8 

1 class + admission is $8, two classes + admission is $10. Planetarium is $5.  One free adult per child, children ages 5 and up are paying students in each class.

Introduction to Weather Instruments

What are the tools weather forecasters use? Learn about thermometers, rain gauges, wind and making observations of the sky.  This class includes a visit to the weather shelter where students will see how the tools are used in a real life context.

The Real Vampires: Parasites! 

Parasites are among the most dangerous creatures on earth, even though many of them are microscopic. Being Mother Nature’s burglars, parasites survive by sucking the life out of other creatures! The most famous example is the mosquito, which not only sucks our blood, but also spreads dangerous diseases like Malaria and the newly studied Zika virus. This class is an introduction to parasitism in the natural world, with some focus on parasites that can afflict humans. From fleas, ticks, and tapeworms to strangler figs and vampire bats, no one is safe! 

Flowers

Using games, story telling and movement, students are introduced to flowers and their cycle of growth, pollination and seed production. 

Ancient Insect Mythology

The world of insects is so much bigger than you may realize. Ancient Egyptians may have worshipped Scarab beetles, but honey bees were just as culturally important. The Greek god Tithonus was once a man, who grew so ancient he turned himself into a cicada. In Chinese Dynasties, crickets represented the beauty of song and therefore were revered. To Native Americans, a butterfly's appearance was an offering of a dream. In this class, we’ll take a crash course on ancient mythological beliefs about insects and beyond.