The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium is a place to learn about the wonders of our natural world. Our education programs for schools, families, and visiting groups are designed to inspire, engage and encourage students through curricula developed by Museum educators that meet Vermont State Framework of Standards.
Your class or group can come to the Museum for a field trip or for repeated learning experiences. Fees include 1 FREE chaperone for every 5 students.
Choose from the following program options:
$5/student for a gallery tour
$8/student for 1 program
$10/student for 2 programs
Minimum rates apply for groups of fewer than 10 students.
While our Fall 2013 program descriptions are being finalized, please take a look at how you and your students can explore weather and astronomy.
You'll also find exciting new opportunities to integrate real science through our citizen science initiative, the Community of Observers.
Check this page again for course updates ... in the meantime, here's a taste of what we've offered in the past:
Water, Water, EVERYWHERE!
Grades 2-8 NGSS: 2-ESS2-2, 2-ESS2-3, 3-LS4-4, 3-lS3-2, 3-ESS3-1, 4-ESS3-2
The water cycle is one of the core scientific phenomena that help create the complex system of life we experience uniquely on this planet (at least, so far). The rich diversity of life in our own Northern Forest provides the background as we begin with the classic precipitation water cycle. This is a perfect opportunity to discuss some of the physical and chemical properties of water through a series of experiments. Building on this foundation, the class will explore some less traditional "water cycles" that will change our thoughts of water from an ordinary substance to an amazingly gifted natural wonder!
“And the Mountains Should Crumble to the Sea”
Grades 2-8 NGSS: 2-ESS1-1, 2-ESS2-1, 3-LS4-4, 3-ESS3-1, 4-ESS1-1, 4-ESS2-1, 5-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-1
Have you ever wondered what our mountains might have looked like when they were tall, pointy volcanoes? What happened to them? 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 of the world and at the bottom of the ocean? In this learning deluge, we will explore all of the glacially slow or catastrophically rapid ways in which water and erosion shape our world.
Where there is water, there is…?
Grades K-8 NGSS: 2-PS1-2 2-ESS2-3, 3-LS3-2, 5-ESS3-1, 5LS1-1
Since prehistoric times, humans have wondered if life could exist somewhere else, amongst the stars. Today, our species has the tools and skills necessary to answer this question. On Earth, we know that life can be found in every habitat, almost no matter how harsh, as long as water is present. Now we have learned that water is also on many worlds and moons of our own Solar System, and we’ve detected it on planets going around distant stars too. Come explore humanity’s quest for water, and more importantly, the potential for finding another form of life somewhere out there.
Water & Our Community
Grades K-4 NGSS: K-ESS3-3, 2-ESS2-2, 2-ESS2-3, K-2-ETS1-2, 3-LS4-4, 3-ESS3-1, 4-ESS3-1, 4-ESS3-2
Water is one of our most important resources. We use water to produce food, provide energy, and to manufacture and transport goods. This class will explore how communities recycle their water. Students will be introduced water treatment facilities and the distribution system of drinking water. They will build a model of a water system from the sources to users by using cereal boxes and paper tower tubes. At the end they will plan ways of conserving water at both the household and community levels.
Water & Civilizations
Grades 5-8 NGSS: 5-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-4, MS-LS2-1
Throughout history people have always depended on fresh water sources. Students will learn about the significant roles water and water technologies have played in human population growth over the course of our history. Students will be introduced to water crisis scenarios and water technologies while building river valley community models by using cereal boxes and paper towel tubes. At the end they will be exposed to the difficulties people have trying to access to clean water on a daily basis and then discuss solutions to make a difference.
Grades K-8 NGSS: K-2-ETS1-3, 3-PS2-2, 3-5-ETS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-3, MS-PS3-2, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-4
Students will be introduced to the six simple machines of pulleys, levers, wedges, wheels, inclined planes, and screws that are the basic components of many familiar machines. Taking a look at the construction machines on Main Street, students will think about how complex machines work. The students will then be challenged to use both simple machines separately and together to solve problems in teams.
Grades K-5 NGSS: K-2-ETS1-1, 5-PS1-1, 5-PS1-3, 5-ESS2-2
Students will learn the importance and rarity of clean water. There are many ways to clean water and they will be introduced to different kinds of filters before trying their hand and filtering dirty water using different types of materials. Which team can clean their water the best?
Water Filtration and Testing
Grades 6-8 NGSS: MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5, MS-ESS2-4
Students will learn the importance and rarity of clean water. There are many ways to clean water and they will be introduced to different kinds of filters before trying their hand and filtering dirty water using different types of materials. Which team can clean their water the best? At the end we will practice testing the water after attempting to filter it.
Closer Looks ask students to really observe something on the museum main floor or balcony and record what they see to share out with their class at the end.
Contact Leila Nordmann, director of programs for details.