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School Programs

School bus and programs at Hastings Museum

Current School Programs

Download a copy of our 2014-2015 Educator Guide!

Bring natural and cultural history, as well as art and science, up close for your students. All programs meet Nebraska State Standards and are aligned with Hastings Public HPS Key Concepts and Essentials for School Programs. These curriculum-related programs introduce students to specific Museum topics or exhibit areas. All include a guided tour of related Museum exhibits plus hands-on, object-based learning activities! Click here to download the State Standards for School Programs [.pdf]. Click here for theatre programs, or here for planetarium programs.

The programs are free with paid Museum admission, although we do accept donations to help cover the cost of materials. Programs run approximately 45 minutes and can be adapted to meet your specific needs. Just ask! For questions or to make a reservation, contact our visitor services department at 402.461.2399 or 800.508.4629.

Please limit two programs per visit.

Kool-Aid Laboratory – Grades K-1
Explore the exhibit, Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream, to learn what life was like for Edwin Perkins, inventor of Kool-Aid. See homes, stores, and tools of yesteryear, while discovering inventions of the time. Students will create their own flavor of Kool-Aid in  our color laboratory!

North American Mammals – Grades 1-2
Join us for some furry fun on a tour of our Wildlife Diorama Hall. Students employ their observational skills to identify a number of scientific concepts including physical and behavioral adaptation, communication, and habitat. Hands-on activities include working with animal skins, skulls, and scat, and habitat and adaptation identification.

Sea Monsters of Nebraska – Grades 1-2
Did you know Nebraska was covered with an inland sea when dinosaurs walked the land? As we tour our Fossils exhibit, we’ll explore the Cretaceous creatures that swam in our seas, including the life-sized Tylosaurus! We will end the class by digging up clues to Nebraska’s prehistoric environment.

Plains Indian Family – Grades 1-3
Students travel back to the 19th century as they discover what life was like for the Plains Indians. We will explore clothing, food, shelter, and gender roles with a guided tour of
the People on the Plains exhibit. Students will learn Native American dancing and make a souvenir winter count slap bracelet.

Kool-Aid Kitchen – Grades 2-3
Nebraska’s famous product, Kool-Aid, comes alive in the exhibit, Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream. We will explore inventor Edwin Perkins’ life, including the many products created before and after Kool-Aid. They will follow Kool-Aid from its beginning to the present, ending with a tasty treat from our Kool-Aid kitchen!Gee!

What’s Geology? – Grades 3-5 
Explore our large collection of sparkly specimens in the Rocks and Minerals exhibit as students learn how to identify and differentiate between minerals and the three different types of rocks. They will discover why rocks give off light in our Fluorescence Rocks and Minerals exhibit and in the classroom. Students will sort and classify rocks, pan for minerals, and make a memory rock to take home.

Corps of Discovery – Grades 4-5  NEWLY REVAMPED!
Take part in the Lewis and Clark expedition! Adventurers must overcome numerous obstacles to discover a route to the West Coast, just like Lewis and Clark did over 200 years ago. Students will work together as teams to navigate the expedition, collect unusual artifacts and see new animals native to the area along the way.

Kool-Aid Chemistry – Grades 4-5
Enter the world of Edwin Perkins and Kool-Aid in the exhibit, Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream. Explore what inspired Edwin to create Kool-Aid and how it has changed with the times. Students will test their own experiments and make a sweet Kool-Aid treat.

The Pawnee – Grades 4-5  NEWLY REVAMPED!
This program brings the historic Pawnee to life through a hands on guided tour of People on the Plains. Students will discover the effects emigrating groups had on these early Plains people and learn Plains Indian sign language. We will also grind corn, play a Pawnee hunting skill game, and create a talking feather to take home.


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