Hastings Museum: A Great Escape K-5 School Programs |
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Current School Programs

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! Discover what our Theatre, and Planetarium have to offer your students.

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 with prior notice. Please limit two programs per visit. If you are 15 minutes late or more, your first program could be canceled.

For questions or to make a reservation, contact our visitor services department at 402-461-2399.

Animal Habitats | Kindergarten

In this class, we will visit several habitats and investigate how animals change their environment to meet their needs. Students will play a habitat game, build food chains, and find real examples of the five basic needs.

Edwin Perkins: The Inventor | Grades K-1

We will explore what inventor Edwin Perkins’ life was like growing up in Nebraska. In the Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream Exhibit, students will sort general store products into needs versus wants, conduct a smell test to guess the original flavors, and mix their own Kool-Aid combination!

North American Mammals | Grades 1-2   

Join us for some furry fun on a tour of the Wildlife Diorama Hall. Students will use their observational skills as we investigate how animals survive in their habitats, five characteristics of mammals, and animal diets. We will compare our feet to a polar bear’s foot, find our bat family using our sense of smell, and work with animal pelts and skulls.

Sea Monsters of Nebraska | Grades 1-2

Did you know Nebraska was coved by an inland sea when dinosaurs walked the Earth? As we tour our Fossils exhibit, we’ll explore the Cretaceous creatures that swam in our seas, including the life-sized Tylosaurous! Students will cast their own fossils and dig up clues about what Nebraska’s prehistoric environment was once like.

Plains Indian Culture | Grades 1-3

Join us as we travel back to the 19 th century to discover what life was like for the Dakota, Cheyenne, and Pawnee tribes in the People on the Plains exhibit. We will explore their food, clothing, shelter, and daily chores as students play a hunting game, grind corn, and get up close to Native American objects. We will end by making a winter count slap bracelet to take home.

Kool-Aid: A Success Story | Grades 2-3

Nebraska’s famous product, Kool-Aid, comes alive in the exhibit, Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream. We will explore what life was like during inventor Edwin Perkins’ youth in the early 1900s. Students will learn how brand recognition and different advertising techniques helped Edwin make Kool-Aid a household brand. We will end the day by packaging some Kool-Aid to take home!

Exploring Rocks and Minerals | Grades 3-5

Due to the Rocks and Minerals Exhibit remodel, this class may not be available during the 2019-2020 school year. Please call Visitor Services for more information.

Corps of Discovery | Grades 4-5

What were the goals on the Lewis and Clark Expedition and how successful was their journey? Find out as we take part in our own Corps of Discovery around the Museum! Adventurers will describe new animals, collect unusual artifacts, and discover how hard it was to translate different languages. Students will also learn more about Sacagawea and York, as well as the unintended consequences of the Expedition.

Kool-Aid: Impacted by History | Grades 4-5

Experience how Kool-Aid was influenced by historical time periods and events such as the early 1900s, Great Depression, and World War II. We will take you back to Kool-Aid’s humble beginnings as we explore the Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream exhibit that highlights the historical events that shaped Kool-Aid into the product we all know and love. Students will play an inflation game, test their knowledge of Kool-Aid flavors, and end with a tasty treat!

The Pawnee | Grades 4-5

This program brings the historic Pawnee to life in our People on the Plains exhibit. Students will investigate the usefulness of the bison through hands-on discovery and get up close to parts of this important animal. They will practice their hand-eye coordination with a traditional hunting game and compare an earth lodge and tipi scene. We will dig into Pawnee farming practices and the Three Sisters crops, and make a pinch pot to take home.