Can’t bring your class or group to the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History? Are you looking for educational science experiences for your own kids?
Classes, home-schoolers, groups and families can enjoy science fun with our Virtual Field Trips from anywhere!
Select from a mix of live and pre-recorded science virtual field trips based on our most popular onsite field trips for preschool, elementary, and middle school.
Discover our Self Guided Field Trips, Science Demonstrations, and Virtual Planetarium programs below. Bookmark this site to check back for new programs.
All programs align with state curriculum standards.
These asynchronous self guided virtual field trips will take your students on a self-guided exploration of our various galleries and science topics using Google Slides. Each program has a combination of short videos, games, hands-on activities using common household materials to highlight the topics.
$75 for up to 30 people
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Journey through four billion years of life on Earth to learn how the first organisms changed our world and how evolution connects all living things while exploring the museum’s Evolution: Life Through Time exhibit. This engaging virtual program combines short videos, games and guided questions.
Key Concepts: fossils, evolution, extinction
Journey through four billion years of life on Earth to learn how the first organisms changed our world and how evolution connects all living things while exploring the museum’s Evolution: Life Through Time exhibit. The program highlights U-M research on mammoths, mastodons, and ancient whale relatives, and will conclude with action steps to preserve current biodiversity. This engaging virtual program combines short videos, games and guided questions.
*This program was developed in collaboration with AAPS teachers.
Key Concepts: fossils, evolution, extinction, geologic time, natural selection
Students discover how flowing water causes erosion and sedimentation, shaping and creating various landforms. They explore how human activities influence erosion and learn about various methods of erosion control. This engaging virtual program combines short videos of the museum’s 10-foot stream simulation table, footage of rivers and streams, drawing activities and guided questions.
Key Concepts: landforms, erosion, human impact, rivers
Millions of years ago, our state was covered by an ancient ocean. After multiple geological formations, Michigan is now home to inland lakes, rivers, shores, forests, and other natural habitats. This program discovers the rich geological formations and diverse ecosystems in the Exploring Michigan exhibit with videos, games, and guided questions.
Key Concepts: ecosystems, biodiversity, Michigan geologic history, human impact
Cells spend a lot of time and energy managing and storing DNA. This program explores what cells do with their DNA. This engaging virtual program combines interactive images, games, hands-on activities with household materials, and videos with researchers who work on cells and DNA.
Key Concepts: Cell structure, Organelles, DNA function
Science demonstrations are pre-recorded, engaging demonstrations on a scientific topic and include a hands-on activity for the student to do on their own, using common household materials. Presenters use real collection objects and show phenomena to stimulate curiosity and excitement!
$25 per class of up to 30 people
Duration: 15-20 minutes + activity
In this demonstration, you’ll explore how fossils are created. What parts of an animal become fossilized? How old are the earliest fossils? Students will discover how things fossilize and how fossil casts are made in the museum!
Hands-On Activity: Students will develop a physical representation of a mineral replacement fossil.
Key Concepts: fossils, extinction, biodiversity
Discover the stages in the life cycle and metamorphosis of a variety of different animals! Students get to see how these animals change throughout their lifetimes by seeing their instructor dress up.
Hands-On Activity: Students will complete a life cycle matching game and observe insects in their own backyard, schoolyard or nearby park while collecting loose parts to build a model of the butterfly life cycle.
Key Concepts: life cycles, structures and functions
What are viruses? Are they alive? In this program, participants will learn about the tit-for-tat relationship between viruses and living organisms. This story is as old as life itself.
Key Concepts: defining life, basic cell functions
Online Planetarium programs use our technology to help you see the sky virtually, either live streamed or in a recorded format. Live-streamed programs generally use Zoom to connect your students and you to planetarium staff for a personalized experience. We can accommodate up to 30 people in a live-streamed show.
Live-streamed shows are up to 45 minutes and accommodate questions. $100, max 30 people.
Recorded shows are 20-30 minutes and include an activity to do at home. $50 for up to 30 people.
Begin with motion of the sky and learn why the stars move during the night. Investigate the four primary directions: North, South, East, and West. Take a closer look at constellations, learn a few legends, and discover that some bright objects are really planets. Finally, leave the Earth and fly out to take a closer look at the planets.
Where do planets come from? Where did the dust come from? We observe star death, and the resulting clouds—and find that planets take shape there. Take a tour of the solar system by zooming to each planet in detail. See how the Sun looks smaller and smaller as we move further out into space. Planetary information includes: distance from the Sun, associated moons, length of a “year,” rings, and asteroids. And by the time we reach the outer edge of the solar system, we will see Pluto. We will also explore the current night sky for any visible planets.
This show covers various motions of the sky including rotation, revolution, phases of the Moon and changing seasons. Students will learn that, because of the tilted axis of the Earth while it orbits the Sun, the Sun seems to move up and down and back and forth during the year. We will end with a few minutes to examine the current sky.
Live Streamed Programs
Focus on fun with our friendly educators who use real museum objects, movement games. There are programs suitable for Pre-K through 8th grade.
Explore the world of dinosaurs with stories, songs, and fossils. Learn what a dinosaur is and what paleontologists do.
Learn about the incredible world of insects. Virtually dress up your instructor as an insect and take a closer look at the different types of insects.
Grades 1-5/Family Audiences
Become a paleontologist and discover what a dinosaur is and is not! Explore the world of dinosaurs and other animals by observing their many adaptations. Learn what these adaptations tell us about the lifestyles of these prehistoric animals and take a look at some of the dinosaur claws and protective gear from our collection.
Grades 1-5/Family Audiences
Learn what fossils are and how fossil evidence paints a picture of the history of life on Earth. Use relative dating techniques to determine the age of a mystery fossil and discover some of the prehistoric animals that lived in Michigan millions of years ago! Create your own field guide of some commonly found fossils in Michigan.
Grades 6-8/Family Audiences
Explore how diseases can sometimes jump from animals to people, the question behind zoonotic epidemiology. Learn the skills needed to be an epidemiologist and how they discover what causes diseases to spread. Participants will solve a disease who-dun-it and save a town.