Announcing new Science Starter and Social Studies Starter programs! These virtual programs connect you with Cranbrook Institute of Science educators who deliver standards-aligned content and answer previously submitted questions during a brief Q&A session.

Each 30-minute session will cover a different science or social studies topic for K-12 audiences with options including Water, Insects, Waves, Native American cultures, the Great Lakes, and of course, Dinosaurs! All offerings are aligned to Michigan Science or Social Studies standards.

Sessions are offered on select weekdays at 10:00am and 1:00pm. Program descriptions are available at the bottom of the page; calendars are available here:
Science Starter Calendar
Social Studies Starter Calendar


Program fee: $25 per classroom, per program
Price is valid though November 30th, 2020. We are unable to process refunds. However, we will do our best to accommodate a rescheduled date before June 18th, 2021.

Additional information

  • Program fee includes a link to a live program. Links are for one teacher to use with one classroom. We kindly request that you do not share the program link with other teachers or other classes.
    • Teaching face-to-face? Join from your classroom via the link provided.
    • Teaching virtually? Forward the meeting link to your classroom students to join independently.
    • Have co-teachers or colleagues who also want to join? Additional participants can register separately.
    • Interested in a live, one-on-one session with just your class or school? Contact us for more information! CISReservations@cranbrook.edu or 248 645.3210.
  • Programs are currently hosted via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. You do not need an account to join either format.
  • Teachers submit questions (students’ and/or their own!) in advance. Program hosts will do their best to incorporate questions into content and/or Q&A session at the end of the program.
  • Online pre-registration for an upcoming week closes at 3pm the Friday before.
    • Trying to register for something sooner? Give us a call! We occasionally have space available in same-week programs.

Questions? Need assistance registering? Want an exclusive program just for your students? Contact our Reservations team: 248 645.3210 | CISReservations@cranbrook.edu.


Program Descriptions
We’ve got a stellar program line up! Programs are available on select weekdays (see calendar links above).

"To quaff the fume..." European colonists in Virginia and other tidewater colonies built their fortunes on tobacco. What impact has this plant had on human societies around the globe? Follow the spread of this addictive drug across time and space, featuring pipes and related artifacts from around the world.

All About Teeth: Take a close look at the teeth of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Can you spot the differences?

Animal Diversity: Students will classify different animals into groups by looking at their external structures.

Anishinaabek Sports & Games: Everyone enjoys sports and games! Discover some of the traditional pastimes of Michigan's Native Peoples, past and present. Items from the Institute's collections illustrate pastimes such as lacrosse, snow snake, and more.

Bodies Bounding: Sort animals by their shapes to show how they are related to each other; learn to copy other animal’s bodies and movements.

Butterflies: Students will explain how individual differences in butterfly species can help them survive, find mates, and reproduce.

Climate Change: Students will discover how humans' daily actions impact the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Electricity: Examine static and current electricity with an emphasis on electron motion.

Energy Rocks: Which fossil fuels are found in Michigan and how did they form?

Engineering: Ring Wing Gliders: Learn about the factors that affect flight while designing ring‐wing gliders. Iterate by testing and improving your initial design.

Get to the Point!: Over many thousands of years, Michigan's Native Peoples utilized a variety of tools for hunting game needed for survival. Explore the physics of these tools and discuss their impact on both humans and the animals of Michigan.

Growth & Development: Discuss the stages of human growth and development and compare these to animals and plants (K-2). Compare and contrast the stages of development for at least two different types of animals (3-5).

How We Use Water: Review the water cycle and discover the difference between direct and indirect water usage in our daily lives.

Humankind Emerging: Explore the evolution of humankind over the past 4 million years. High quality fossil casts, actual prehistoric tools and related items help identify the traits that have allowed Homo sapiens to spread across the Earth.

Masks of Humanity: Why do we wear masks? They are often a special part of our ensembles of clothing and body adornment. View amazing masks from around the world that will springboard conversations with your students about the many real and virtual masks that we wear.

Matter and Its Properties: Examine the three phases of matter and compare the density of different materials.

Native Fashion, Past & Present: The Anishinaabek and other Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes crafted clothes and ornaments for thousands of years. Later, European traders introduced materials and fashions which created a new wardrobe. Get a glimpse of fabulous items from our collections that illustrate Native fashion from 10,000 years ago to today!

Natural Selection: Model the process of natural selection in an elephant population that is being altered by human activity.

Plants: Observe and describe the parts of a plant as we compare and contrast the needs of plants in different habitats.

Solids, Liquids, and Gases: What are the phases of matter? How do scientists classify matter into solids, liquids, and gases?

Sound: Investigate sound waves and see how vibrations produce sounds.

 Sugar with Your Tea?: European exploration, colonization, and commerce spread plants around the globe. Tea from Asia mixed in cups with sugar from Caribbean plantations across the world. But what repercussions did the trade in these commodities have on humanity and the natural world in which we live?

 Tokens of the Egyptian Afterlife: Journey back to Ancient Egypt and explore the wonderous world of their afterlife. Amulets, mummified animals, and guardian figurines from Ancient Egypt help students understand the worldview of the Ancient Egyptians.

 Virtual Sky Tonight: What will I see when I go outside tonight? What’s happening at Saturn? What are the latest hot topics in Astronomy? Virtual Sky Tonight is a live-narrated program about what’s happening in the current night sky from constellations to comets, planets, and pulsars.

Water, Water Everywhere: Identify the parts of the water cycle and explain how water changes between three different states.

Weather and Climate: Explore factors that affect the weather. See how air and water currents form, and how they relate to weather patterns.

What Causes Objects to Move: Explore movement, examine forces, and investigate what causes objects to move.

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