Educator Guide 2017-18

The Institute of Science offers over 80 field trip programs as well as special and permanent exhibits, planetarium shows, and seasonal events. Download our current Educator Guide to peruse our offerings at your leisure.

Grade Level: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Hail Caesar! March deeper into the story of the Roman Empire in Ancient Rome. Drill with your centurion and see if you can keep in formation. Explore the geography and cultures of the Empire as all roads lead you to Rome. There, discover how Roman government and law forms the basis for that of our modern United States of America. Offered Feb. 6–June 8, 2018

Grade Level: 3 4 5 6
Participate in a simulated archaeological dig! Just like professional archaeologists, students excavate a site to unearth artifacts. After mapping, recording and interpreting their findings, students piece together what life was like for the earliest inhabitants of Michigan and present the results of their inquiry. All students take home an expedition souvenir. Offered Oct 3–Nov. 21, 2017 and Apr. 11–June 8, 2018. Program occurs outdoors; dress appropriately for the weather. There is a $2 upcharge per student for this program.

Grade Level: K 1 2
Human beings’ body structure, advanced intellect and diversity of cultures make us unique creatures on Earth. This program allows young learners to investigate through physical play and observation of Institute animal collections that uniqueness. How does a human’s skeleton compare to a cat’s or a bird’s? Walk, hop, bound, bend and stretch to imitate animals and begin to explore human expression through dance and movement play. Participants should expect modest to moderate fun physical activity for a portion of the program time.

Grade Level: K 1 2 3
Explore a time of great change in late 18th Century Michigan as fur traders, Native Americans, farmers, shopkeepers, soldiers, tradesmen and servants mingled on city streets and rural pathways. Educators in period costume use hands-on materials, historical documents and artwork to bring Michigan’s community history to life with a focus on labor, community roles and land use.

Grade Level: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Explore the world of the 18th Century French fur trader and his Native American counterpart in the Great Lakes. This program takes place in an authentic Great Lakes wigwam and includes hands-on experiences with tools and fur pelts to reveal the delicate interplay between two very different cultures. Program occurs outdoors in our longhouse; dress appropriately for the weather.

Grade Level: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Get a better taste of our Chocolate exhibition with this engaging program. Explore the ecology of the cacao tree and assist our staff in caring for our own trees. Then investigate the ancient Mayan use of cacao, and make your own authentic cacao drink to try! Anthropology meets Life Science with sweet results. Offered October 3–December 22, 2017. With teacher permission, students will make and have the option to drink cacao mixture containing cacao, corn masa, water, honey, and chili powder. There is a $1 upcharge per person for this program.

Grade Level: 5 6 7 8
In all countries and cultures throughout history, martial arts, dance forms, sports and other patterns of human movement have been important. This program gets students up and moving to explore the diversity of cultures around the world. Based upon grade-specific social studies curriculum requirements, and/or teacher requests, learners can find themselves dancing an 18th century American social dance, moving to the five animals of Shaolin kung-fu, or following the African Diaspora in music, dance, and martial sport. Participants should expect modest to moderate fun physical activity for a portion of the program time.

Grade Level: 3 4 5 6 7 8
Students learn how economics impacts their lives every day. Using collaborative activities, this program illuminates barter and money economies. Students operate their own stores, participate in trade networks and apply math skills to develop an understanding of the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Grade Level: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Travel to ancient Egypt to see how astronomy was used to tell time and align huge buildings. Learn about the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena and see some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in their original splendor. This program takes place in the Acheson Planetarium.

Grade Level: 3 4 5 6
Enter the world of the Ottawa, Ojibway and Potawatomi tribes of Michigan. Artifacts, interactive games and activities combine to reveal the history of Michigan’s First Peoples. The program touches upon language, sports and games, arts and cultural ideals—both past and present—of the tribes known as “The People of the Three Fires".

Plan Your Field Trip

Field trips play an important role for students and educators. A new learning environment provides the opportunity to build team and small group skills and engage students on an intellectual, social and physical level.

Anthropology and Social Sciences

What does it mean to be Human? Explore the Human experience across time and place.

Astronomy and Space Science

What’s out there? Space science takes us exploring in our own galaxy...and beyond!


What is matter? Join in the LEGO® fun and discover how atoms interact, combine and change!

Earth Science

Ever wonder what’s below the ground we see? From crust to core, Earth Science explores our home.


Sit back, relax and have some fun! An array of regular and seasonal entertainment experiences are available in the Acheson Planetarium.


How do we solve problems? Engineering uses art, math, science and technology to design solutions.

Life Science

What is biodiversity? Life science reveals the interconnectedness of all living things.

Physical Science

How does that work? Discover the science of the weather, physics, matter and electricity that surrounds us every day.

At Your School or On Screen

Cranbrook Institute of Science comes to you to host a field trip in your school year-round! Or through videoconferencing technology, we can bring high-quality science programs right into your classroom.