Educator Guide 2019-20

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.

GRADES 3 4 5 6
Students will become archaeologists and excavate a simulated archaeological dig site to unearth artifacts. After mapping, recording, and interpreting their findings, they’ll piece together what life was like for the earliest inhabitants of Michigan.

Offered Oct. 2 – Nov. 22, 2019 and April 8 – June 5, 2020. Program occurs outdoors; dress appropriately for the weather. 

Ever wonder how a human skeleton compares to a cat or bird? The structure of a human body is a compilation of advanced intellect and diverse cultures, making us one of Earth’s most unique creatures. Through physical play and observation of Institute animal collections, students will investigate the uniqueness of the human body compared to other species.
Expect modes, yet fun, physical activity for a portion of the program. Modifications for those with special needs will be made whenever possible.

GRADES K 1 2 3
Travel through time and have your students explore Michigan during the late 18th century when fur traders, Native Americans, farmers, shopkeepers, soldiers, tradesman, and servants mingled on city streets and rural pathways. The history of Michigan comes to life through hands-on materials with a focus on labor, community roles, and the influence of the Great Lakes.

GRADES 3 4 5 8
Delve into the world of 18th century French fur traders and their Native American counterparts. This program takes place in an authentic Great Lakes wigwam and includes hands-on experiences with tools and fur pelts. Get a glimpse into Michigan’s unique history through the indigenous peoples’ customs and views on trade, land use, and diplomatic relationships.
Program occurs outdoors; dress appropriately for the weather.

GRADES 5 6 7 8
Get your students up and moving while exploring the diversity of cultures around the world through dance, sports, martial arts, and other forms of human movement during different time periods. Students will find themselves square dancing, doing a yoga sun salutation, or playing a Mayan ball game!
Expect modest, yet fun, physical activity for a portion of the program. Modifications for those with special needs will be made wherever possible.

GRADES 3 4 5
Exercise your students’ math skills to help them develop an understanding of the importance of fiscal responsibility, and how economics impacts their daily lives. Games and activities illuminate the role of scarcity that drives human activities to meet our wants and needs.

GRADES 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. See some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world.
This program takes place in the Acheson Planetarium.

GRADES 3 4 5 8
Enter the world of the Ottawa, Ojibway, and Potawatomi tribes, also known as The People of the Three Fires. Explore their language, sports, art, and cultural ideas (both past and present) through artifacts and interactive games.

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.