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 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
With more than eight million animal species on Earth, students explore the relative abundances of these dynamic creatures. They’ll sort and classify animals to discover Earth’s least appreciated (and most diverse) organisms using examples from the Institute’s collections.

GRADES 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Decoding DNA allows students to manipulate physical models of DNA by building 3-D codons. Learn how codons group together to create a gene and how the resulting genome makes organisms unique.

GRADES P K 1 2 3 4 5
Explore forest, field, and pond ecosystems across Cranbrook’s 319-acre campus. With an Institute educator, walk the Institute’s trails and consider how different areas meet the needs of the organisms living here. See how living things have adapted to their particular habitat and observe how each organism is uniquely suited to survive, grow, and reproduce.
Offered Oct. 2 – Nov. 22, 2019 and April 8 – June 5, 2020. Program occurs outdoors; dress appropriately for the weather.

GRADES 4 5 6 7 8
Collaborate in teams to design a food web in different ecosystems and investigate Michigan's ecological diversity. Explore the interrelationships between biotic and abiotic factors and how energy flows through food webs to sustain life.

GRADES 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Join the young Charles Darwin on his adventurous voyage of exploration. Witness the thrill of scientific discovery by seeing the world through Darwin's eyes, make observations of the most beautiful natural scenery, and let the pieces of the scientific puzzle fall into place. Darwin himself reveals the simple and most beautiful mechanism that explains the evolution of all life on Earth: Natural Selection.
This program takes place in the Acheson Planetarium.

GRADES 6 7 8
Experience a photosynthesis reaction by using LEGO® Bricks to model both the reactants and products. Construct various molecules important to plants and discover that most of a plant’s mass comes from air and water rather than from the soil.

GRADES 6 7 8
Construct physical models of air using LEGO® Bricks and then “combust” them to produce carbon dioxide and air pollutants. As a group, we’ll discuss the impact this may have on air quality and the environment, and where we go from here.

GRADES P K 1 2 3 4 5 6
Get up close and personal investigating the world of insects, arachnids, and myriapods in this interactive, live arthropod program. Engage in age-appropriate explorations of adaptations, life cycles, heredity, habitats, and more.

GRADES 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Did you know that our actions impact the quality of water in the lakes, rivers, and streams in our communities, and the Great Lakes? Habitat loss, invasive species, and pollution have resulted in dramatic changes in the population of native species in the Great Lakes. Investigate zebra mussels, Phragmites, microbeads, and more, and discuss how we can work together to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

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.


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


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

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.