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.

ANIMAL DIVERSITY
Grade Level: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What are the most numerous animals on Earth? Learn about different animal groups and their relative abundances. Examples from the Institute’s collections illustrate the wide variety of life forms. Students sort and identify groups to discover Earth’s least appreciated, but most diverse organisms.

DECODING DNA – NEW
Grade Level: 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Decoding DNA will allow students to manipulate physical models of DNA. They will understand how to describe and build a DNA codon and how codons group together to create a gene. They will then learn how to decode a gene to describe how codons work together to create a functioning gene. Students will gain a better understanding for how DNA leads to our, or other organisms, genome that makes each of us unique.

DNA STRUCTURE AND REPLICATION – NEW
Grade Level: 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Students build and manipulate 3-D models of DNA from the smallest nucleotides to a completed DNA double helix. Explore the replication process using this hands-on model. Students will understand the process of replication from start to finish and the terms associated with the process.

GREAT LAKES FOOD WEB
Grade Level: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
A complex food web connects plants and animals in the Great Lakes. Students discover producers, consumers, and decomposers and how they are linked to one another. They discuss how habitat loss, invasive species and pollution have affected animals, and what can be done to protect and restore the Great Lakes for them.

HOW WE USE WATER
Grade Level: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Take a journey through the water cycle from the Earth’s surface to atmosphere and back again. Students learn about the Great Lakes as the most significant freshwater ecosystem on Earth. Demonstrations and hands-on activities reveal how precious the Earth’s freshwater is and what we can do to conserve it.

I LIVE IN A WATERSHED
Grade Level: 5 6 7 8
Learn about your watershed and how to protect it from pollution. Working in groups, students create a model community to develop an understanding of the ways in which land use impacts the water quality of local rivers and streams, and ultimately, the Great Lakes.

MICHIGAN ECOSYSTEMS
Grade Level: 4 5 6 7
Investigate the diversity of Michigan’s ecosystems. Students work in groups to design a food web in one of six different ecosystems. They explore the interrelationships between biotic and abiotic factors and how energy flows through food webs to sustain life in any ecosystem.

NATURAL SELECTION
Grade Level: 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Join the young Charles Darwin on an adventurous voyage of exploration circumnavigating the world with the HMS Beagle. 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 slowly but surely fall into place. Allow Darwin himself to reveal this simple and most beautiful mechanism that explains the evolution of all life on Earth: natural selection. This program takes place in the Acheson Planetarium.

OUTDOOR SCAVENGER HUNT
Grade Level: P K 1 2 3 4
Explore the Institute’s trails on a guided hunt and observe what plants and animals need to survive in an ecosystem. From fall’s browning leaves to springtime buds and blooms, students discover the diversity of life and observe seasonal changes. They look for evidence of human impact on the living and non-living components among Cranbrook’s 319 acres. Offered Oct 3–Nov. 21, 2017 and Apr. 11–June 8, 2018. Program occurs outdoors; dress appropriately for the weather

PHOTOSYNTHESIS – NEW – LEGO® Bricks Program
Grade Level: 6 7 8
Experience a photosynthesis reaction by using LEGO® Bricks to model both the reactants and products. Students will construct various molecules important to the plant and discover that most of a plant's mass comes from air and water rather than from soil.

TRANSCRIBING DNA AND RNA – NEW
Grade Level: 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Learn and explore how we go from DNA to protein using hands-on manipulatives. Students will have a greater understanding for how mRNA is different than DNA, how to transcribe and translate DNA, and the importance of proteins to our everyday lives.

UNDERSTANDING AIR – NEW – LEGO® Bricks Program
Grade Level: 6 7 8
Construct physical models of air using LEGO Bricks. Students will then “combust” them to produce carbon dioxide and air pollutants. Students will discuss the impacts that this may have upon air quality and the environment.

WEBS, WINGS, AND CRAWLING THINGS – NEW
Grade Level: P K 1 2 3 4 5 6
Investigate the world of insects, arachnids and myriapods! Get up close with these fascinating creatures in this interactive, live arthropod program. Engage in age-appropriate explorations of adaptations, plants, life cycles, heredity, habitats, and more!   

YOU, ME, AND THE BLUE PLANET
Grade Level: 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? From Zebra Mussels to Phragmites and microbeads, many plants, animals, and foreign substances have been introduced to the Great Lakes region with harmful effects to its ecosystems. Learn how WE can work together to protect our most precious resource, water. Students will examine samples collected throughout Michigan and consider ways they can help.


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!

Chemistry

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.

Engineering

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

Entertainment

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.