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: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Examine the properties of magnets and how they act with common materials and with each other. Investigate the discovery of electricity and its connection with atoms. Create a human magnet and a human circuit, perform a hair-raising experiment, and generate lightning to observe how electricity and magnetism interact with matter.

Grade Level: K 1 2 3 4 5 6
Investigate matter and the qualities scientists use to classify it as solid, liquid, or gas. Understand how to make work easier by applying pushes and pulls on simple machines like levers, pulleys, and inclined planes. Lots of activities including student volunteers and hands-on demonstrations make this a "moving" experience!

Grade Level: P K 1 2 3
Utilize this inquiry-based experience to explore the concept of what causes objects to move. As students study cause and effect relationships, they will practice the scientific process by asking questions, making observations, exploring different materials, and communicating their ideas.

Grade Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Focus on the physics of waves as we explore and describe the properties of light and sound. Discover how these forms of energy are created, measured, and controlled. Hands-on activities and student participation with percussion tubes, spectrum tubes, and more reveal the fascinating facts about these everyday phenomena.

Grade Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Learn how scientists classify common materials through an emphasis on water, then explore "weird" substances that blur the boundaries between states of matter. Apply light, heat, electricity, and other forms of energy to matter and behold the results. Finish with a BANG when we change chemical potential energy into kinetic energy!

Grade Level: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+
Demonstrate the power of physics using the Institute’s three-ton trebuchet. Capable of launching a large pumpkin the length of a football field or more, Cranbrook’s trebuchet is an awesome tool to demonstrate the principle of conservation of energy, the mathematical nature of projectile motion and the basic laws of kinematics in engaging and inspiring ways.

This amazing program is offered in three ways:

  1. Two hours at your school ($550)
  2. Two hours at the Institute of Science ($400)
  3. One hour at your school and one hour at the Institute (on separate days). ($450)

Each program includes a classroom component that involves the use of a model trebuchet as well as the hands-on use of the full-scale trebuchet. This program requires even terrain and approximately 75 yards of down-range distance. Some classroom components for lower grades are not transportable and require a museum visit.

Please call 248 645.3210 to register for this program.

Grade Level: 6 7 8
Students will gain a greater understanding for where our energy comes from and how it travels to Earth. Working in pairs, they manipulate a pendulum to model a wave and discuss various phenomena that deal with waves and energy. Students will also each go home with a special pair of glasses that allow them to see some of these waves anywhere they go.

Grade Level: 4 5 6 7 8
See how solar energy drives our climate and discover the circumstances that influence our daily weather. Become a meteorologist by using current Internet data to create a forecast. Explore violent weather and learn how to protect yourself during storms. Watch lightning strike before your very eyes!

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.