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 K 1 2 3
Study in detail the three major components of daily weather: Heat energy primarily from the sun, water movement through its cycle, and air movement and pressure. Live science demonstrations illustrate and clarify science concepts. Then become a meteorologist by combining current atmospheric data into a real weather forecast.

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

GRADES K 1 2 3 4 5 6
Student volunteers and hands-on demonstrations make this a “moving” experience. Investigate matter and the qualities scientists use to classify it as a solid, liquid, or gas. Understand how to make work easier by applying pushes and pulls on simple machines like levers, pulleys, and inclined planes.

GRADES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
This interactive session will focus on the physics of waves as we explore and describe the properties of light and sound, while discovering how these forms of energy are created, measured, and controlled. Using percussion tubes, spectrum tubes, and more, we’ll reveal the fascinating facts about these everyday phenomena.

GRADES 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!

GRADES P K 1 2 3
Utilize this inquiry-based experience to explore the concept of motion. As students study cause and effect relationships, they’ll practice scientific processes by asking questions, observing, making a plan, exploring materials, and communicating their ideas to each other, all while learning what causes objects to move.

GRADES 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. This tool demonstrates the principle of conservation of energy, the mathematical nature of projectile motion, and the basic laws of kinematics in engaging and inspiring ways.

This program is offered in three ways:

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

Each program includes a classroom component that involves the use of a model trebuchet and 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 contact our Reservations Office at 248.645. 3210 to book this program.

GRADES 6 7 8
Working in pairs, gain a better understanding for where our energy comes from and how it travels to Earth. Manipulate a pendulum to model a wave, discussing various phenomena related to waves and energy.

GRADES 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, learn how to protect yourself during storms, and 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.