Museum of Us K-12 Education Programs
Please note: Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, in-person educational programs are currently paused. Please check our COVID-19 Updates page for the latest updates.
Education programs at the Museum of Us are designed to meet the needs of all grade levels through engaging, standards-based, hands-on museum experiences. Our program offerings support your students’ knowledge and growth while simultaneously meeting a variety of common core state standards.
Educational Experiences include:
- Self-Guided ($5.00 per student): Includes general admission to the Museum and allows chaperone-led student groups to explore at their own pace. Plan for a 60-90 minute Museum visit.
- Guided Gallery Experience ($6.00 per student): Museum educators will engage students by integrating hands-on activities with structured self-guided exploration. Ideal for groups that cannot commit to a full one-hour guided tour, are bringing students from multiple grade levels, and/or are made up of more than 60 students but still want an educator-facilitated experience. Guided Gallery Experiences are tailored to meet the schedule of participating groups and can range from 25 minutes to 1-hour rotations.
- Guided Tour ($6.00 per student): Gives students access to the main Museum, as well as an in-depth one hour tour led by a Museum educator. Plan for a 90-minute visit to include check-in and logistics.
- Race: Are We So Different? Guided Tours are 90 minutes. Plan for a 2 hour Museum visit.
- Art Workshop ($9.00 per student): Art workshops are available as an add-on to guided tours of Ancient Egypt. This includes the guided tour and a 1-hour hands-on project that expands on themes of the tour. Plan for a 2.5-hour visit to include check-in and logistics.
Please visit your grade level page to see a complete listing of recommended programs.
Popular exhibit education programs:
Living with Animals (Recommended for grades 6-8)
This exhibit explores the surprising, unique, and inspiring ways we live with animals. This 60-minute STEM-inspired, dialogue-based tour aims to teach students to think critically about the cause-and-effect relationship between human meat consumption and environmental impact, and they will learn how and why meat consumption varies in different countries. Students will engage in hands-on activities throughout the gallery to learn the importance of cultural relativity and gain an appreciation for the relationships between people, culture, animals, and the environment. Students will also leave this 60-minute tour with a collection of recipes from around the globe that they can make at home.
Ancient Egypt (Recommended for grades 5-8)
The tour takes students on a journey back in time to the ancient city of El Amarna in Egypt. Students will collaboratively discuss social class, explore artifacts and objects from this ancient city, and attend a celebration for Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti’s Egyptian rule. During the celebration activity, students will explore the gallery to select an ancient offering for the Pharaoh and Queen. The students will work with the tour’s Educator to discuss why they selected the object and what the cultural significance is of the object selected.
Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth (Recommended for grades 5-12)
What brought the downfall of the Maya civilization? Why did this centuries-long powerhouse of Central and South America suddenly lose control? What do we make of the clues the Ancient Maya left behind? Students will step into the shoes of an archaeologist to try and solve this age-old mystery. In groups, students will be tasked to read Maya glyphs, decipher Mayan math problems, and explore objects in order to discover what became of one of the world’s great ancient civilizations.
Kumeyaay: Native Californians/Iipai-Tipai (recommend for grades 3-5)
Students will go back in time and explore the four geographic regions of San Diego long ago through an interactive and object-based tour. Groups will explore the Indigenous culture of San Diego through hands-on discovery, observation, and research. By using some of the natural resources that provided food, water, clothing, shelter, and medicine to its inhabitants for thousands of years, the group will discover how the Indigenous peoples would have lived long ago in San Diego. Afterwards, students will inspect and identify historical Indigenous objects such as: pottery, basketry, tools for hunting, and traditional clothes used by San Diego’s first residents, the Kumeyaay Nation.
Race: Are We So Different? (recommended for grades 5-12)
This exhibit explains the origins of race and racism, and helps us understand how race is not a biological fact but is a social reality. The tour aims to teach about the history of race in America, the unfounded scientific basis of race as a tool for division and discrimination, and the ways in which all of our lives are impacted, in one way or another, by race and ethnicity. Students will engage in small-group dialogue and hands-on activities to improve communication and understanding of differences at school and beyond.
Photos by Stacy Keck