Natural History Museum HSU Email us Home

home imageprograms imageexhibitsevents imageeducators imageoutside imagevisit usvolunteers imageinternships imageworkstudy imagemembership image


museum logo

Want to take a field trip to the HSU Natural History Museum?

Educational Programs are now available for grades K-6! Our programs utilize our unique collection of fossils, rocks and minerals, animal specimens, and interactive activities to supplement classroom lessons. Programs are designed to encourage scientific inquiry, and engage students in the natural world.

To reserve a school visit, please fill out an online request form or call our front desk at 707-826-4479. School visits take place at the museum and can accommodate up to 30 students at one time with at least two accompanying adults. Please schedule your visit a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. Requests for visits are filled on a first-come first-serve basis. The best times to schedule are Tues. - Fri. from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Cost is $2 per student, chaperones are free.

For Fall 2018 only there are scholarship applications for reduced rates for students with financial needs (find a link to a financial waiver application below).

To reserve a self-lead visit all you need to do is call our front desk at 707-826-4479 or fill out an online request form (available below). Because staffing is limited, we ask that you give us a minimum of one week notice, a first choice and a second choice date and time, the age and number of students in your groups, etc. Cost $2 per student, chaperones are free.

To request a program please click on link below:


To submit questions outside the realm of the online school visit request form, please email Hanna Nielsen, our new education coordinator, at

We look forward to seeing you!


Kindergarten: One Leg, Two Wings, No Tail
Hands on activities and museum exhibits are used to compare animal structures (i.e. legs, wings, tails).
NGSS: K-LS1, 1-LS1 (1-LS1.A and 1-LS1.D); EEI (K.3.a)

Grade 1: All the Better to Eat With
The museum’s collection of real animal skulls is used to relate different types of teeth to an animal’s diet.
NGSS: 1-LS1 (1-LS1.A); EEI (1.2.d)

Grade 2: Minerals Matter
Learn to classify minerals through observation of physical properties and by performing tests.
NGSS: 2-PS1 (2-PS1.A and 2-PS1.B); EEI (2.3.a and 2.3.b)

Grade 3: Mammals Today and Yesterday
Comparison matching games utilize various mammal fossils to compare with modern day mammals.
NGSS:  3-LS4 (3-LS4.A); EEI (3.3b and 3.3c)

Grade 4: Rocking Detective
The three different rock groups are explored including how the rocks are created by sorting them into groups using classification guides.
NGSS: 4-ESS1 and 2 (4-ESS1.C and 4-ESS2.B); EEI (2.3a and 2.3b)

Grade 5: Connections of the Redwood Forest
Discover the flow of energy in a living system between biotic and abiotic factors that come together to create one of the most unique ecosystems on Earth. NGSS:  5-LS1 and 2 (5-LS1.C  and 5-LS2.A), 5-PS3  (5-PS3.D); EEI (4.2b)

Grade 6: What’s Shaking
Investigate plate tectonics and the resulting earthquakes and volcanoes by learning about some of our local geology including various faults, subduction zones, and spreading centers.
NGSS:  MS-EES1 and 2 (MS- ESS1.C and MS-ESS2.B)


*Our programs are aligned to the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and connect to curriculum from the Education and Environmnet Initiative (EEI).


SCHOLARSHIPS: We have funding through Humboldt Sponsors that will enable us to give fee waivers to under served students throughout our area. For more information or to apply, please click on the form below.

TRANSPORTATION: Your field trip might qualify for funding. Contact the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) for more information.

To print out a Program Fee Waiver application click here!


Self-Lead Programs: You can always come to the museum and do a self-lead visit with no formal program. Please allow 1-2 weeks notice. We are closed Mondays. COST $2 per student. Chaperones are free. Call 707-826-4479

If you can't make a trip to the museum, we currently have Teaching Boxes and Engineering for Elementary School curriculum binders available for checkout. These can be checked out for free for a maximum of two weeks.

Click here to see our listing of items that can be checked out (link coming soon)

We also invite you to explore our virtual exhibits found on the "EXHIBITS" link!

Below are resources for educators to use with their classrooms before, during, or after a self-lead visit to the NHM. (Coming soon)

Information on the Walk Around the Block Activity (click here)

Around the Block - A Walk Though Time activity (click here)

Block map (click here)

Visit the Exhibits page for more downloadable resources 

Redwood Resources

Geologic Time Resources

Any suggestions for additional resources? Send them to the webmaster


Museum Scavenger Hunt for visits (coming soon)