Science Museum Lesson Plan

Please note, this lesson plan was created by as a general guide and is not specific to any particular venue listed on our site.

There are a wide variety of science museums out there. From archaeological artifacts to galactic adventures in museum planetarium domes, there’s something for just about everyone!

Many science museums offer interactive experiences for youth groups such as labs and simulated space missions. Find a science museum with offerings that align with your curriculum goals for a field trip that’ll be worth while.

Put on those lab coats and goggles! Students step into the shoes of scientists. Gear up for an exploration of science and all it has to offer.


  • Fill out a KWL (K- What do you know?, W- What do you want to know?, L [Follow-up]- What have you learned?) graphic organizer to assess students’ prior knowledge of science
  • Create a class definition of ‘science’
  • Look at the tools scientists use (beakers, magnifying glass, microscope, etc.)
  • Provide a daily quote from a famous scientist
  • Explore different fields of science
  • Conduct experiments in stations
    1. Examples:



  • Chemist: Study of energy, matter, and properties and relationships between chemical elements and compounds.
  1. Chemists are trained to be laboratory technicians, researchers, teachers, and more.
  2. Chemistry came from the study of alchemy, an ancient science involving the transmutation of materials such as turning base metals into gold or silver.
  3. Chemical elements are organized onto the periodic table based on their atomic number. The first element is on the periodic table is Hydrogen.



  • Archeologist: Study humans and communities that existed in the past by discovering and analyzing artifacts they left behind.
  1. When exploring a site, archeologists dig individual square holes in a grid system.
  2. Written language is about 5,000 years old, so artifacts help understand history, diet, and behavior before that time.
  3. One problem archeologists face is when sites are “


Earth Science

  • Astronomer: Study objects in space including galaxies, solar systems, stars, planets, and moons.
  1. Astronomy is considered one of the oldest branches of science.
  2. The famous astronomer, Galileo, invented the telescope.
  3. Astronomers spend little time with telescopes. Instead, they tend to analyze data and pictures.


  • Geologist: Study Earth’s properties and history.
  1. The Earth is 4.54 billion years old.
  2. Geology” comes from the Greek words “ge” and “logos” which translate as rocks and knowledge.
  3. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are important mapping tools used by geologists.


  • Meteorologist: Study the atmosphere, predict weather forecasts, and research weather patterns and climate change.
  1. Early civilizations, like the Babylonians, would use the appearance of clouds to predict weather changes.
  2. Galileo invented an earlier version of the thermometer in 1592.
  3. 1 billion tons of rainwater falls on Earth each minute.


  • Physicist: Study or research matter, energy, and forces.
  1. Physics is considered an “experimental” science.
  2. Physicists will work with things as small as atomic particles (not even humans can see it!) to something as big as the entire universe.
  3. The weight of Earth’s atmosphere is somewhere around 5.5 quadrillion tons!



  • Computer Scientist: Study and apply information theory and computation to computers.
  1. Potential jobs for computer scientists include animating, creating websites or apps, designing games, programming, researching algorithms or theory, and software engineering.
  2. A computer is a machine that takes in, processes, and outputs data.
  3. The first computer originated from 500 BCE. It was called an abacus, which is made from string and beads. It was typically used to track money.


  • Engineer: Apply both scientific and mathematic information to the world by finding solutions to a variety of problems.
  1. The top four disciplines of engineering include chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering.
  2. Engineer is a word that derives from the Latin words for “devise” and “cleverness.”
  3. Engineers held 1.6 million jobs in the United States in 2015. Electrical engineering employed 313,970 people, more so than any other engineering discipline.


Life Science

  • Biologist: Study life, research processes, and understand how organisms interact with their environment.
  1. Biology branches off into a variety of fields including botany (study of plants), genetics (study of DNA), marine biology (study of ocean plants and animals), microbiology (study of microorganisms), and zoology (study of animals).
  2. Not all biologists work in laboratories. Some do their research in the field, such as the ocean.
  3. Some research is used to make products such as drugs and biofuels.


  • Psychologist: Study the mind.
  1. Psychologists’ work involves observing, testing, treating, and counseling patients.
  2. Some believe psychology is more like “common sense” rather than a branch of science.
  3. Placebos can provide patients with the same effects as regular treatments.



  • Science jobs and careers
  • Additional vocabulary
    1. Abacus: (noun) a calculating tool built with multiple wires or grooves along which beads slide across
    2. Artifact: (noun) an object made by a human being
    3. Energy: (noun) ability to do work
    4. Experiment: (noun) a scientific procedure that tests a hypothesis; (verb) perform scientific procedure to determine something or to try out new concepts
    5. Loot: (verb) steal goods
    6. Matter: (noun) substance that occupies space
    7. Placebo: (noun) substance, usually a pill, used in a controlled experiment that serves as fake treatment
    8. Science: (noun) knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observations
    9. Theory: (noun) collection of ideas or a set of principles used to explain something


  • Collaboration
  • Experimentation
  • Observation
  • Organization
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Vocabulary development
  • Writing


– Complete KWL graphic organizer

– Write about experiences on the trip and share

– Hold a class science fair

  1. Examples: