The Koshland Science Museum offers a standards-based approach to science education. Whether you are planning to visit the science museum or looking for activities to use in your classroom, our science activities will engage and challenge your students to think critically about scientific issues. Our website includes virtual field trips, webquests, classroom activities, and worksheets to support middle school science, high school science, and college curriculum.
The museum offers group visits at the museum, as well as virtual field trips to be completed in class or at home.
At the Museum
A class visit to the Koshland Science Museum is a unique science education experience. The museum can accommodate groups of different sizes and offers a facilitated, in-depth experience led by master teachers. School groups can choose to focus their field trip on Earth Lab: Degrees of Change or Life Lab.
View the following documents for more information about the in-person field trips:
- Earth Lab Field Trip Guide
- Earth Lab Field Trip Worksheets
- Life Lab Field Trip Guide
- Life Lab Field Trip Worksheets
Classroom activities for pre and post museum visit:
For more information on field trips to the Koshland Science Museum, please visit the Group Visits page.
While a visit to the Koshland Science Museum is an ideal way to learn about climate change and health, students can also use interactive resources found online to participate in a variety of virtual field trips.
Putting DNA to Work
The following worksheets can be used with the online exhibit, Putting DNA to Work, as part of a virtual field trip.
Lights at Night: Are you an Energy Efficient Consumer?
Concerns about global warming have made energy use a major issue around the world. Simply put, the more energy people use to drive their cars, heat their homes, or run their appliances, the more carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere. Scientists are researching how these CO2 emissions affect climate change. They are concerned that as the world continues to get warmer, problems like sea level rise or increased, prolonged droughts may occur.
As a result, people want to know what steps they can take to use less energy. The more energy each person uses, the more CO2 is released into the atmosphere. With billions of energy consumers around the world, you can imagine just how much CO2 is given off globally.
In this activity, students will gain a better understanding of how several countries use energy by observing how much light they give off at night. Students will see firsthand how personal, national, and global decisions can impact the future of climate change. Finally, students will observe the consequences of choices they make every day as they trace the carbon footprint of an average American family.
Infectious Disease: Bird Flu Today Public Awareness Campaign
This webquest explores the science behind infectious diseases and how they spread. Using the devastating 1918 flu pandemic as a basis, this activity examines how flu epidemics originate, how they spread, and how they might be controlled
Scientists, policy makers, and the public are all concerned about the potential of an influenza epidemic within this decade. Of particular concern is bird flu, or avian influenza. Although it currently cannot be transmitted from person to person, the virus that causes bird flu could potentially evolve into a form that people could pass to each other. If that happens, it could trigger a serious flu pandemic, much like the pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. This activity allows students to take on the role of a policy advocate, and make recommendations about how Americans should prepare for the potential arrival of an avian influenza epidemic.
GLOBAL WARMING: Facts and Our Future
Global warming has been a topic of concern and much controversy for many years. Whatever the disagreements have been in the past, most scientists and policy makers now recognize that if the Earth’s surface temperatures continue to rise as much as they have in the past decade or so, then many parts of the world could face dire consequences, including food and water shortages, coastal flooding, and health consequences.
Using this Internet-based webquest activity, students will learn about climate change, energy use, and global warming. They will learn firsthand how society and environment might be impacted by global warming and how to help people make better decisions regarding all the complicated issues surrounding climate change, energy use, and available policy options. Students will take on the role of scientist, business leader, or policy maker and be part of a climate action team, which will make some of the same discoveries and decisions that are made in the “real world” every day.
GENETIC DISEASE: Putting DNA to Work
Studying the human genome has led to some amazing developments in recent years. Recent discoveries about how genes contribute to common diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are changing the way medicine is practiced and driving discovery of new types of drugs and treatments.These discoveries promise to continue well into the future. Much of the early progress in this field came from studying genetic diseases that resulted from the presence or absence of a single gene
This webquest allows students to gain a solid understanding of how DNA works and discover firsthand how scientists and public health officials identify, test for, and treat genetic diseases. Students play various roles in a medical investigation team as they try to determine why a group of children in a remote village are becoming ill. Students take on the role of DNA scientist, epidemiologist, disease specialist, or genetic counselor as they learn about DNA structure and function, basic genetics and heredity, treatment options, and disease epidemiology. Upon completion of their individual tasks, the team of students must then work together to present their findings and make recommendations that address the situation. The activity was designed in conjunction with the 2006 National DNA Day Celebration, which was hosted with the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
The purpose of this activity is to engage students in studying the HIV viral infection pathway in a human cell.
Students will study the life cycle using scientific thought processes in small groups to determine different points where the pathway could be inhibited to prevent the spread of the infection.
As college professors develop worksheets related to the Koshland Science Museum exhibits, worksheets will be posted here.
Many professors or instructors at universities and community colleges find the Koshland to be a useful enhancement to their science and policy courses. Below is an example of an activity developed by faculty for their students to use in conjunction with a visit to the museum (real or virtual). If you have an assignment that you would like to have included on the website, please email the museum's director.