Exploring Aquatic Ecosytems

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 7th Grade, 8th Grade
  • Times Available: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Sample abiotic factors of a steam OR calculate the water quality of a pond based on the macroinvertebrate fauna. How are the populations affected by these factors> These are Located off Reedy Creek Road, Prairie Ridge Ecostation has 45 acres of Piedmont prairie, forest, ponds, a stream and sustainable building features integrated with a wildlife-friendly… Read More >

Wild Exploration

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: Kindergarten
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Take a hike with a naturalist. Focus on using observation and the senses to discover animal signs and other wonders of nature. Programs are 45 minutes long. Programs can usually accommodate one or two classes which can be done simultaneously. As intrepid explorers, please be prepared with adequate provisions and apparel for any weather. Located… Read More >

Animal Adaptations at Prairie Ridge

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 4th Grade
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Study the animals in the forest, prairie, or pond to see how their different behaviors or structures help then to survive in specific habitats. As intrepid explorers, please be prepared with adequate provisions and apparel for any weather. Programs are 60 minutes long and take place at Prairie Ridge Ecostation. Located off Reedy Creek Road,… Read More >

Help Make Science Happen

In the field of citizen science, scientists design the protocols then the citizens (your students, in this case) collect and report the data.  Learn about the natural world while collecting scientific data on the Prairie Ridge grounds. We then share the results with researchers at the Museum and beyond.  Available topics include birds, weather, phenology,… Read More >

Prairie Ridge Ecosystems 1

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 5th Grade
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Explore the prairie and the pond, searching for producers, consumers, and decomposers.  How do all of these plants and animals depend on each other? As intrepid explorers, please be prepared with adequate provisions and apparel for any weather. Programs are 60 minutes long. Located off Reedy Creek Road, Prairie Ridge Ecostation has 45 acres of… Read More >

Prairie Ridge Ecosystems 2

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 6th Grade
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2015 - May 2016

Explore the forest floor and/or the pond, searching for the producers, consumers, and decomposers. How does energy move through this ecosystem? As intrepid explorers, please be prepared with adequate provisions and apparel for any weather. Programs are 60 minutes long. Located off Reedy Creek Road, Prairie Ridge Ecostation has 45 acres of Piedmont prairie, forest,… Read More >

Parent Led Programs

Ideal for play groups, young home school groups, or any group who would like to explore together, this program reserves the Discovery Room. After a brief introduction, Museum staff provides guidance  during this 50-minute experience. Staff will share a special animal friend with the families. Scheduling information: Scheduling for the 2016–2017 school year begins Thursday,… Read More >

NC Geology

A rock is a rock, correct? Not so! Learn the basics of geology by examining typical North Carolina rocks and practice identifying and classifying them. After reviewing the formation of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, we will learn to read a geologic map of North Carolina, and classify our geologic specimens. Teams will use their… Read More >

Climate Change

Learn the basic science and research methods used by scientists to understand how and why the climate is changing and what that means for our world and our future. Much more than a PowerPoint-based lecture, students will learn about climate change using cutting edge technology in a way that they never have before. This program… Read More >

Properties of Matter

Delve into the properties of matter by doing experiments with buoyancy, mass, and density. Based on experiments by the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes, we will learn how objects heavier than water, like a cruise ship, can float on water. Using precision scales and other lab equipment we will measure displacement, create a density column, and… Read More >

The Hungry Games – Whiteville

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 5th Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Oh, the tangled web we weave trying to decide who eats what or whom. Discover the interdependence that plants and animals have with their ecosystems and how energy flows among all components involved. Who or what is most important? What roles need to be played to maintain the delicate balance of survival? Grades 3 –… Read More >

Fossils: Windows into the Past – Whiteville

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 4th Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Students will create their own fossil replicas of extinct creatures, and then research and contemplate their prehistoric past and significance with the use of a worksheet and timeline. Grades 3 – 5 may choose two 1-hour programs: Investigate Lab Experience – Whiteville plus 2nd program of your choice. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences… Read More >

Investigate Lab Experience – Whiteville

In this hands-on lab, students become scientists and are introduced to scientific tools used to observe and study the natural world. Students are issued a lab coat, clipboard and an Observation Journal to record their findings. Students rotate every 15 minutes to 4 stations: Micro-pipetting, Measurement, Magnification and the Naturalist Center. In the Naturalist Center… Read More >

Turtles and Tree Rings – Whiteville

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 3rd Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

How does our environment affect growth? Examine tree cookies and turtle scutes to identify how trees and animals respond to environmental factors such as insect infestation, draught, fire, and food availability. Grades 3 – 5 may choose two 1-hour programs: Investigate Lab Experience – Whiteville plus 2nd program of your choice. The North Carolina Museum… Read More >

Healthy Habitats – Whiteville

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 1st Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

All living creatures and organisms have basic needs to survive and thrive. What are these basic needs? How does the environment supply them? Do we as humans impact what the environment can offer? This program includes a visit to the Nature PlaySpace. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville is located at 415… Read More >

Your Backyard -Whiteville

Discover the fascinating world of your backyard. Learn how backyards can be good animal homes and how animal activity changes with each season and the weather. Meet this season’s backyard “stars” along the Tree Trail using our observations skills to discover real animals that can be found in our own backyards. Program includes 30 minutes… Read More >

Things that Grow: Plants – Whiteville

Plants are all around us, but how do plants grow and what makes them grow> Take a sensory stroll along the garden and tree trail making observations about plants. Hands-on activities include identifying different plant species with a guide and looking for signs of animals that depend on plants to live. Program includes 30 minute… Read More >

Things that Grow: Animals – Whiteville

Explore similarities and differences among animals by comparing eggs, nests and animal coverings. Observe and touch nests, animal skins, scales, and wings. Hands on activities include matching footprints to animals and comparing baby animals to adult animals. Program includes a 30 minute exploration of the Nature PlaySpace and Discovery Forest with a Museum educator as… Read More >

Animal Life Cycles – Whiteville

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 2nd Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am, 10am, 12pm, 1pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

How do living creatures grow and change? Investigate the life cycles of several NC creatures. How are they different? How are they similar? What are their challenges? The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville is located at 415 South Madison St., Whiteville, NC 28472. The Museum, based in Columbus County, serves the southeastern… Read More >

Exploring the World Marketplace

Participate in an active simulation that models what can happen when countries export their forest resources as manufactured products. Experience some of the dynamics involved in the international trade of forest products when forest resources are unevenly distributed. This program is 1 1/2 hours. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): Bio.2.2, EEn.2.8 Scheduling information: Scheduling for the 2016–2017… Read More >

Tropical Biodiversity

Discover live animals and plants from a variety of tropical habitats during this program highlighting biodiversity within tropical ecosystems, North Carolina’s connections with the New World tropics, and plant and animal strategies for survival. The program is followed by a tour of the Living Conservatory, our Central American tropical dry forest exhibit, where students can… Read More >

Rocks Stories

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 1st Grade
  • Times Available: Wednesday - Friday, 10 & 11 am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Share a journey through time with three rocks: metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary. Learn how rocks are formed and discover some of their cool characteristics through stimulating activities. Meet a live animal whose ancestors can be found in the fossil record. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): 1.E.2 Scheduling information: Scheduling for the 2016–2017 school year begins Thursday, August… Read More >

Your Backyard

Discover the fascinating world of your backyard. Meet this season’s backyard “stars”: live animals like box turtles, beetles, rabbits, salamanders and flying squirrels. Learn how backyards can be good animal homes and how animal activity changes with each season and the weather. Program includes 20 minutes of Discovery Room exploration, teacher packet and a natural… Read More >

Dinosaurs Roar!

Take an imaginary field trip back to the time of dinosaurs. Discover how long, how tall and how hungry dinosaurs were. Meet some live animals whose ancestors lived in prehistoric times Program includes 20 minutes of Discovery Room exploration, teacher packet and a natural science object for the classroom. This program takes place in the… Read More >

Beaver Ponds

Meet wet creatures, such as dragonfly nymphs, frogs, tadpoles and turtles that live in or near the Piedmont pond. Learn how they eat, swim and grow up in ponds designed and built by beavers. Program includes 20 minutes of Discovery Room exploration, teacher packet and a natural science object for the classroom. This program takes… Read More >

Fossils: Evidence of the Past

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 4th Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday-Friday, 10am, 11am, & 12pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

What can we learn from fossils? What do they tell us about past life? Learn how fossil plants and animals reveal clues to the past and explore how life has changed over time in this hands-on, guided program. Students will explore a variety of fossils from the Museum’s paleo collections. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): 4.E.2 Scheduling… Read More >

Green Plants

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 3rd Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday-Friday, 10am, 11am, & 12pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Green? Yes, but why? Students will be introduced to the process by which plants synthesize their own food as well as explore the life cycle and structures of plants. Through hands-on activities and role playing, students will be fully engaged while learning about how plants survive in their environments. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): 3.L.2 Scheduling information:… Read More >

Animal Life Cycles

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 2nd Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday-Friday, 10am, 11am, & 12pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

How do living creatures grow and change? Students will explore the life cycle of five major groups of animals: amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, and insects. Meet live animals and learn about their stages of development. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): 2.L.1 Chaperone Guide: Animal Life Cycles (PDF) Scheduling information: Scheduling for the 2016–2017 school year begins Thursday,… Read More >

Animal Detectives

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 4th Grade
  • Times Available: Tuesday-Friday, 10am, 11am, & 12pm
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - January 2017

Why do some animals have slimy skin or webbed feet? Working in teams, students use observation skills and field guides to identify live North Carolina animals and investigate what special adaptations they have for survival. Students will share their findings with classmates. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): 4.L.1 Chaperone Guide: Animal Detectives (PDF) Scheduling information: Scheduling for… Read More >

Bones & Muscles of the Body

How do the bones and muscles in a human body compare to those in other animals? In this class, students will learn about the skeletal and muscular systems of the human body while exploring those systems in other animal groups. Science Curriculum Correlation(s): 3.L.1, 5.L.1 Scheduling information: Scheduling for the 2016–2017 school year begins Thursday,… Read More >

Weather Wonders

Students will learn what causes weather through hands-on experiments with temperature, humidity, freezing points and reflectivity of various earth surfaces. By studying cooling rates and pressure changes in an air mass we will use simple calculations to predict the weather from one side of a mountain to the other. Exciting class demonstrations include cloud formation… Read More >

Adaptations in Birds and Mammals

Using specimens from bird and mammal collections, students analyze the similarities and differences in anatomy, form and function between these animal groups and how they are affected by environmental change. Students then develop hypotheses to account for observed patterns and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of specific adaptations. This program will be held in the… Read More >

Fossils: Window into the Past

Give your students a unique opportunity to study fossil specimens from North Carolina and elsewhere. Students examine fossils to learn how they form and how fossils tell us about the past. Students also explore how we know the age of fossils and how a geologic map can help with fossil dating and identification. This program… Read More >

Plant Genetics: Walking with Mendel

This introduction to the principles of Mendelian genetics includes topics such as dominant and recessive traits, expected vs. actual ratios of inheritance, and Parent vs. F1 and F2 generation characteristics.  Activities may include working with lethal recessive Albino corn, Punnett Squares, and/or Yellow vs. Purple corn cobs.  Program is 1 1/2 hours. This program will… Read More >

Investigate Lab Experience

Spend the morning exploring either our Micro World, our Natural World, or our Visual World Investigate Labs’ offerings of hands-on science activities.  Topics and activities may vary seasonally. This is a 25 minute program. Scheduling information: Scheduling for the 2016–2017 school year begins Thursday, August 18, 2016. You must register for programs at least six… Read More >

Microscopic Life

Use compound microscopes to discover the structures that allow single-celled organisms to carry out the basic functions of life.  Examine a variety of protists such as Euglena, Amoeba, Paramecium and Volvox.  Your group will make wet-mount slides, become proficient in the use of compound microscopes and learn how to calculate total magnification.  This program takes… Read More >

Introduction to Electronics

The prevalence of cheap, easy to attain technology has resulted in a DIY electronics renaissance. Hands-on problem solving activities teach the basics of electricity and electronics in a way that is both challenging and fun. The next great inventor could be your student! This program is 1 ½ hours. This program will be held in… Read More >

Photosynthesis Lab

Photosynthesis is one of the most important biological processes on earth – without it the food chain would fall apart. In this class students will design and conduct experiments which test a plant’s ability to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. Using Vernier LabQuest interfaces and CO2 and O2 sensors students will… Read More >

Coding the Future (Intro to Computer Programming)

Demystify the world of computer code by starting at the beginning! Designed to introduce basic programming skills, this class is for those interested in unleashing the full potential of their computer and building a knowledge base in the lucrative field of computer science. Participants in this course learn core concepts in programming using Microsoft Small… Read More >

DNA Electrophoresis Lab

Gel electrophoresis is a powerful tool used by researchers to isolate and purify DNA fragments and to determine the presence or absence of particular genes in an organism. Based on a real life research question regarding plant disease resistance, students will perform gel electrophoresis, analyze a completed gel, and determine the gene responsible for disease… Read More >

Mapping Species Using GIS

Use GIS to predict population distribution of threatened species in North Carolina. GIS refers to computer-based mapping and modeling and is one of science’s most powerful tools used to answer questions and make predictions about important issues. Using freely available data and software, learn how scientists use GIS by solving a real-world problem. This program… Read More >

Spy Chemistry of the American Revolution

Enter the world of historical espionage and learn from an actual event, the Battle of New York, how Colonial spies used the principles of chemistry, geology and biology, and the subtleties of language to ensure their messages got safely to the intended party. Learn also about the cultural views regarding spies, the evolution of the… Read More >

Animals 2 x 2

In this program, students will meet live animals of the same type, and compare and contrast them.

What Lives Here

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 1st Grade
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Explore the prairie and its woodland edge looking for signs of life. Take an up-close look at the smaller creatures from the pond. We will see how each environment meets the needs of the animals that live here.This program is 45 minutes long and takes place at Prairie Ridge. Programs can usually accommodate one or… Read More >

Cycles of Life at Prairie Ridge

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 2nd Grade
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Search out baby birds, tadpoles, flowers or insects and learn how they develop.

Soils, Seeds, and Plants

  • Program Type:
  • Grade Levels: 3rd Grade
  • Times Available: Weekdays, 10:00am
  • Dates Available: October 2016 - May 2017

Explore properties of soils: water retention, texture and color.

Nature’s Designs

Delve into the properties of matter by doing experiments with density, buoyancy, mass and density.

Human Body Systems

Using models and hands-on activities, explore five major human body systems (digestive, nervous, circulatory, excretory and respiratory) and learn how each system functions to maintain life.

Human Impacts on Aquatic Systems: Pond Study

Study how urbanization and other human impacts influence aquatic systems by sampling for aquatic insects in our pond.

Human Impacts on Aquatic Systems: Stream Study

Study how urbanization and other human impacts influence aquatic systems by sampling for aquatic insects in our pond.

North Carolina Wildlife

Find out where wildlife lives in your area – from the mountains to the coast, to your own backyard.