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The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences welcomes all children and strives to provide an equal experience to any child registered for our programs. We are committed to open and honest communication with guardians to ensure the best experience for all participants.

If your child can benefit from any modification and/or support in order to fully enjoy their time in each program, please contact

Each live program is taught by a Museum educator and includes a thematic kit of natural specimens or scientific tools for the child to use during the class and beyond. All activities encourage the development of skills in scientific observation and thinking. Small classes give each student the best possible experience.

Registration is first come, first served. Programs traditionally fill quickly.

Note:  Due to shipping requirements, registration for these programs is limited to the continental US.

Science Detectives – Online! Spring 2021 Classes:

February 16, 2021:
Who Goes There? Tracks and Scat, ages 6–7, 9:30–10:30am
Turtle Tactics, ages 8–10, 11:30am–12:30pm
Nature’s Design, ages 11–13, 2:00–3:00pm

March 12, 2021:
Exploring Dinosaurs, ages 6–7, 9:30–10:30am
Rattlesnakes Rock, ages 8–10, 11:30am–12:30pm
CSI: Rhinos, ages 11–13, 2:00–3:00pm

April 6, 2021:
Hummingbirds, ages 6–7, 9:30–10:30am
Sensational Trees, ages 8–10, 11:30am–12:30pm
Tools for Veterinary Medicine, ages 11–13, 2:00–3:00pm

May 13, 2021:
Butterflies in your Backyard, ages 6–7, 9:30–10:30am
Sand Dollars and Sea Stars: Exploring Echinoderms, ages 8–10, 11:30am–12:30pm
From Colonists to Computers: Coded Messages, ages 11–13, 2:00–3:00pm

Science Detectives-Online! Series — Spring 2021:  Now you have the option to register for the Spring 2021 program series, which includes four Science Detectives programs for the same age group.  Series registration is available as an option when registering for any program listed above.  Spring 2021 Series Registration Deadline:  February 4 at 8:00am.


Is there a waiting list if a program is full?
Yes! Send an email to with name of child, name of guardian and phone number. There is no cost to be added onto the waiting list.

What age level should I sign my child up for? 
Register for the program that corresponds to your child’s age level. We cannot make exceptions. Our instructors have designed their programs with age-appropriate and developmental stages in mind. Falsified registrations will be canceled.

When is my payment due and what forms of payment are accepted?
Payment is due in full at the time of registration and required to secure a spot. MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express are accepted. Checks or cash payment cannot be accepted or dropped off at the Museum.

When will I receive confirmation?
Your confirmation will be emailed upon submitting the online registration. The confirmation receipt, along with additional information will be sent to the email address provided during online registration. A reminder email will also be sent before the start of your program.

The Museum can grant refunds only when a cancellation is received before the program registration and refund deadline. Cancellations received after the deadline will not be eligible for a refund. If we are alerted as soon as possible of a child’s illness or family emergency immediately before a program begins, we will do our best to provide a refund, minus the cost of the kit.

Program Date Registration & Refund Deadline
February 16, 2021 February 4, 8am
March 12, 2021 March 1, 8am
April 6, 2021 March 24, 8am
May 13, 2021 April 30, 8am

The Museum’s primary goal is to keep programs safe for participants and staff. While not anticipated, programs may need to be canceled, rescheduled, or modified to meet current safety guidelines. You will be notified if this becomes the case. A full refund will be issued if the Museum cancels the program.

Programs with low enrollment one week prior to the start date are subject to cancellation. Guardians will be contacted to investigate the possibility of enrollment in another program.  A full refund will be issued if the Museum cancels the program.

How will the virtual program work?
All programs are interactive virtual experiences using the Museum’s Zoom account. Information about the program, how-to documents, Zoom link and password will be emailed to you before the start of the program. Programs will be recorded for internal review by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. No recordings will be shared that include any visible participants unless prior permission has been given by the guardian.

Programs will feature hands-on activities based around a theme. Museum staff will lead each program. Participants are allowed to turn on their cameras and un-mute their microphones during the program. We encourage participants to interact with our instructors in the way that is most comfortable for them, including using the chat, audio or visual responses. Disruptive behavior will be redirected. Significant disruptive behavior may lead to the moderator or instructor muting, turning off the child’s camera or removal from the program.

Each program will come with a kit of supplies for program activities. Kits will be mailed at least a week prior to the start of the program and include material for one child.

What technology and supplies will my child need?
Participants will need the following materials:

  • Computer or tablet with a microphone and camera
  • Internet connection
  • Access to Zoom
  • Area in front of the computer to do activities on a table
  • A pencil
  • A notebook or paper for observations
  • Additional materials may be needed for specific classes

What is the activity Kit?
Each registered participant will receive a thematic kit of materials. Kits feature hands-on activities based around each program’s theme. We designed the activities to be fun and exciting while helping children develop skills and positive habits in scientific and critical thinking. We are excited to do the activities with our participants. To maintain the excitement and surprise, we ask that your child does not open the kit ahead of time. If you want to peek, please re-seal the items.

Please note staff will wear masks and gloves and wash hands throughout the kit making process.

How do I get my child’s kit?
All registrants were given the option to select either “Museum Pickup” or “Ship to Home” as the delivery method for your kit. If you selected “Ship to Home”, your kit will be mailed at least one week prior to the start of the program to the mailing address given during online registration. If you selected “Museum Pickup”, your kit will be available at the Museum Store one week before your program date. Registrants who selected Museum Pick-up will receive a $5.00 gift card to the Museum Store. The gift card is valid at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Museum Stores, and not valid for Cafe or other Museum purchases. Further pick-up information will be sent via email.

If you would like to change your delivery method, you can contact us at no later than the program registration and refund deadline. After your package is mailed, alternate pick-up options will not be available and additional kits will be subject to a fee. Pick-up arrangements are only available after a participant has completed registration for the intended program.

Does a guardian or adult need to be present?
We ask guardians to help their child login to Zoom 5–10 minutes before the start of each program to address technical issues such as raising and lowering the volume, positioning the equipment and opening the chat feature.

Activities are designed with guardians in mind. Activities are intended to be completed with virtual assistance from Museum educators and require little guardian oversight. Guardians should be in the same house with a mobile phone on for notifications. If the name and phone number of the adult at home with the child during the program is different from the adult registering the child, please send an email to

What if my child misses the program?
We encourage participants to be able to attend the entire program. Refunds will not be given if a participant misses the program or a portion of the program. If a participant must miss part of a program, they will be able to complete the activities from the materials in their kit. However, video recordings of the program will not be available.

Are siblings allowed to participate together under one registration?
Only one participant per registration may participate. We encourage our participants to replicate and share what they have done at the end of the program. Our activities can easily be duplicated with siblings or family members after the end of each program.

If families are interested in doing the activities together after the program, additional kits may be available for an add-on fee. To order, contact