Learn From The Museum

Museum Classroom Programs & Tours

The Museum offers hands-on programs and activities that can be customized to grade level and curriculum. All programs align with the New Mexico Education Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards and are dedicated to the topics of energy, forces, nuclear radiation and the history of nuclear science. Programs at the Museum may be enhanced with self-guided or docent-guided tours.


For prices and reservations, please contact our Education Enrichment Coordinator, Mollie Fullerton, at mfullerton@nuclearmuseum.org or 505-245-2137, extension 120.

Education Programs

We welcome large groups! Teachers leading groups of 60-200 students may design a program to suit their needs with the help of our staff. Large group programs consist of 20-minute station rotations, and may include elements from our Choose Your Own Ed-Venture, Get a Half Life, and history programs, as well as docent-guided tours. Teachers bringing groups fewer than 60 students may select from the following fifty-minute long science and history program options. 

Choose Your Own Ed-Venture (Grades 2-8): Participate in a variety of hands-on science activities selected especially to match classroom goals and curriculum. Teachers may select from the following subjects to customize the perfect program:  flight, energy, electricity, matter, chemistry, espionage and physics. Sample experiences include exploring friction with a ride-on hovercraft, investigating the properties of non-Newtonian fluid slime, using a human circuit to play a simple video game, locating a suspected ‘dead drop’ using infrared thermometers, or participating in a chain reaction simulating atomic energy production. 

Secrets and Spies (Grades 6-8): Your mission: Uncover the spies who’ve infiltrated the Manhattan Project. Using primary source materials, this program immerses students in a presentation about New Mexico’s unique connections to espionage history. Students will think critically to analyze known data to arrive at a conclusion and reveal the mole.

Get a Half Life (Grades 6-12): An introduction to nuclear radiation. Using Geiger counters to measure the radioactivity of common substances and radioactive isotopes, students will discover the difference between the three types of radiation and model the three methods of reducing radiation exposure.

60 Minutes to Doomsday (Grades 6-12): Tick, tick, tick, tick. The closer the doomsday clock gets to midnight, the closer the world gets to nuclear disaster. Students will use logical reasoning, debate and rhetoric to become immersed in role-playing as they use ‘intelligence’ to stop the clock and prevent the next World War.

Decision to Drop (Grades 9-12): Weigh the pros and cons of dropping Fat Man and Little Boy over Japan through the use of primary sources and the viewpoints of historical figures. Students will engage in role-playing activities designed to stimulate critical thinking skills. Through an evaluation of the situation in 1945, they will choose from a number of historical options that confronted the military, scientific, and political leaders at the time. They may even change history.

Isotope Discovery (Grades 9-12): Explore the Periodic Table of Elements and the isotopes. Students will build their understanding of isotopes and their relationship to the line of stability with an interactive chart of the nuclides.

Museum Tours

Bring your students to the Museum and allow them to discover each exhibit through a docent-guided formal tour, or accompany your students on a self-guided tour. Another possibility is to send your students to the Museum for a scavenger hunt, available here (Observation & Discovery and Seek & Find

The Museum exhibits include interests in three areas: Science, History and Technology:


Little Albert’s Lab
The future belongs to the children of today.  In Little Albert’s Lab children of all ages can play and learn the concepts of physics, considered by many to be the basis of all sciences.

Periodic Hall
Marvel at the granite Periodic Table of the Elements in the floor of the foyer.  Check your memory of symbols and atomic weights.
Pioneers of the Atom
Step back in time to meet the individuals who questioned and defined the matter which makes up the universe. Use the interactive kiosk to trace the study of the atom from the early Greeks through Dalton and Rutherford to the world of Albert Einstein and E=mc2.

Radiation 101
View sources of radiation including many household items that are naturally radioactive. Use the interactive kiosk to estimate your personal radiation dose and compare the alpha, beta, and gamma radiation detected by an operating Geiger Counter.  Explore a variety of radiation detectors, the precursors to modern dosimeters used by nuclear scientists today.

X is for X-Ray / Nuclear Medicine
Trace the development of early X-rays through modern imaging techniques.  Learn how X-rays differ from the images created using radioactive isotopes to view internal organs like your heart or lungs.


Decision to Drop / Manhattan Project
The dawn of the Atomic Age began with the design and testing of the world’s first atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project. Peek into the daily lives of the scientists who lived at Los Alamos and journey with them to the Trinity site where the first explosion occurred in 1945. 

Cold War
In this exhibit, visitors will explore the continuing political conflict existing after WWII. See an extensive collection of military weapons developed in the era.

Atomic Pop Culture
Every visitor will be entertained while viewing how American popular culture reflected the dawning of the Atomic Age!

Civil Defense Fallout Shelter
Watch a live television broadcast in a fallout shelter re-created for this exhibit.  Check your emergency supply list with the items Americans collected to equip a family fallout shelter in the 1950s. 

Heritage Park
Complete with planes, rockets, missiles, cannons and nuclear submarine sail, this exhibit will attract plane buffs and historians alike.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki
While the atomic bomb brought the war to a close, the after-effects of the bomb were felt for years in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Energy Encounters
Decide for yourself whether our energy hungry world can continue to survive on fossil fuels.  Examine the options of green energy alternatives like solar and wind power along with the place nuclear power has in the world today.  Explore the functions of a nuclear power plant, the use of nuclear power in a merchant marine ship, and the safety precautions we take to prevent nuclear accidents in the United States.  Interactive programs are available throughout.

The Uranium Cycle
The uranium ore cart in this exhibit is just the beginning of the fuel cycle for uranium.  Learn about the steps in the process required to change uranium into a useable form for nuclear power plants or weapons.  End the cycle with options for the disposal and recycling of uranium fuel.

STEaM Photography Competition - Accepting Entries Now Through August 31

Any individual, from a professional photographer to a student with a camera phone, is invited to share their photographic talent and eye for everything that is Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEaM) for a chance for a cash prize and to have their work on display this fall at our museum!

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Nuclear Science Week - October 15-19

Nuclear Science Week (NSW) is an international, broadly observed week-long celebration to focus local, regional, national and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science. The NSW Big Event will be taking place here in Albuquerque, October 15-19, and many of the events are open to the public!

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$martPath Teacher Training - September 15

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will be hosting a workshop on $martPath, a new, online teaching resource for grades 1-8 geared towards economic and financial education. At the workshop, teachers will receive a walkthrough of the award-winning platform and discuss best practices for implementing $martPath in their classroom.

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