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.


Prices

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 groups of all ages and sizes! Groups of 10 to 200 students can design a program to suit their needs with the help of our staff. Your program can include, but is not limited to, the activities listed below in Book a Program. Small group programs (10-59 students) typically last about an hour. Large group programs (60-200 students) typically consist of a variety of 20-minute activity rotations.

We can also bring science and history programs and activities to you.

Choose Your Own Ed-Venture (All Grades) Participate in a variety of hands-on science and history activities selected to match classroom goals and curriculum. Teachers should contact the Education Coordinator to talk about their areas of study and select relevant activities. Sample activities include liquid nitrogen, dry ice, Ozobots (robotics), slime, magnets, Van de Graaff generator, elephant's toothpaste, Geiger counters, acids and bases, Hovercraft, kid-in-a-bag (air), vacuum chamber, and rockets.   

Secrets and Spies (Grades 4-9) Loose lips sink ships. Will yours? Students exercise their problem solving skills as they assume roles as Los Alamos scientists and spies during the Manhattan Project. Decipher primary sources along with a secret spy mission while experiencing Los Alamos's wartime security theater.

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

60 Minutes to Doomsday (Grades 6-12) Time is running out! Prevent the next nuclear disaster before it's too late... Students will work together in an effort to save the world in this role-playing adventure. By using logical reasoning, 'intelligence', debate and rhetoric each nation will present their argument and hopefully they will be able to stop this tragedy.

Isotope Discovery (Grades 10-12) Students will explore the Periodic Table of Elements, build their understanding of isotopes and the types of radioactive decay, and learn about the relationship between isotopes and the line of stability using an interactive chart of the nuclides.

Split Over the Atom (Grades 9-12) Nuclear power may be coming to a town near you. Students will take on the roles of various interested parties in a mock public hearing to debate the possibility of a new nuclear power plant being built in their community. The students will use probability, discussion, and critical reasoning skills to explore if nuclear power is the right choice for their community.

Guided tour - Take a tour through the museum as part of your education program with the guidance from our docent and staff experts. Students can learn more about The Manhatten Project, view the airplanes in Heritage Park, learn about nuclear and alternative forms of energy, or enjoy our Atomic Pop Culture section.


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:

Science:

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.

History:

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.

Technology:

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.

Veterans Day - November 11

In recognition of this United States holiday honoring military veterans, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will be offering free admission on November 11, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to all service members, both past and present, who show military identification.

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"Science is Everywhere" Winter Camp - December 27-28 and January 2-4

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host "Science is Everywhere" Winter Day Camp 2018 for children who Pre-K through 7th grade. Experience the wonders of science in one-day sessions, December 27-28 and January 2-4. Sessions include "Code of the Robot, Jr.," "Mini Marvels," "Mysteries of Matter" "Unravel the Code" and many more!

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Einstein Gala - March 23

The Einstein Gala is New Mexico’s biggest science party of the year! This prestigious black-tie event is the Museum’s most important fundraising event and features an amazing silent auction, a delicious dinner experience among some of the most brilliant minds in science and history, and thrilling entertainment featuring science experiments that will knock your socks off! Mark your calendars to join us on March 23 at Sandia Resort and Casino!

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