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.

Programs and Pricing

Self-Guided Tours ($6/student) - Self-guided tours are available for groups up to 200 students. Guide students around the museum on your own. Volunteer museum docents (brown vests) are often around the museum to answer questions.

Guided Tours ($8/student) - Guided tours are available for groups up to 60 students. A docent or education staff member will guide your group around the museum. Guided tours last about an hour are typically best for older students. Groups are welcome to explore the museum on their own after their guided tour.

Education Program* ($8/student) - Education programs are available for groups up to 60 students and last about an hour. You can read about our education program options below. After your education program, you are welcome to explore the museum on your own.

Station Rotations* ($9/student) - Station Rotations are available for groups of 60 - 180 students. They consist of 20 minute rotations to different hands-on activities around the museum. Groups are welcome to explore the museum on their own after their station rotations.

Education Program + Guided Tour* ($9/student) - An education program with a guided tour is available for groups of up to 60 students. Groups do one of the education programs for about an hour and then tour the museum with a volunteer docent or museum staff for an additional hour.

Two Education Programs* ($9/student) - Two education programs are available for groups up to 60 students. Each education program lasts one hour for a total of a two hour visit. After your programs, you are welcome to explore the museum on your own.

For questions and further information, please contact our Education Coordinator, Mollie Fullerton, at mfullerton@nuclearmuseum.org or 505-245-2137, extension 120.

* Education programs and stations rotations are only available during the school year (Mid-August up to Memorial Day). Self-guided and guided tours are available year round. 

Education Programs

We welcome groups of all ages and sizes! Groups of 10 to 180 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. Small group programs (10-59 students) typically last about an hour. Large group programs (60-180 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.

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are great for self-guided tours! Download and print them for your visit or let us know what scavenger hunt you would like when you book your visit so we can have it ready for you.

Scavenger Hunt (Grades K-1): A visual scavenger hunt of museum objects appropriate for kindergarten through first grade.

Museum Mission (Grades 2-3): A scavenger hunt that encourages students to explore the museum. Students will search for objects and speculate about their uses.

Photo Scavenger Hunt (Grades 3 and up): A one-page photo scavenger hunt of the museum featuring straight-forward as well as more abstract photographs of objects for students to find and map. Younger children could complete this scavenger hunt with adult assistance.

ARTifacts (Grades 4 and up): A creative exercise in observation for grades 4 and up.

Museum Operative (Grades 5 - 8): Find objects in the museum and answer multiple choice questions to reveal a secret code that you must unscramble.

Primary Source Primer (Grades 7-12): An introduction to primary sources found in the museum exhibits appropriate for students grades 7-12.

Mining the Nuclear Museum (Grades 10-12): A series of questions prompts students to explore the museum and think critically about the stories museums tell. Best for students with some knowledge of nuclear science and history (ie. the Manhattan Project, Cold War, nuclear and alternative energy).  

Field Trip FAQs

How do I book a visit?

You have three options:

  1. Fill out our online form (Reserve Your Class Trip). Our Education Coordinator will be in touch to complete the booking and answer any questions.
  2. Email our Education Coordinator (mfullerton@nuclearmuseum.org) with times/dates you’re hoping to visit, the name of your school/group, a phone number, the program/tour you’re hoping for, the number of students, the number of chaperones, and the grade(s) of the students.
  3. Call our Education Coordinator (505-245-2137, extension 120).

How many chaperones do we need?

We require one adult chaperone per every 10 students.

Can we eat lunch at the museum?

The Museum doesn’t have indoor lunch facilities, however large groups can eat outside the front of the Museum (no tables) and smaller groups can use the picnic tables (seat 32) under the shade structures in Heritage Park (unavailable in summer). Nearby Manzano Mesa Park also makes an excellent spot for a picnic lunch with its shade structures and picnic tables.

If you are booking an education program, you may be able to eat lunch in the classrooms (depending on the size of your group, other bookings that day, etc). If this option is available on the day of your visit, we do ask that you clean up after yourselves (clean up trash, wipe down tables, sweep). Contact our Education Coordinator, Mollie Fullerton, at mfullerton@nuclearmuseum.org or 505-245-2137, extension 120, for more information.

When do we need to pay?

Payment (credit card, cash, or check) or Purchase Order is due on the day of your visit. A 5% discount is available to those who pre-pay (card only). 

Outreach Programs

Can’t make it to the museum? We can come to your classroom with one of our outreach programs! Outreach programs last one hour and are for one class of 15 – 30 students.

For pricing and further information, please contact our Education Coordinator, Mollie Fullerton, at mfullerton@nuclearmuseum.org or 505-245-2137, extension 120.

BUFF: The B-52 Story - June 8 through December 29

Join us as we tell the story of the longest serving aircraft in United States military in the special exhibition, “BUFF: The B-52 Story,” on display June 8 through December 29, 2019. This temporary exhibition explores this iconic Boeing aircraft’s past, present and future as an American strategic bomber.

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"Science is Everywhere" Summer Camp - May 28 through August 9

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is pleased to offer week-long, themed camp for summer 2019. These camps are geared to campers Pre-K and Kindergarten through 7th grades. Sessions include "Foodie Science", "STEMinists: Geosciences Edition", Got Game?", "Movie Magic" and many more!

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Movie Under the Wings - June 22

Join the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History for Movie Under the Wings, an amazing outdoor event featuring the iconic movie, “October Sky.” Saturday, June 22, under the airplanes in Heritage Park. Doors will open at 7:30 pm for this unique museum experience, and the movie will begin at dark.

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