Learning Center

The Field Museum uses real objects and current science to engage multiple audiences in active, experience-based learning. From hands-on activities in our halls to live video broadcasts in classrooms, from a lending library of objects to web-based tools, our targeted programs make science learning exciting and accessible for parents, classroom educators, teens, and children

Science learning for children and families

Fun, hands-on learning activities with real objects help children develop critical thinking skills and a deeper interest in science. When science is made enjoyable and memorable, kids become more confident in exploring their world and want to learn more. We show our young explorers that a museum is an exciting place for discovery and for new learning adventures.

Our early childhood science begins in the Crown Family PlayLab, a 7,200 square-foot learning center designed for children ages 2 through 6. The PlayLab uses unique resources drawn from the Museum’s collections and labs— from fossil preparation to plant specimens to world music— to help children experience the magic of discovery and understand the world around them.

Science learning in the classroom

The Field Museum’s school-focused experiences engage pre K–12 educators and students in learning through collections and scientific investigation. We encourage learners to use science in their everyday lives, apply creative and critical-thinking skills to understand our world, and enjoy the Museum as a place for discovery.

The foundation for these experiences is the N. W. Harris Learning Collection, a library of more than 1,200 specimens and artifacts spanning nature and culture. The Collection can be borrowed for use in classrooms or informal learning environments. Beyond this unique resource we offer educator professional development, student experiences, live interactive video broadcasts, and instructional tools for educators.

Science learning for teens

We engage teens in science by integrating real specimens, interaction with Museum visitors, and access to scientists. Teens learn first-hand the relevance of science, its connection to issues they care about, and the joy of sharing their knowledge with the public.

Our teen volunteer and digital learning programs blend scientific inquiry, digital media production, and the sharing of Field Museum science with visitors. These experiences help teens gain digital literacy and 21st century learning expertise that they can use now and in the future.

Real science, real specimens, real learning

The Field Museum’s innovative education programs harness the power of the Museum’s specimens and science to engage learners, spark curiosity, and bring scientific concepts to life. Our Learning Center develops experiences that empower people of all ages to explore like a scientist, investigate our nature and culture, and become meaningful contributors to our complex global society.

Explore our Learning Center Highlights from 2014