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Lab Explorations

Lab Explorations

The museum’s Education Department offers instructor-led science and social studies programs for groups of 15-32 students in grades pre-K-8 featuring hands-on object based learning activities.  Program content is aligned with Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Catholic Diocese of Tennessee curriculum standards. Programs are 45-60 minutes in length. See Educators Guide.

To reserve a Lab Exploration, please call 901.636.2362. 

African-American History Trail: Teacher Guide

Hear stories of eight African-American residents who contributed to our city’s rich culture. Follow their lives on a timeline handout.  See emancipation papers, medical instruments related to yellow fever, and the uniform of a WWI soldier as we guide you through Memphis History. (Grades 4–8)

African-American History Trail
Teacher's Program Guide (4-8) - updated September 2019 

Cell Structure & Microscopic Techniques: Teacher Guide

Take a “closer look” through the lens of a compound microscope.  View slides of plant and animal specimens. Develop observation and note-taking skills while being guided through the process of scientific investigation. (Grades 3–8)

Cell Structure and Microscope Techniques
Teacher's Program Guides  (3-5)  - updated January 2020

Teacher's Program Guides  (6-8))  - updated January 2020

Dive Into Sharks!

Did you know that sharks swam in the Mississippi Valley millions of years ago? Hundreds of species thrive in the world's oceans today. In this lab,students inspect fossil shark teeth and explore their ancient history. They examine a shark skeleton, feel rough skin and handle jaws to find out what makes sharks the ocean's"perfect predators". They investigate the external and internal anatomy of preserved dogfish shark specimens to learn about other adaptations that fascinate us.

Dive Into Sharks!

Teacher's Program Guide (2-5)- updated February 2020

Fun with Physical Science

Build a density column. Float a paper clip on water. Test the strength of a magnet. In this lab,
students discuss the scientific method and practice developing hypotheses. They participate in
demonstrations and conduct experiments that reveal science in materials we use every day. They use
plastic bottles, water droppers, magnets and more to observe properties of matter including density,
surface tension and magnetism.

Teacher's Program Guide (K-2)- updated February 2020

Teacher's Program Guide (3-5)- updated February 2020

I Dig Dino Fossils: Teacher Guide

Become a young paleontologist.  Excavate and examine dinosaur fossils. Compare their eggs, teeth, skulls, claws and size. Investigate the “dino” diet and touch real dinosaur eggs and bones. (Pre-K–Grade 3)

I Dig Dino Fossils
Teacher's Program Guide (Pre K- 3)- updated September 2019

Making Sense of my Senses: Grades K–2

This “please touch” class has eye-opening experiments, aromas to sniff, sounds to hear and tasty treats.  Learn how our sense organs help us explore the word and avoid danger. (Pre-K–Grade 2)

Making Sense Of My Senses

Teacher's Program Guide (K-1) - updated September 2019

Native Americans of the Mid-South: Teacher Guide

Touch buffalo hide. Inspect spear points. Grind corn. Hear a Choctaw story. Use museum objects to experience how the first Americans lived, hunted, grew crops and played games in the Mississippi Valley. (K–Grade 5)

Native Americans of the Mid-South

Teacher's Program Guides  (K-2)-updated September 2019


Teacher's Program Guides (3-5)-updated September 2019

On the Mid-South Frontier: Teacher Guide

Split a roof shingle. Wash clothes against a metal washboard. Observe and participate in demonstrations of skills required for survival on the Mid-South Frontier.(Grades 3–8)

On the Mid-South Frontier
Teacher's Program Guide (3-5) - updated September 2019 

Teacher's Program Guide (6-8) - updated September 2019 

Rocks & Minerals: Teacher Guide

Conduct tests that give clues to a mineral’s identity. Examine minerals that glow in the dark. Find out how rocks are formed and why they look the way they do. Discover some surprising uses for rocks and minerals and explore how rocks are formed. Discover some surprising uses for rocks and mineral. (Grades 1–6)

Rocks and Minerals       
 Teacher's Program Guide (1-2) - updated November 2019 

 Teacher's Program Guide (3-5) - updated November 2019 

 Teacher's Program Guide (6-8) - updated November 2019 

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