Children looking at fossils

Guided programs are designed as interactive and hands-on learning experiences based on museum exhibits, where participants use objects, inquiry, and critical thinking skills to discover, wonder, and reflect. Hands-on workshops are designed as sit-down, in-depth learning experiences for elementary students offered in conjunction with guided programs. A guided program or hands-on workshop is a content-rich, stand-alone experience; Pairing a guided program and hands-on workshop together provides a wonderful, two hour in-depth, enjoyable educational experience for students. 

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Guided Programs

Recommended for everyone:

Stories from the Collection (highlights tour)
The CU Museum has the largest natural history collection in the Rocky Mountain region with nearly five million objects. Learn the stories behind some of the highlights of the collection in this hands-on, interactive tour of the Museum.


Earth Science

Recommended for everyone:

Fossils: Clues to the Past (gallery tour)
Learn how fossil plants and animals reveal clues to the past in this hands-on, interactive tour of the Paleontology Hall.

Recommended for very young students:

Discover Fossils (guided program)
Discover different types of fossils and prehistoric plants and animals through observing, identifying, and comparing. This program includes time to explore the Museum’s Discovery Corner.

Recommended for elementary-aged students:

Fossils: Evidence of Past Life (guided program)
What can we learn from fossils? What do they tell us about past life? Learn how fossil plants and animals reveal clues to the past and explore how life has changed over time in this hands-on, station-based guided program.

Fossils: Clues to the Past (hands-on workshop)
Discover different types of fossils and investigate how plants and animals become fossilized. Students use paleontology tools to excavate their own fossil to take home. 


Life Science

Recommended for elementary-aged students:

Insect Explorers (guided program)
Explore the structure and life cycle of insects, focusing on beetles, grasshoppers, and bees. This program is part guided exploration and part station-based, hands-on workshop.

Adaptation and Variation: Colorado Animals and Plants (guided program)
How do different animals adapt to their environment? What are ways we classify plants and animals? Explore the structure and function, interaction and interdependence of life all around us in this hands-on, station-based guided program.

Animal Adaptation (hands-on workshop)
Explore skulls, tracks, and scat to learn about the characteristics, adaptations, and variation of Colorado animals. Students make their own animal track to take home.


Social Studies/Anthropology

Recommended for everyone:

Unearthed: Ancient Life in Boulder Valley (exhibit tour)
Learn about the discovery of the ancient stone tools found in Boulder - known as the Mahaffy Cache - and what science has revealed about them in this hands-on, interactive tour of the Unearthed exhibition.

Ancestral Pueblo of Colorado and the Four Corners Area (exhibit tour)
Learn about one of the founders of the Museum and his work to understand the Ancestral Pueblo of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners area in this hands-on, interactive tour of the Earl Morris: Pioneer Archaeologist exhibition. 

Recommended for very young students:

Native Americans (guided program)
Learn about the prehistoric Native Americans of Southwest Colorado through observing, matching, comparing, and sorting. This program includes time to explore the Museum’s Discovery Corner.

Recommended for elementary-aged students:

Early Native Peoples of Colorado (guided program)
Discover and explore the diverse and unique life ways, landscape, and objects of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples (Anasazi) of southwest Colorado and the Four Corners area in this hands-on, station-based guided program.

Prehistoric Pottery and Ancient Stone Tools (hands-on workshop)
Examine and classify prehistoric pottery and stone tool design and shapes. Learn the steps of ancient pottery making and flint knapping. Students create their own pot and projectile point to take home.