Information for Teachers
- Education Guide
- Bring Your Students to Us
- Bring ISSHM to Your Location (SHOW)
Grants for Education
- ▸ MERCK Grant--6th Grade Science
- ▸ PNC Preschool Science Grant
Special Areas of Interest
- ▸ STEM @ ISSHM
- Homeschool Days
- Preschool Science Says
- Public Programs
- Summer Camps
Curious what we have to offer here at the museum? Did you know we have assembly programs, classroom programs, as well as workshops?
Is it too difficult for you to come to us? No problem! We have Science & History on Wheels (SHOW) and can bring the "SHOW" to you! We will bring all materials needed to conduct exciting workshops, assembly programs, or discovery classes at your facility!
Check out our education guide and pick the option that suits your needs! The program descriptions are below and you can download our Education Guide for more detailed information, like pricing.
Download our Education Guide:
Download our Middle School brochures for both science and history, complete with NC Essential Standards:
Our Assembly Programs are educational presentations designed to accommodate audiences up to 100. Presentations are action-packed and utilize volunteers from the audience. The program length is 45 minutes.
Programs for Preschool Ages
Biology & Life Sciences (School age)
History (School Age)
Physical Sciences (School Age)
Physics (School Age)
Discovery Classes are designed to provide a personal, hands-on approach to learning. The maximum size per class is 30 students. Due to limited space in the Discovery Classroom, additional adults may be asked to wait outside. The class length is 45 minutes.
Biology & Life Sciences (School Age)
Earth Science (School Age)
History (School Age)
Physical Science (School Age)
Star Lab (School Age)
Science on a Sphere (School Age)
We are excited to now offer science and history workshops. Workshops are designed to enhance the learning experience by enabling participants to create a detailed project within a longer program time period.
Biology & Life Sciences (School Age)
STEM: Engineering Workshops
Pre-K programs are designed for 3 - 5 years of age and the program length is 30-45 minutes.
Native Americans of the Coastal Plain – Students will learn about Native American life in eastern North Carolina. Topics discussed include diet, hunting, homes, and the social structure of Native American society. We will specifically study the Tuscarora tribe and how their lives were effected by the arrival of European settlers. Students will have the opportunity to handle Native American artifacts from the coastal plain region.
A Pirate's Life for Me - Explore the golden age of piracy as we take a look at life on a ship, weaponry, and learn about navigation techniques of the day using sextants, compasses, and maps. Students will learn about historic pirates of North Carolina.
Fur, Tails, and Scales – Why do some animals have fur and some have scales? Why do some hop and others crawl? You will learn this and more while interacting with our live animals. It will bring out the animal lover in you.
Animal Encounters - Meet our live animals as we talk about adaptations, different classifications, food, habitats, and more! Beware, it's a hands-on experience!Back to Assemblies
Preschool Discovery Programs
Discovery Classes are designed to provide a personal, hands-on approach to learning. Pre-K programs are designed for 3 - 5 years of age. The maximum size per class is 30 students. Due to limited space in the Discovery Classroom, additional adults may be asked to wait outside. The program length is 30-45 minutes.
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs – Uncover the world of insects. Learn what separates insects from other animals as we look at how they eat, crawl, fly, and more! We will turn one special child into their favorite bug, so watch out!
Bubble Science – Why do bubbles float and pop? Make your own bubble blower and test your bubbles in stations to discover what makes a bubble pop…or not! Only offered at your location through Science & History on Wheels.
Digging in the Dirt: Archaeology and Paleontology – Learn about the past by exploring what is just below the surface. Students will learn the difference between archaeology and paleontology, the importance of context, and will get to examine different types of artifacts and fossils. The program will conclude with a mock dig.
Colors of the Rainbow – What colors do you see around you? Uncover the wonderful world of light and rainbows as we explore primary colors. You will mix and shake your own colors.
Diary of a Worm – Get ready to squirm and crawl into the lives of worms as we use story time to teach about these small creatures and why we need them!
Magnificent Magnets – Stick together with magnets! We will push and pull our way to discover what is attracted or repelled by testing our magnets against different kinds of materials.
Fun with Polymers – Science and chemistry come alive as we mix and learn how reactions occur. Create an icky, gooey polymer to take home with you!
Back to Discovery Classes
Assembly Programs for School Ages
Assembly Programs are educational presentations that are designed to accommodate audiences up to 100. Presentations are action-packed and utilize volunteers from the audience. The program length is 45 minutes.
Animal Encounters – Meet our live animals as we talk about adaptations, different classifications, food, habitats, and more! Beware, it is a hands-on experience. (Pre-K and up)
Skulls, Skins, and Scat - This is a close up study of wildlife identification. Learn how to identify the skulls, skins, and scat of various NC species of wildlife. This is great Envirothon trianing! (6th to 8th grade)
Insect World – What makes an insect an insect? We will turn a special guest into your favorite six-legged friend to uncover how insects see, fly, eat, and move! (K through 2nd grade)
Reptile Discovery – Discover the world of turtles, lizards, snakes, and more. Find out how they are different from other animals as we discuss their lives through their eyes. (K through 6th grade)
Fossil Forensics - In this class students will learn how paleontologist learn from fossils. Students will be taught how to properly identify various fossils and what these fossils can tell us. Topics include; size, diet, injuries, and more.
Back to Assemblies
Native Americans of the Coastal Plain – Students will learn about Native American life in eastern North Carolina. Topics discussed include diet, hunting, homes, and the tribal social structure. We will specifically study the Tuscarora tribe and how their lives were effected by the arrival of European settlers. Students will have the opportunity to handle Native American artifacts from the coastal plain region. (Pre-K and up)
A Pirate's Life for Me – Come explore the Golden Age of Piracy as we take a look at life on a ship, weaponry, and use a sextant to navigate the seas from the Carolinas to the Caribbean. Students will learn about historic pirates of North Carolina. (Pre-K and up)
North Carolina Landscape - Compared to other states, North Carolina has a very diverse landscape and culture thanks to three regions that make up our state. Students will learn about the geography and geology of our state and how they play an important role in our culture, economy, and history. (4th grade and up)
North Carolina Agriculture - Historically, agriculture has been one of the driving forces in North Carolina's economy and culture. Students will learn about the various crops that are grown in the eastern part of the state and the impact that agriculture has had on the region economically, socially, and environmentally. (4th grade and up)
North Carolina Folkways - Life in rural North Carolina can be a little bit different than in the big city. IN this program, we will take a look at the cultural significance of rural North Carolina. Topics include folk remedies, art, music, and storytelling. (4th grade and up)
Life in Colonial North Carolina - Explore what life was like for the first North Carolinians. The program will focus on colonial society, clothing, jobs, diet, government, religion, and relationships with Native Americans. (4th grade and up)
Life in the Blue and The Gray – Learn what life was like for soldiers on both sides during the Civil War. Students will get a close up view of uniforms and supplies, while learning about living conditions, food, and how soldiers dealt with the stress of war. (4th grade and up)
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Deep Freeze – This is by far the “coolest” program we offer! At -321F, fascinating things begin to happen. Objects bend and shatter when they should not. Volunteers will be called upon to see how different objects react! (3rd through 8th grade)
Pop, Fizz, BOOM! – Come explore how matter changes its form through endothermic and exothermic reactions. We will use volunteers to help make things pop, fizz, and....BOOM!!! (2nd through 8th grade)
Pop, Fizz, TOO! - More chemicals and concoctions! Discussion includes states of matter, density, melting and boiling points, as well as solubility. This is the advanced version of our popular Pop, Fizz, BOOM! program. (3rd through 8th grade)
Watt’s Current – An electrifying demonstration awaits you! Observe the power of electricity and learn the history of its use as we explore concepts of static electricity, currents, and magnetism. (4th through 7th grade)
Weather-Or-Not – Warning, this is a “hair-raising” experience as we uncover how weather works. We will travel through the water cycle, investigate clouds, wind, condensation, rainbows, and more! (2nd through 7th grade)
Catch the Wave – Vibrate your mind and light up your senses! We will explore sound and light waves through interactive demonstrations of vibrations, pitch, volume, prisms, reflections, and refractions. (2nd through 6th grade)
Phenomenal Physics – What makes an object move? It is all a matter of physics! We will use Newton’s Laws of Physics to explore forces, motion, and gravity. This will be a very “lifting” program for students. (1st through 7th grade)
Discovery classes are designed to provide a personal, hands-on approach to learning. The maximum size per class is 30 students. Due to limited space in the Discovery Classroom, additional adults may be asked to wait outside. Some programs will include a take-home project. The program length is 45 minutes.
Forensics: Blood typing - Whodunit? – Using deductive reasoning and keen observation skills, students assume the role of crime scene investigators to solve a crime using blood typing (using synthetic blood samples) and track impressions. Additional costs for supplies: add $1 per student.
Hydroponics – From seeds to weeds, plants are one of the most important living things on Earth! Students will investigate how to grow plants faster, with less disease, and without soil. You will create your own hydroponic system and receive a follow-up lesson to go home with you. (1st through 3rd grade)
Advanced Hydroponics & Hydrology - Includes watersheds, environmental impacts, as well as anthropogenic effects on local systems and the environment. (6th through 8th grade)
Whooo’s Food – What did you eat yesterday? Did you catch it? Did you hide to prevent being eaten yourself? In the game of predator and prey, someone has to lose. Investigate the chain reaction of feeding and dissect an owl pellet to see whooo’s been eaten! (1st through 8th grade)
Squid Dissection — Students investigate the external and internal anatomy of squid in this introductory dissection. A minimum of 10 students is required and this program is only offered at the Imagination Station. (4th grade and up)
Shark Dissection — Take a close-up look at a dogfish shark as we investigate the external and internal shark anatomy. Students will work in groups of four to dissect a shark specimen. This program is only offered at the Imagination Station. (4th grade and up)
Snake Dissection - Students investigate the external and internal anatomy of a nonvenomous snake. Organs covered: esophagus, trachea, heart, lung, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, gonads, small and large intestine, kidneys and cloaca. A minimum of 10 students is required and this program is only offered at the Imagination Station. Additional cost of $6 per student. This Discovery class pairs wonderfully with our Reptile Assembly program for a well-rounded workshop. (4th grade and up)Back to Discovery Classes
Earth Rocks – Did you know rocks and minerals have many uses in our daily lives? We will identify the rock cycle as we classify rocks and minerals based on their physical properties. (1st through 8th grade)
Scoop on Soil – Time to get dirty! You will “smush and push” to investigate the physical properties of soil and what kind of soil is found around you every day. Make and take a soil sample back to the classroom! (1st through 8th grade)Back to Discovery Classes
Digging in the Dirt: Archaeology & Paleontology – Learn about the past by exploring what is just below the surface. Students will learn the difference between archaeology and paleontology, the importance of context, and will get to hold different types of artifacts and fossils. The program will conclude with a mock dig. (Pre-K and up)
Looking at History – Using Wilson, N.C. as an example, students will look at historic maps and photographs to see how towns, houses, stores, and transportation have changed since the mid-1900s. A walking tour with a visual scavenger hunt will start at the museum and highlight changes to the town and buildings over time. (4th grade and up) *Only offered at the museum.
Know Your Rights – Using actual desegregation case studies from eastern North Carolina, students will use our courtroom to have a mock civil rights trial. Students will be asked to act as judge, school district administrators, parents, and students in a trial concerning school integration. (7th grade and up)
Spinning and Weaving - Where do our clothes come from? Learn the basics of textile history and production in this hands-on class. Students will learn to weave on the museum’s 100 year old loom and on a modern floor loom, and to spin wool with a hand spindle and a spinning wheel. There is a maximum enrollment of 12 students. (4th grade and up)Back to Discovery Classes
Fun with Polymers – Hop on the chemistry “chain” and explore polymers. Hands-on experiments will show how polymers are a very important part of our everyday world. (2nd through 6th grade)
Big Chill – Explore the world of cryogenics during this chilling presentation. Students will watch the nitrogen boil and we will end the program with a sample of a sweet treat! (2nd through 8th grade)
Circuit Time – How does a light bulb work? What does a battery look like inside? Discover the answers as we design and build circuits using components such as wires, batteries, bulbs, and magnets. (4th through 8th grade)
Magnets and Magnetism – We will attract and repel our way through this class as we take a look at electrical charges, electrical discharge, and poles. (1st through 4th grade)
Simple Machines – You use simple machines every day and do not even realize it! Through hands-on demonstration, you will learn how simple machines “lift, crank, and pull” to make our lives easier. (1st through 7th grade)
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The sky is NOT the limit! Discover what is above us in our Planetarium! Maximum size per class is 24 students. Star Lab requires a 25x25 foot space, a ceiling clearance of 14 feet, and electricity.
Solar Safari – We will take a safari through our universe as we learn about planets, constellations, galaxies, solar systems, and more! This program includes a little bit of everything. (1st through 6th grade)
Greek Mythologies & Constellations – Have you ever connected the stars in the night sky? Learn about different cultures from across the world as we take a look at the constellations and the stories behind them. (3rd through 6th grade)
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Science On a Sphere® (SOS) is a six foot diameter sphere that illustrates earth system science using data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). SOS can display global storms, track tsunami waves, real-time weather and it can also be made to display planets, moons, and even the sun. The Imagination Station offers four earth system science demonstrations.
Plate Tectonics - Using our Science on a Sphere, students learn about plate tectonics by viewing real-time earthquakes and watching NOAA and NASA programs about historical earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes. We have compiled several plate tectonic data sets, and are willing to modify for special requests, given three days notice. Worksheets are provided for students participation. NOAA data sets include: Paleo Geographic, Earthquakes Real Time, Earthquakes and Eruptions - 1960 - 2010 (with audio), Age of the Seafloor, Age of the Seafloor contour lines, Volcanic Ash Eruption: Iceland, Volcano Eruptions: Causing Tsunamis - through 2010, Japan Earthquake - March 2011, Fukishima Aerosol Dispersion - March 2011, Deep Sea Vents (with audio), Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004 (with audio).
Earth, Moon, and Sun Systems - With SOS, the earth, lunar, and solar systems are made clear and visible. Topics covered include the tides, seasons, phases of the moon, sunspots, solar flares, prominence, and layers of the sun. The program includes hands-on activities for student participation. NOAA data sets include: Satellites: Paths & Positions (with audio), Helium Sun Earth, Moon, Earth at Night, Air Traffic Control with Aurora, The Wanderers (audio program about our solar system), Exoplanets (outside of our solar system), Constellations, Milky Way.
Weather - NOAA’s Science on a Sphere is an amazing tool for learning about, discussing, and discerning weather and weather patterns on our globe. Watch real-time satellite weather on the sphere; follow air currents and observe fronts and storms brewing. NOAA and NASA data sets include: Clouds (real time), Cooking Up a Storm (with audio), Day/Night Terminator (with clouds), Extreme Weather, Drought Risk (real time), El Nino and La Nina seasonal impacts, Land Surface Temperature (real time), Lightning Detection - June 2011 - August 2012, Lightning Flash Rate, Precipitable Water (real time), Ocean Surface Winds, Wave Heights - Hurricane Katrina 2005, Wave Heights - Hurricane Sandy 2012.
Air Pollution, Chemistry & Weather - Learn about weather, chemistry, and air pollution on our globe! Watch real-time satellite weather on the sphere as we observe carbon, black carbon,
carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfates, and nitrogen dioxides; follow air currents and
observe fronts and storms brewing. NOAA and NASA data sets include: Clouds (realtime), ClimateBits: Air Quality, ClimateBits: Fast Carbon, Slow Carbon, ClimateBits: Ozone Layer, Fossil Fuel: CO2 Release 2011-2012, Fukishima Radioactive Aerosol Dispersion Model, Carbon Flux, Black Carbon Carbon Dioxide: One Year: 2012.
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SOAR With Physics – Rocket out of this world! We will start with our Phenomenal Physics program to explain all about Newton’s Law of Motion and then move outside for our very own rocket launch! The rocket launch will require space in a field and is weather dependent. This workshop requires 100 participants, is 1 1/2 hours in duration, and is designed for students 1st through 7th grade.
Trebuchets and Physics - It’s War – The trebuchet was the ultimate artillery weapon of the Medieval period and early Renaissance. It is a large, unwieldy machine used by armies with a foundation in physics able to lob great weights over castle walls and onto its inhabitants. Students will work in pairs to build their own trebuchet and use physics to create the ultimate war machine. This program requires a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 30 participants, lasts two hours in duration, and is designed for students 6th grade and up.
Water Rockets - We will learn basic aeronautics as students design their own water rockets. The playground will become a launch pad as we let our rockets fly! Topics include forces and motion, gravity, friction, mass, Newton’s Laws of Mechanics, and potential and kinetic energy. This program will be scaffolded to the grade level of students in attendance.
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Forensics: Murder Mystery! – Using deductive reasoning and keen observational skills, students attempt to solve a murder using traditional forensic methods: fingerprinting, hair analysis (use of microscope), tire track impression analysis, blood typing (using synthetic blood), and forensic entomology. Students work in teams to complete an investigative report. Vocabulary covered includes magnetic fingerprinting, impressions, blood typing, hair analysis, entomology, insect life cycle, decomposers, comparative anatomy.Back to Workshops
Becoming a Paleontologist - In this workshop, we will take a deeper look into what paleontologists do. We will discuss the science of paleontology, how fossils are made, and we will examine species of prehistoric life. Students will participate in an activity that teaches how to properly identify fossils, determining the size of a Megalodon shark, and will make a cast fossil of their own.
Digging into Our Past - Take an in depth look into the science of archaeology to discover the human past. Students learn about survey methods, proper documentation, how to identify artifacts, how to date sites, mapping, and the important of context.
Introduction to Genealogy - Where did we come from? Many people ask this question and wonder where their ancestors come from. In this class, we will discuss the many ways to discover family trees. We will cover topics to help searchers get started like Internet sources, courthouse records, archival research, and how to ensure the information is correct.
Advanced Research Skills - Designed for high school students, this workshop will allow participants to get a head start on college level research. Students will learn about various information resources, the differences between primary and secondary sources, and proper citation.
Spinning and Loom Weaving – Everyone will learn to weave on our 100 year old barn loom to make a rag rug while our staff demonstrates how a spinning wheel works. Students will begin their own project on their backstrap loom to go home with them. This program requires 30 participants, is two hours in duration, and is designed for students ages 10 and up. The cost is $300.00. Only offered at the museum.
$13 per student Field Trip (includes admission to museum)
$310 Science and History on Wheels (Minimum of 10 students; Max of 30)
Aerospace Engineering - Blast Off: Engine Rockets! Students in 6th - 8th grade will learn about airspeed, nosecones, fins, and Newton's Law of Motion. Students in 9th - 12th grade will learn about all of the above in addition to aircraft trajectory, lift, and velocity. (6th - 12th grades)
Biomedical Engineering - Learn about the fascinating field of biomedical engineering as your team builds models of hearts and/or arms. Students will learn the difference between hydraulic and pneumatic systems. (6th - 12th grades)
Civil Engineering - Students will learn about building codes, structural support, and architectural design. Using this knowledge, they will work together in teams to build support systems. The design level will depend on the grade level of the students. (4th - 12th grades)
Environmental Engineering - Follow the path of a raindrop, learn about watersheds, runoff, and pollution through our Earth system model. Students will apply what they learn to develop a layout for their own town and observe the effects of pollution after a "rain". (6th - 12th grades)
Wind Turbines and Green Energy - Students will learn the meaning and importance of clean
and green energy. They will learn how wind energy is harnessed, as well as its advantages and
disadvantages. Working in groups of three or four, students will design and build their own wind turbines. There will be a final competition measuring wind energy outputs using volt meters.
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