As schools across the country transition to online learning in response to COVID-19, the Science Museum of Western Virginia is prepared to meet the academic needs of students with diverse, research-based virtual learning strategies. Our goal is to keep students engaged with project- and inquiry-based educational experiences that target specific standards of learning.

In-Person Outreach Program

Our educators reach more students than any other organization in Western Virginia through STEAM programs that encourage critical thinking, hypothesis testing and teamwork. By booking, one of our educators will travel to your classroom and deliver an interactive and engaging hands-on activity designed to demonstrate SOL concepts to your students. 

We require at least 2 weeks notice to make the necessary arrangements before your program. Please click the link below and tell us which program you would like to book.

If you have any questions, please contact us at scheduler@smwv.org or 540.342.5718.

Magnificent Magnets

Discover the fascinating world of magnets. Students will learn what “attracted to” and “not attracted to” means. In the different hands on stations, the children will apply their knowledge of magnets with
interesting magnetic toys and exploration of the strengths of different magnets.

Virginia Science Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: 2-Force, Motion, and Energy-Magnets

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

Pondering Plants

Students will be introduced to a puppet named Violet and how she discovers all of the things that make plants grow. Students will learn how we use plants in our daily lives. Through hands-on activities, students will ponder plants while investigating seeds, building houses and exploring fruits and vegetables.

Virginia Science Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: 4-Life Processes

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, sink with water.

 

Cool Chemistry

Explore the world of chemistry through the discovery of the three states of matter. Preschoolers will participate in “hands-on/minds-on” chemistry lessons. Children will apply their five senses to explore
and observe solids, liquids and gases. Students will create mixtures and watch how matter can change.

Virginia Science Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: 3—Matter

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 3 station tables, sink with water.

 

Critter Detectives

Become a critter detective and discover more about the little animals that share our world. Preschoolers
will learn amazing things about critters and their life cycles, habitats, and more. Students will investigate
with hands-on live material that will excite and engage their developing minds.

Virginia Science Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: 4—Life Processes

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, sink with water.

Just Wait Until I Grow Up! — Life Cycles of Plants and Animals

What do living organisms need to survive and grow? Do plants have the same needs as animals? Do all offspring resemble their parents? Learn about changes in plants and animals as they go through their life cycles.

Life Processes SOLs: K.6, K.9

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables

 

Our “Sense”-sational World

Colors, sounds, scents, and textures are all clues to the world around us. Learn how our senses compare with those of our animal friends. Can you “hear” with your belly, or “see” with your ears? Find out who does!

Scientific Investigation, Matter SOLs: K.1, K.2, K.4

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables


Water, Water Everywhere

It covers 3/4 of the Earth, is necessary for life, and can be found on Earth as a solid, liquid or gas. Investigate water flowing downhill. Test objects to discover why some things sink while others float. Have a wet time learning about water!

Matter SOLs: K.5

Presentation Requirements: Students must remain in one classroom for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, water source with sink, electrical outlet.


Strange Attraction: Magnets and their Uses

Magnets attract, repel and perform some really neat maneuvers. Do magnets work on all types of metals? Besides being fun to play with, what are magnets used for?

Forces, Motion, Energy, Resources SOLs: K.3

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables


Light and Shadows

How are shadows made, both inside and outdoors? Can anything make a shadow? How do shadows change over time? Can you make a shadow get bigger? Have fun answering these questions while experimenting with shadows.

Earth/Space Systems, Earth Patterns SOLs: K.7, K.9

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, room needs to be darkened, 4 station tables.

Let’s Get Moving: Pushes and Pulls

You can’t see forces, but you can see what they do: pushing and pulling on objects to make them move, change direction, speed up and slow down. Experiment with toys to learn about forces and different kinds of motion. Is there a force that can make things jump around, almost like magic?

Scientific Investigation; Force, Motion, and Energy SOLs: 1.1, 1.2

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, 4 station tables, water source, electrical outlet.

 

Mixing It Up

At first, the mystery substances seem alike, so you will use your senses to observe the differences. Perform experiments to find out what dissolves and what does not. Can you mix a solid and liquid to
create a gas?

Scientific Investigation, Matter SOLs: 1.1, 1.3

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, students seated at desks or tables in 4 groups, water source with sink, electrical outlet.

 

Who Am I? Where Do I Live?
Fur, feathers or scales; legs, fins or wings; run, jump, climb, swim or fly — Who am I? Water or land; nest or den; shell or not — Where do I live? Am I wild or tame? Explore how animals are alike and different in their habitats, body coverings, and how they move.

Life Processes SOLs: 1.5

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

Encompassing: Magnets and Compasses

Find out how magnets work and what it takes to make a magnet. Why do magnets attract some materials and not others? What do magnets and compasses have in common?

Force, Motion, and Energy SOLs: 2.2

Presentation Requirements: Display table, students seated at desks or tables in 4 groups.

 

Seasonal Changes in Plants and Animals

Investigate the many changes that plants and animals experience throughout the seasons. How are plant and animal life cycles related to seasonal changes? Why do we have seasons?

Life Processes, Earth Patterns SOLs: 2.4, 2.7

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

“Solid State” and Other Forms of Matter

Experiment with solids, liquids, and gases. Will two objects of the same shape and size necessarily weigh the same? Investigate differences between mass, weight, and volume. Observe matter as it
changes state.

Scientific Investigation, Matter SOLs: 2.1, 2.3

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, students seated at desks or tables in 4 groups, water source with sink, electrical outlet.

 

Storm Team: Weather Makers

Learn about what makes weather, why it changes, and how we can measure it. Explore the formation of different kinds of storms and their effects.

Scientific Investigation; Matter; Earth/Space Systems SOLs: 2.1, 2.3, 2.6

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, water source with sink, electrical outlet.

Let’s Get Energized!

Where does energy come from? The sun provides heat and light energy. Some sun energy is stored in plants that are eaten by animals. Why are coal, oil and natural gas called “fossil” fuels? Explore renewable energy sources: solar, wind, and water.

Resources SOLs: 3.11

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, electrical outlets.

 

Simple Machines

What do hinges, faucets, doorknobs and fishing poles have in common with bathtubs and brooms? All are examples of simple machines. Explore how machines help us to do work with less effort.

Forces, Motion, and Energy SOLs: 3.2

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

The Many Links of a Food Chain

Adaptations help an organism to survive in its environment. What clues can you find in an animal’s skull that would reveal its eating habits? Explore different habitats and their respective food chains.

Life Processes, Living Systems SOLs: 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

What Makes Soil?

Add worms and mushrooms, dead animals and plants, broken bits of rock; put it all together and what do you get? The result can be sand, silt, clay or humus. Observe some of these components under
magnification. Learn the difference between mechanical and chemical ways to create soil. Why should people conserve this natural resource?

Matter, Earth/Space Systems SOLs: 3.3, 3.7

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, water source.

It’s Electric!

How does electricity travel from its source to our homes and schools? Is it better to construct a building with series or parallel circuits? Experiment with wires, bulbs, batteries and switches to find out!

Force, Motion and Energy SOLs 4.3

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, students seated at desks or tables in 4 groups.

 

Plant Safari

Take a trip through the fascinating life of a plant! What energy process sets plants apart from animals? Many plants develop similar structures that perform the same functions, but with plants there is an exception to almost every rule! Investigate the vast biological diversity of the plant world.

Life Processes, Living Systems SOLs: 4.4

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

Virginia: From the Mountains to the Bay

Discover your watershed address as you follow Virginia’s streams and rivers from their mountain headwaters. Do all of them flow into the Chesapeake Bay? Explore the diversity of plants and animals found in different habitats including freshwater highlands and the salty shoreline. You’ll be amazed at the variety of products that come from Virginia’s natural resources as you learn their location.

Resources SOLs: 4.8

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

Weather or Not?

Anemometer, barometer, hygrometer, rain gauge and thermometer–we supply all you need to forecast the weather and help you do it! Learn how to use temperature, air pressure, and cloud type to make
your prediction.

Scientific Investigation, Earth/Space Systems SOLs: 4.1, 4.6

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, students seated at desks or tables in 4 groups, water source.

Down and Dirty: Rock Cycle

How do we use rocks and minerals in our daily lives? How does a rock fit into the constantly changing geologic cycle of the Earth? Is the rock igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? What kinds of minerals are in it? How hard is the rock? Perform geologic tests to find out for yourself.

Scientific Investigation, Earth Patterns SOLs: 5.1, 5.7

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, students seated at desks or tables.

 

Cell’ebration

The vast diversity of life originates from tiny differences at the cellular level. Take a close-up look at plant and animal cells. Explore the domains and kingdoms of living organisms. Compare the difference between vertebrate or invertebrate animals and vascular or nonvascular plants. Practice using a tree diagram.

Scientific Investigation, Living Systems SOLs: 5.1, 5.5

Presentation Requirements: Remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables.

 

Light and Sound!

How does light energy travel? Can it pass through different forms of matter? How does changing the direction and speed of light affect how objects appear to us? Where does color come from? Explore sound using a variety of objects and materials. Can you make sound waves do work? What factors affect the movement of a sound wave? What materials absorb sound? Does the shape of an object affect the sound it makes? Use what you learn to understand how musical instruments make sound.

Force, Motion, and Energy SOLs: 5.2, 5.3

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, 4 station tables, electrical outlet.

 

What Matters: It’s in the Bag!

Have you ever wondered why scientists wear lab coats, goggles and gloves? Find out why and get a fun introduction to chemistry. Learn the structure of atoms and molecules. Test your observation skills! How many reactions do you see taking place in the experiment? What made it all happen?

Scientific Investigation, Matter SOLs: 5.1, 5.4

Presentation Requirements: Must remain in one room for all presentations, display table, students seated at desks or tables in 4 groups, water source with sink.

Virtual Museum Tour

Virtual tours give students the chance to explore the museum and get a behind-the-scenes look at our exhibits. Choose from our 5 tour options and pick a topic you would like us to cover. 

The program will last approximately 60 minutes, with a 45 minute tour of the exhibit and a 15 minute activity. 

We require at least 2 weeks notice to make the necessary arrangements before your program. If you have any questions, please contact us at scheduler@smwv.org or 540.342.5718.

This virtual experience offers an in-depth look at our animal life here at the museum. Students get, not only a tour of our living collections exhibit, but would also get to virtually take art in live animal demos with 2-3 animals. This option also includes activities and discussions that go along with the Standards of Learning for each grade.

Topics that can be covered in this option:
  • Differences between living and nonliving organisms (K.6)
  • Basic needs and life processes of animals (K.7, 1.5)
  • Series of orderly changes that animals go through as they grow and develop (2.4)
  • The systems that living things are a part of and the interactions that occur (2.5, 3.5, 4.3)
  • Adaptations that allow organisms to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment (3.4)
  • The effects that human activities can have on the quality of air, water, and habitats (3.8)
  • Structures that distinguish plants and animals from one another and how those structures play vital roles in their ability to survive (4.2)
This virtual experience will offer an in-depth look at our touch tank and the marine life that call our touch tank home. Students would get to see and take part in a virtual tour of our touch tank that would allow a close-up look at many of our marine animals including our sea stars and horseshoe crabs. Following a tour of our touch tank, a museum educator will perform a hands-on demonstration that can cover various topics aligned with the Standards of Learning for each grade level.

Topics that can be covered in this option:
  • Differences between living and nonliving organisms (K.6)
  • Basic needs and life processes of animals (K.7, 1.5)
  • Series of orderly changes that animals go through as they grow and develop (2.4)
  • The systems that living things are a part of and the interactions that occur (2.5, 3.5, 4.3)
  • Adaptations that allow organisms to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment (3.4)
  • The effects that human activities can have on the quality of air, water, and habitats (3.8)
  • Structures that distinguish plants and animals from one another and how those structures play vital roles in their ability to survive (4.2)
  • The ocean environment and its characteristics (4.7)
This virtual experience will offer a tour of our Hidden Garden. Students will have the opportunity to explore the various types of plants in our garden and learn unique facts about various species that call our garden home. While offering a tour of the garden, educators will teach students about the processes and factors influencing plant growth and the fundamentals of gardening. After a tour of the Hidden Garden, students can be a part of a virtual, hands-on demonstration that can cover a variety of topics aligned to the Standards of Learning for each grade level.

Topics that can be covered in this option: 
  • Differences between living and nonliving organisms (K.6)
  • Basic needs and life processes of plants (K.7, 1.4)
  • Series of orderly changes that plants go through as they grow and develop (2.4)
  • The systems that living things are a part of and the interactions that occur (2.5, 3.5, 4.3)
  • Adaptations that allow organisms to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment (3.4)
  • Soil and why is important in ecosystems (3.6)
  • Soil is a natural resource that should be conserved (3.8)
  • Structures that distinguish plants and animals from one another and how those structures play vital roles in their ability to survive (4.2)
  • Virginia’s important natural resources (4.8)
This virtual experience will offer a tour of the weather and topographic exhibits within the Healthy Earth area of our museum. This area will include a tour of our topographic sandbox, inside tornado display, and our turbulent orbit. After a tour of the exhibits, students can be a part of a virtual, hands-on demonstration that can cover a variety of topics aligned to the Standards of Learning for each grade level. 

Topics that can be covered in this option:
  • Patterns that occur in nature (K.9)
  • Changes that occur overtime (K.10)
  • The relationship between the Earth, moon, and sun (1.6, 4.6)
  • Weather measurements and seasonal changes (1.7, 2.6, 4.4)
  • The effect of weather patterns and seasonal changes on plants, animals, and their surroundings (2.7, 4.4)
  • The water cycle and why it is important to life on Earth (3.7)
  • The characteristics of planets and their place in the solar system (4.5)
  • The constant changes that Earth experiences (5.8)
This virtual experience will allow students to learn more about the most fascinating piece of machinery in the world today, the human body. This exhibit allows for an in-depth look at various parts of the human body including our amazing arteries, the human mouth, and the various organs that help the human body run smoothly. Along with a close-up look at our exhibits, students will also have the opportunity to be a part of a virtual, hands-on demonstration that can cover a variety of topics aligned to the Standards of Learning for each grade level.

Topics that can be covered in this option: 
  • The five senses and the human body structures that correspond to those senses (K.5)

LAB Chats

SMWV LAB Chats are two-way conversations between scientists and learner groups. Each “chat” lasts approximately 45 minutes and will be hosted by an SMWV Educator. The host will introduce a regional scientist who will discuss their area of interest with students. LAB Chats seeks to cultivate talent, and promote the full inclusion of excellence across the social spectrum, helping students to understand that:

  • Scientists are regular people.
  • Scientists live nearby.
  • Scientists are diverse.

SMWV LAB Chats are intended to be conversations, not lectures. It’s essential that students prepare questions they’d like to have answered by a scientist ahead of time. Scientists should provide information about themselves and what they work on (for example, providing students with links to researcher’s web-page prior to the scheduled “chats” ) so students can prepare. Both students & scientists have the opportunity to learn from one another via conversations that reveal novel perspectives.

We require at least 2 weeks notice to make the necessary arrangements before your program. If you have any questions, please contact us at scheduler@smwv.org or 540.342.5718.

Pricing Structure

Contracting school will have the price of the Outreach Program deducted from your school’s account. Non-contracting schools will have an invoice sent to the school. If you have any questions, please contact us at scheduler@smwv.org or 540.342.5718.

OUTREACH PRICING

1st Presentation

2nd Presentation

Additional Presentations

CONTRACTING SCHOOLS

$125.00

$100.00

$100.00

NON-CONTRACTING SCHOOLS

$150.00

$125.00

$100.00