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Virtual Science Workshops for Students

During the 2020/2021 school year, the Montshire created new opportunities to engage teachers and students in hands-on science learning! Discover how the Montshire is working to support schools, teachers and students.

Animals Up Close - Virtual Encounter

Meet one of the Montshire’s live animals up close, learn about each animal’s unique features, ask questions and share stories in these live virtual programs facilitated by one of the Museum’s Science Educators. Programs are conducted using Zoom.

For more information or to reserve a workshop please contact us at

This program is:

  • for PreK-Grade 8
  • 30 minutes
  • $100
Leaf Cutter Ants Learn about the amazing world of social insects through a virtual visit with one of the Montshire’s favorite exhibits, the leaf cutter ant colony. Get an up close look at soldier ants and workers cutting leaves, and a chance to see into their fungus garden.
Frogs and Toads Get ready for some fun as we feed the frogs and toads right in front of your eyes. Meet the museum’s amphibians, learn how to tell them apart, and see who’s got the fastest tongue this side of the Connecticut River.
Hissing Cockroaches Meet the museum’s giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches as they crawl all over us and try to hide up our sleeves. You’ll have a chance to see their extra-long antennae, spiky legs, and hidden heads way up close.
Painted Turtles Come out of your shell and say hi to the Montshire resident reptiles – the turtles! We’ll look at our painted turtles up close, examine the bones of a giant snapping turtle, and explore the shells of other common turtles found in New England.
Crayfish Meet the most secretive resident of our large fish tanks. Get an up close look at our crayfish — both in the water and out — as we count claws, look for gills, and discover it’s interesting life cycle no matter whether you call it a mudbug, crawdad or crayfish!
Fossils Explore a blast from the past by observing the Montshire's fossil collection up-close! Students will be guided through observing fossils of plants, sea creatures, and dinosaurs as we look for clues related to the history of life.

Virtual Science Workshop

Engage your students in a hands-on virtual science workshop with an expert Montshire Science Educator! You will receive a comprehensive supply list and kit of materials for your students to use in hands-on exploration, as well as a scheduled virtual visit by a Montshire Science Educator to help facilitate an inquiry-based science learning experience for your students. Virtual Science Workshops support grade level engagement in the Next Generation Science Standards. Workshops are conducted using Zoom. A Zoom Link will be sent in advance of the program.

For more information or to reserve a workshop please contact us at

  • 45 minutes
  • Program Fee: $150
  • Shipping or Transportation Fee for Kit Lending May Apply

PreK-Grade 2

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Sink or Float

Experiment with different materials to discover what sinks and what floats. Students will use aluminum foil to construct and test their own boats. As a class, they will record and represent data from observations of their experiments. A reading of Pamela Allen’s book, “Who Sank the Boat?” is included, integrating science and children’s literature.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Magnets

Students will predict, test and experiment with magnetism and discover what is magnetic in this introduction to forces and motion. Multiple magnets will allow for exploration of attracting and repelling forces.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Mirrors, Reflection, and Symmetry

This workshop introduces principles of light and reflection as students create images with flat mirrors. Students will also engage in hands-on investigations of geometry, patterns and symmetry.

Grades 3-8

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Electricity

Students use batteries, motors, and bulbs to explore electricity and develop their understanding of complete circuits. Through this workshop they will create different electrical circuits to learn about elements such as insulators, conductors, voltage, series circuits, and open and closed circuits.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Scribble Bots

Students will create a machine that makes modern art while learning how to wire circuits, offset a motor, problem solve, experiment with balance, deal with material constraints, and troubleshoot components. This workshop is a multi-disciplinary experience that students will not soon forget.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Wind Vehicles

In this workshop students will design, build, and test a wind-powered vehicle. Students will utilize their engineering and problem solving skills to create a stable vehicle while optimizing their design for speed and distance. Extend the learning through the collection and use of timing data to test, iterate, and improve vehicle performance.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Density

In this workshop, students will determine how to change the density of liquids, and discover how to use this knowledge for some surprising effects. Students will see how density is a property of matter and learn about solutions and concentrations.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Tessellations

Tessellations are beautiful mosaics of repeating images that fit together like puzzle pieces. Ranging from simple shapes to complex and creative figures, tessellations provide an accessible entry point into complex geometry. Students will design their own tessellations and use them to create beautiful patterns.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Helicopters and Parachutes

Students will use paper helicopters to design their own experiment on how objects move through the air as they test different variables from surface area to shape, weight to drop height. They’ll take what they learn from their helicopter experiments to build and launch miniature parachutes from their desks.

These virtual programs and other opportunities are included for free as our STEM Alliance Program. To learn about this program and how a school might participate visit our STEM Alliance page.