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Visit with Students

We are implementing a new reservation system and are currently not accepting any group visit reservation requests. We hope to begin taking requests in the new system later this fall. Please check back for updates.

The Montshire offers different opportunities to engage teachers and students in hands-on science learning! School visits to the Museum provide exceptional opportunities to engage students in science beyond the classroom. Add the Montshire to your lesson plan today and discover how the Montshire is working to support schools, teachers and students.

The Museum offers several popular options that allow you to customize your field trip experience to best meet your educational goals.

A School Group Visit lets you and your students explore the Museum’s many exhibits, inside and out. Students in small groups can view exhibits at their own pace and interest levels, while Museum Explainers are on hand to enrich the experience with special demonstrations.

Science Workshop

NOTE: Currently, Science Workshops are only available for groups of 24 or fewer students. Please contact Anne Charron at 802-649-2200 x201 to learn about available dates.

Combine a visit with a hands-on work­shop, developed to fit your curricular needs. Taught by the Museum’s edu­cation staff, these workshops incorpo­rate inquiry-based teaching practices to help students gain insight into the scientific process. Science workshops are only available during the school year. Programs for preschoolers are 30 minutes, all others are 45-50 minutes unless noted.

Science Workshop Topics

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Physical Science

  • Who Sank the Boat? Students will experiment with different materials to find out what sinks and what floats. Children will then 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, which integrates science and children’s literature. PreK-Grade 2
  • 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. PreK-Grade 2
  • Exploring Air - Parachutes and More: Students will build and experiment with small parachutes and other paper crafts in order to discover the properties of air. Grades K-2
  • 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 the geometry and patterns of symmetry. Grades K-3
  • Balancing Act: This hands-on physical science workshop lets students investigate balance, center of gravity, and mechanical advantage. Students will use their knowledge of mechanical advantage and center of gravity to create a whimsical balance toy to bring home. Grades 3-6
  • Batteries, Motors & Bulbs: Students use batteries, motors, and bulbs to explore electricity to develop their understanding of complete circuits. They will create different electrical circuits to learn about insulators and conductors, voltage, series circuits, and open and closed circuits. Students that are well versed in basic electricity concepts will also explore parallel circuits and amperage. Grades 3-6

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Life and Earth Science

  • Seedy Science: Use the museum’s seed collection to explore plant adaptations and diversity! Students will sort and classify seeds, practice identification, and examine seeds and sprouts with hand lenses and microscopes. Grades K-3
  • Insects: In this workshop, students will use microscopes, the Montshire’s insect collection, and live animals to look closely at the creatures that really rule the world! We’ll focus on the incredible diversity and fascinating structures of insects and other arthropods. Grades K-4
  • Investigating Fossils: Tracks of the Past: Students get to handle real fossils from the Museum’s collection while learning about plants and animals from long ago. Using plaster of Paris, students will make a “fossil” to take home. Grades K-4
  • Animal Tracks & Signs: Students will learn about the behavior of local animals through the signs they leave behind. This program will introduce your students to the tracks of New England’s familiar mammals. An indoor inquiry includes an up-close encounter with mounted specimens from the Museum’s collection. Grades 1-3
  • Cells! Cells are the basic building blocks of life. In this workshop students will use compound microscopes to observe the differences and similarities between animal and plant cells. They will practice staining techniques to more easily observe specific structures in cells including the cell nucleus and cell wall. Grades 5-8
  • Evolution and Fossils: A History of Life on Earth: Students will examine the museum’s fossil collection as they learn how paleontologists use fossils to track evolutionary change over the Earth’s 4.5 billion year geologic timeline. Grades 5-8

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Engineering

  • Rollways: Using tubes and tunnels, students will explore force and motion to create a large rollway. During the workshop, they will have many opportunities to problem-solve, build and work with others to create interesting and exciting routes for their marble. Grades K-3
  • Wind Vehicles: In this workshop students will work in teams to 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. Students in grades 5-8 will collect and use timing data as they test, iterate, and improve their vehicles. Grades 3-4, and 5-8.
  • 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. It’s a multi-disciplinary experience that students will not soon forget. Grades 4-8.

Planning a Visit

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Minimum of 10 people to receive group rate.
  • Currently there are no indoor eating options. Lunches and snacks must be eaten outside so please plan accordingly for the weather conditions.
  • School Day Group rates are not available during school break periods.
  • All reservation requests, including online, will be confirmed based on availability.
  • The Museum reserves the right to cancel or reschedule group reservations and programs due to outstanding circumstances.
  • For more information please call 802-649-2200 (Monday–Friday, 8:30am–5pm) or email
  • The Montshire cannot offer free admission to members visiting with groups. Groups enjoy a deep discount on admission, along with pre-registration, orientation, and other supports.

Already have a reservation? Download these helpful planning documents.