State Reimbursement for Transportation: All Nevada public schools are eligible for bus reimbursement to visit a state museum! For more information on the reimbursement program, click HERE.


Did you know? In addition to tours of the permanent and changing exhibits, the museum offers a large number of interactive science and art programs that meet curriculum standards. These hands-on programs are limited to 30 students and require 5-6 adult chaperones. Allow at least one hour (ideally 1 ½ hours) to complete each program.

For questions about any of these programs or to book your reservation, contact the Education Office: nsmeducation@nevadaculture.org or 775-687-0653.



Grades 2-5 discover the parts of a flower and the secrets of pollination, dissect a flower in the lab, learn to recognize common Nevada wildflowers, decorate a plant press, and create a framed “flower garden” to take home. Younger kids can color images of popular spring wildflowers. This program is best suited for late spring through summer.


Grades 3-6 explore the ways plants and animals adapt to living in the desert. Students conduct experiments in the lab such as measuring temperature differences in and out of the shade; examine the small, waxy, or spiny leaves of desert plants; and learn about the chuckwalla, a lizard that changes color in response to temperature. This program includes creating a keepsake book of desert animals in a variety of ecozones and/or designing an art project with stamps of desert animals.


Grades K-3 explore ichthyosaurs from the Mesozoic, trilobites, brachiopods, nautiloids, and more from the Devonian or Age of Fishes, and discover a Columbian Mammoth from the last Ice Age or Pleistocene. Students enjoy comparing mammoth and elephant teeth, posing with a replica mammoth bone, learning how fossils are formed, making rubbings of Devonian fossils, and discovering how long our state fossil, Shonisaurus really is.


Grades K-3 also love making a “butterfly in a chrysalis” craft to take home, learning about the life cycle of a butterfly, exploring differences between butterflies and moths, and looking at butterfly wings under a microscope in the lab. Students also learn the parts of an insect and why a spider is not an insect. This is a popular spring program.


Grades K-3 enjoy learning how bird beaks and feet are adapted to what they eat and where they live. Using the scientific method, children conduct experiments that test common kitchen tools to obtain food such as fish, water plants, seeds, and nectar; they then choose which bird has a beak similar to the tool that worked best. Participants observe how bird feet differ according to how they are used: to run, hop, climb, carry, perch, kill prey, cradle eggs, swim, steer underwater, and absorb the impact of landing on water.


Grades 3-6 fall in love with our state flower, learning its scientific name, how it was used by both early settlers and American Indians, and conduct experiments in the lab to observe its unique qualities. This program involves all the senses through storytelling, microscope work, and a diorama art project that teaches about all the sagebrush obligates including mule deer, jackrabbit, sage grouse, pronghorn, cottontail and pigmy rabbits.


Grades 2-5 really love this program and younger kids can do it too! Unravel myths about bats and learn why they to be protected. Learn to recognize common Nevada bats that eat insects and use echolocation; distinguish them from Old World bats that are larger, eat different foods, and don’t necessarily use echolocation to find their way. Make a batty craft, write a poem, and explore bat science in the Discovery Lab. Lots of fun near Halloween!


Grades 3-6 enjoy learning why reptiles are cold-blooded, examining snake and lizard skins in the lab, discovering our state reptile, the Desert Tortoise, and sculpting and painting a lizard or snake to take home. Students study models of venomous and non-venomous snakes, the Gila Monster, chuckwalla, and many other varieties of reptiles from Nevada.


grades 3-6 explore bugs, birds, and animal predators that feed in the wetlands. Students learn the value of wetlands, such as their role as filters to improve water quality, and why they need to be protected. In this interdisciplinary program, participants discover how American Indians used wetlands, carefully hold a tule duck and tule boat model made by Paiute artist Mike Williams, and fashion a mini cattail duck to take home.


Grades K-4 learn fun facts about the black bear, mountain lion, mule deer, jackrabbit, and bald eagle. Students examine animal skulls and teeth up close in the lab, study animal pelts, plus scat and tracks. Participants discover what animals eat, what signs animals leave so we can recognize their presence in the wild, and how they survive in various habitats. Students make a bookmark or card with animals track designs to take home and enjoy hearing Coyote Tales.


Grades 2-5 learn all about fungi and the role they serve as decomposers, by watching a highly visual and animated powerpoint presentation. In small groups, students examine a variety of specimens in the lab (some of which are quite beautiful), while learning about the benefits and potential dangers of fungi. Participants also model and paint a mushroom take home, using Crayola model magic.


Grades 2-5 discover conifers, evergreens that produce cones and whose “leaves” are needles. They learn the difference between a pine, a fir, and a spruce using an easy to memorize mantra: Pines come in Packages; Fir and Flat and Friendly; Spruce are Square and Spiny. Participants learn that the Bristlecone and Pinyon Pine are both state trees of Nevada. They study how American Indians processed and used pine nuts for food and what kinds of animals enjoy the nuts too. This program is especially popular in December since the pine needle angel and pinecone holiday tree craft serve as decorations worth keeping.

In this time of drought, Water in Nevada is an especially important program for grades 2-6; it explores the water cycle, properties of water, water use, and local watersheds. Like our other nature programs, it includes both a lab and craft component. Other nature/science programs include a Rock and Mineral Lab (grades 4-6), Mapping (grades 2-3), Topographical Maps (grades 4-6), and Laudable Leaves (grades 2-5); the latter has a creative writing component as well as an art project which is popular in the fall season. We also offer a Rock Art program (grades K-4) and Project Archaeology (grades 4-8), which fit nicely with studies of American Indian cultures in Nevada.

For questions about any of these programs contact the Education Office: nsmeducation@nevadaculture.org or 775-687-0653.