Public Hours

  • Saturdays 1-5 p.m.
  • School/Tour groups
    by appointment only

 

Admission Prices

Adults: $6

Children (4-18): $3.50

Seniors (55+): $3.50

Children 3 & under are admitted free

All major credit cards accepted

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Field Trip Activities by Grade Level 

Pre K
(Recommended time 30 minutes per activity)

  • Animals, Animals, Everywhere!  - Young children will enjoy learning about the animals in the museum as they role play and learn interesting animal facts.  (30 minutes/floor)
  • Plant a seed, watch it grow!  - Children will learn how plants grow from seeds through reading books, examining seeds and planting a seed to take home. 
  • Feathered Friends – By looking at eggs, feathers and nests, children will learn about these intriguing and unique creatures.  The focus is on common birds that are familiar to many children. 

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
(Recommended time 40 minutes per activity)

  • Plant a seed, watch it grow!  - Children will learn how plants grow from seeds through reading books, examining seeds and planting a seed to take home. 
  • Feathered Friends – By looking at eggs, feathers and nests, children will learn about these intriguing and unique creatures.  The focus is on common birds that are familiar to many children. 
  • WHOOOO lives here? – Become familiar with the owls that are native to Pennsylvania and learn about these nocturnal hunters.  Children will learn the characteristics of each owl species as well as their call. 
  • Skulls and Furs – Learn about common Pennsylvanian animals from their skulls and furs.  Discover if an animal is a carnivore, omnivore or herbivore by looking at the skull of the animal.  Furs show how an animal is protected from the climate and if it is camouflaged. 
  • Prey/Predator – Children play a game to learn about what an animal needs to survive and how predators and prey interact with each other. 
  • Hike – Take a walk through the woods and see what animals and plants live in the forest.  Touch the smooth bark of a beech tree, listen for the call of the Red-tailed Hawk, and look for signs of animal life.  

Grades 3 – 5 
(Recommended time 40 - 50 minutes per activity)

  • WHOOOO lives here? – Become familiar with the owls that are native to Pennsylvania and learn about these nocturnal hunters.  Children will learn the characteristics of each owl species as well as their call. 
  • Skulls and Furs – Learn about common Pennsylvanian animals from their skulls and furs.  Discover if an animal is a carnivore, omnivore or herbivore by looking at the skull of the animal.  Furs show how an animal is protected from the climate and if it is camouflaged. 
  • Prey/Predator – Play a game to learn about what an animal needs to survive.  Through the game, children will see how predators and prey interact with each other and what effect disease and man can have on an animal population. 
  • Geology Rocks! - Students will see and touch specimens while they learn about the different types of rock.  They will also learn how rocks are important in their everyday life. 
  • Native American Life – Learn how Native Americans survived off of the land.  Students will examine tools and artifacts as well as look at some of the common plants used by Native Americans for food and medicine. 
  • Animal Tracking – Hike through the forest looking for animal tracks and scat.  Learn how to identify an animal by their footprints and find out the best places to look for signs of animal life.
  • Hike – Find out what animals and plants are found in the forest.  Learn basic plant identification skills and discover the best places to look for animals. 
  • Bottle Biology – Each student will make their own bottle ecosystem complete with animal and plant life to take home.  The water cycle and essential components of life will be reviewed.
  • Creek Study – Collect and study the organisms found in the Yellow Breeches Creek on campus.  Learn about macroinvertebrates, water quality and how we are all connected by our water systems.  One option is for students to do the collecting led by our staff.  They would need to come prepared with water shoes (old sneakers or sturdy sandals) to wear in the creek and an extra pair that can be worn for the rest of the day. Another option is that students can work on the bank of the creek identifying insects collected by our museum staff. 
  • Lewis and Clark Day – An all-day event that takes your students back in time to meet Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea.  Go on a hike with Lewis and learn of the importance of plants to the journey.  Sacagawea tells of the animals that were encountered by the Corps.  Learn how the expedition navigated and made accurate maps of their journey from Clark.  Students should bring along journals to take their own scientific notes throughout the day.  

Grades 6 – 8
(Recommended time 50 to 60 minutes per activity)

  • What's a Watershed? - Trace the flow of water across campus to the Yellow Breeches Creek.  Discover why water flows where it does, visit a wetland and see how humans manipulate their water systems.
  • Creek Study – Collect and study the organisms found in the Yellow Breeches Creek on campus.  Learn about macroinvertebrates, water quality and how we are all connected by our water systems.  One option is for students to do the collecting led by our staff.  They would need to come prepared with water shoes (old sneakers or sturdy sandals) to wear in the creek and an extra pair that can be worn for the rest of the day. Another option is that students can work on the bank of the creek identifying insects collected by our museum staff. 
  • Water Pollution and the Chesapeake Bay – How does one person's poor choices affect another person's water supply?  Learn how people are connected to each other through water and some ways to help clean up our watershed. 
  • Watershed Day – Come for the whole day and do the above 3 activities and take a tour of our North American Floor to learn about the animals living in our watershed.
  • Native American Life – Learn how Native Americans survived off of the land.  Students will examine tools and artifacts, as well as look at some of the common plants used by Native Americans for food and medicine. 
  • Plant and Tree Identification – Hike into the forest and look at the leaf shape, bark type and growth patterns to identify common Pennsylvania plants.  
  • Sustainability Day (see below) - This program can be modified for 6th - 8th graders.


Grades 9 – 12

  • Class: Mammalia – Tour through the museum focusing on the classification of mammals.  Highlights include members of the order Carnivora, Pinnepedia and Artiodactyla.  (2 hours)
  • Dichotomous Key Construction – Students will collect plant specimens, learn plant identification skills and construct their own dichotomous key.  (2 hours)
  • Sustainability Day (4 hours)
    • A campus tour/scavenger hunt focusing on how Messiah College is working towards sustainability.  Students will learn the impact of daylight harvesting lighting, savings from changing from halide to fluorescent lighting in gyms, as well as programs focusing on reducing student energy use. 
    • A visit to Messiah College’s solar pavilion and solar thermal displays.  Students will see how photovoltaic solar panels provide energy for electricity and how a solar thermal system provides hot water for use in dorms.  (The solar thermal display is located on the roof of a dorm complex, with access by elevator.  It is completely enclosed by railings.) 
    • A tour of the Oakes Museum of Natural History.  Students will learn about specific animals in North America and Africa affected by unsustainable practices.