Homeschool Science and Lab Classes at The Oakes Museum

Homeschool Programs


Family Day - October 21, 9:30-3:30

Click here for a schedule and to register for Family Day


Science Classes

September 21 - 9:30-12:20 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
September 23 – 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
September 23 -12:30-2:30 (k-4)
September 21 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
Students will learn what makes this reptile unique, what turtles live in PA, and where turtles like to live.  Older students will be introduced to ongoing research on box turtles and will get to track turtles using radio telemetry equipment.  Come prepared for a hike!

October 5 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
October 7 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
October 7 - 12:30-2:30 (k-4)
October 5 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
Students will be introduced to this unique family of animals, learn about the history of white-tailed deer in PA, and take a hike to learn how deer impact our forest ecosystems.               

October 25 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
October 27 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) -  WAITING LIST
October 27 - 12:30-2:30 (k-4)
October 25 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
We will explore our forest ecosystem - learning about the structure of the forest, what are the common plant and animal species, and how the forest changes through the seasons.                 

November 9 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - CLASS IS FULL
November 10- 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - CLASS IS FULL
November 10 - 12:30-2:30 (k-4) - CLASS IS FULL
November 9 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
Students will use the museum’s geology collection to study fossils, discovering the different types of fossils and how scientists use fossils to learn about the past.  Also, students will create a matrix with fossils in it to excavate at home.   

Simple Machines  
December 8 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - CLASS IS FULL
December 8 - 12:30-2:30 (k-4) - CLASS IS FULL
December 9 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - CLASS IS FULL
December 9 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
Using Legos and K’nex, students will learn about simple machines, and have the chance to create their own examples. 

Native American Life
January 23 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
January 23 - 12:30-2:30 (k-4) 
January 24 -  9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
January 24 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
Learn how Native Americans in Pennsylvania survived off of the land.  Students will examine tools and artifacts from our museum collection as well as look at some of the common plants used for food and medicine.  

February 7 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
February 7 - 12:30-3:00 (5th-10th)
February 8 - 9:30-11:30 (k-4) - WAITING LIST
February 8 - 12:30-2:30 (k-4)
Discover how elephants are a keystone species for the savanna, helping to maintain the habitats for other animals, and how scientists and conservationists are working to preserve this species.  

Programs for elementary students require a parent to stay with the child(ren). Younger toddler/preschool siblings are welcome and are considered participants in the program, the cost is $5/sibling. Infant siblings are free.

Classes for students in grades 5th-10th are drop-off programs.


Lab Classes
6th – 12th Grade Students

Ornithology – Birds
October 12 - 9:00 – 3:30 ($60)
Students will examine bird anatomy, explore the amazing adaptations that have allowed birds to achieve flight, and study feather form, function, and color. Students will view the museum’s egg collection to learn the science of Oology (egg collecting). Finally, students will learn the history of commercial waterfowling, the impact it had on waterfowl species in our country and be able to identify common species of Pennsylvania ducks, geese, and swans.
Students need to bring a bagged lunch. 

Dissection Lab
October 18 - 9:30-11:30 ($25)
Students will be introduced to the external and internal anatomy of animals as they learn dissection techniques and safety.  Students will choose one of the following animals to dissect: Earthworm/Grasshopper or Frog

Guided Frog Dissection
October 18 - 12:30-2:30 ($25)
Students will go through the dissection together with instructor’s guidance. This is perfect for students with no dissection experience

Mammals of PA
October 20- 12:30 – 3:00 ($20)
Students will learn the variety of mammals in Pennsylvania (from mice and shrews to deer and bear), how museums prepare mammal specimens, and how mammals are studied in the wild.  Come prepared to be outside. 

Ichthyology - Comparative Anatomy of Fishes through Dissection
November 21 - 9:00 – 3:30 ($80)
This class will focus on the anatomical similarities and differences in three major representative groups of fishes.  Students will be dissecting a Lamprey, Dogfish Shark, and a Perch.
Students need to bring a bagged lunch. 

Blood and Blood Typing
March 7 – 9:30-11:30 ($20)
Students will learn about blood and blood-types, then they will use their knowledge to solve a mystery.

Brain Lab
March 7 – 12:30-3:00 ($25)
Come discover the basics of neuroscience in this exciting lab class! Students will have an introduction to neuroscience, dissect a sheep brain, and test their reflexes.   

March 10 – 1-3:30 ($20)
Students will conduct multiple experiments as they learn how to know if a chemical reaction has occurred, study acids/bases, and gain basic information on chemistry.  

Lab classes are drop-off programs.  
Pre-registration and prepayment is required.

Our grade designations are guidelines, not rules

Our refund policy is fairly lenient. Refunds are available if you cancel within a few days (3-4) of the program, or if you let us know on the day of the program someone in your family is ill. No refunds will be given for no shows.  We do keep a waitlist, so we'll try to fill any last minute spots that are opened.

If you have any questions, please contact us at or 717-691-6082.

Click Here to Register 

Click Here for Payment


 The Oakes Museum of Natural History reserves the right to cancel any program one week before it begins due to insufficient registration. All prepaid participants will receive a full refund.