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SOL-correlated Programs at the Virginia Living Museum

Natural Science – Grades K-5
Space Science – Grades K-12
Environmental Science Labs – Grades 6-12


Natural Science Programs Grades K-5

Natural science programs offer a survey of fundamental topics in the life sciences – from animal adaptations to the importance of green plants to energy flow through food chains and even the study of snakes. Through the use of live animals, museum specimens and high-interest demonstrations, students become actively involved in these hands-on presentations. Natural Science Programs are designed to effectively introduce, reinforce or review science concepts in a way that makes them exciting and memorable.

Length of Session: 45 minutes
Number of Students: 60 maximum
Fee: (includes self guided tour of exhibits)
Contract schools: Please call for information
Non-contract schools: $11.75 per student ($195 minimum September – February, $360 minimum March – June)
Classroom teacher and school staff are free. One chaperone is recommended for every 10 students and is admitted free. Additional chaperones are $18 each.

Follow the suggested procedures for reserving a Natural Science program. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Reservations Coordinator at 757-595-9135 Monday-Friday, 9am – 4:30pm or complete the online request form.

Funded in part by Ferguson.

Bay BCs

Grade K
SOLs K.1 K.2 K.7 K.11
From crabs and sea stars to turtles and birds, young students explore the rich variety of life that fills our Chesapeake Bay and learn simple ways to protect the Bay’s fragile environment.
Bay BC’s Teacher Resource Guide

Animal ABCs

Grades 1-2
SOLs 1.1 1.5 2.1 2.4 2.5
Discover the animal ABCs of survival on land, air and water! Examine reptiles, birds and mammals for special adaptations that make it possible for them to climb, crawl, swim and fly. Special emphasis is given to frog and butterfly lifecycles.

Water Critters

Grades 1-2

SOLs 1.1 1.5 2.1 2.5
Fins, flippers, body shapes and other unique adaptations for life in water are compared in various aquatic animals. “Hands-on” specimens—of frogs, turtles and even crabs truly bring water critters to life!

Cycles of Survival

Grades 2-3
SOLs 2.4 2.5 2.7 3.1 3.4 3.8
Where do bats, butterflies and birds go in winter? Why are some insects a tasty meal for an animal while others are left alone? Hibernation, dormancy, migration and mimicry – these and other fascinating animal adaptations and behaviors are explored and explained in this fun and engaging inquiry-based program.
Cycles of Survival Teacher Resource Guide

Thinking Like a Scientist

Grades 2-3
SOLs 2.1 2.4 2.5 3.1 3.4 3.10
Observing, predicting, classifying, measuring, collecting data, and graphing are key elements in every good scientist’s “toolbox.” Students will hone these scientific investigative skills as they delve into mysteries based on real-life sea turtle research.

Dinosaurs

Grades 3-4
SOLs 3.1 3.4 3.5 4.1 4.5
Introduce students to the fascinating world of fossil history with dinosaurs. Discover the most up-to-date information about T-Rex, “Brontosaurus” and other dinosaur relatives. Touch “living fossils” and meet a possible living descendant of these prehistoric giants.

Plants & Animals: Teamwork in Nature

Grades 3-4
SOLs 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.10 3.11 4.4 4.5
Do plants need animals? Or do animals need plants? The answer is “They need each other!” This program explores the amazing interactions of plants and animals with role-play activities, live animals and hands-on specimens from the museum’s collections. Special emphasis is on plant structures and functions, pollination and how a wide variety of animals helps keep new generations of green plants sprouting.

Web of Life

Grades 3-4
SOLs 3.1 3.4 3.5 3.10 4.5
Piece together an ecological puzzle to reveal the basic concepts of photosynthesis, food chains and food webs. Meet “living” links that form nature’s chain of energy and learn about fascinating adaptations that help them survive.
Web of Life Teacher Resource Guide

Earth Under Foot

Grade 5
SOLs 5.1 5.4 5.7
Our fascinating Earth constantly recycles itself! From igneous to metamorphic to sedimentary – the dynamic geologic forces illustrated by the rock cycle and Earth’s structure are explored and explained in this engaging hands-on Earth science program.
Earth Under Foot Teacher Resource Guide

Inside Skeletons!

Grade 5
SOLs 5.1 5.5
See what fish, birds, frogs and other animals look like from the inside out as we compare living vertebrates and invertebrates with their skeletons. Learn how bones help bats fly, snakes crawl, moles dig and more! Examine a human skeleton to see how we fit into the bony world!

Snakes Alive

Grade 5
SOLs 5.5
Meet some of the most fascinating but misunderstood animals— snakes! Learn about the natural history of snakes with a safe, close-up look at Virginia’s venomous and non-venomous species.


Space Science Programs Grades K-12

The Virginia Living Museum’s Space Science Programs are out of this world! Inside the digital Abbitt Planetarium theater, students will make important connections to essential space science SOLs as they explore the solar system, travel to distant galaxies and marvel at the mysterious celestial objects in our own night sky.

Length of Session: 45 minutes
Number of Students: 60 maximum
Fee: (includes self guided tour of exhibits)
Contract Schools: Please call for information
Non-contract schools: $11.75 per student ($195 minimum September – February, $360 minimum March – June)
Classroom teacher and school staff are free. One chaperone is recommended for every 10 students and is admitted free. Additional chaperones are $18 each.

For more information or to make a reservation, call the Reservations Coordinator at 757-595-9135 Monday-Friday, 9am – 4:30pm or complete the online request form.

Funded in part by Langley Federal Credit Union.

Virginia Skies

Grades K-12
SOLs vary by grade level
Explore the evening skies above Virginia in this classic planetarium presentation. Students view the planetarium’s night sky while a staff astronomer discusses seasonal constellations, visible planets and other celestial happenings around the time of your visit. This program can be tailored for any grade level and is especially effective for introducing kindergarteners to the planetarium experience.
Virginia Skies Teacher Resource Guide

More information about Virginia Skies

Day and Night

Grades K-1
Science SOLs K.8, K.10, 1.6, 1.7
As the Earth turns on its axis it produces the most noticeable changes in the sky apparent to a child. Through interactive demonstrations and the use of new digital technology a staff astronomer will explain the relative motions of the Sun and Earth in a way that is easily understood by young students.
Day and Night Teacher Resource Guide

Stacey Stormtracker

Grades 1-4
Science SOLs 1.6 1.7 2.6 2.7 3.8 3.9 3.11 4.6 4.7
Lt. Stacey Stormtracker, ace pilot for the Solar System Weather Service, takes students on a fascinating tour of the weather systems of Earth and our neighboring several planets. Stunning imagery of planetary weather events helps students understand and appreciate the forces behind our home planet’s weather. Updated for 2013 with the latest information – and a discussion of dwarf planets.
Stacey Stormtracker Teacher Resource Guide

The Skies of Jamestown

Grades 2-4
History and Social Science SOLs 2.2, 3.3, VS.1, VS.2, VS.3, VS.4
Students will discover the dangers of ocean travel in the early 1600s and come to better understand how important the stars were to two cultures as the colonists began to learn how to live with their Powhatan neighbors. This program includes a live discussion of the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies we see today in the skies above Jamestown.
Skies of Jamestown Teacher Resource Guide

Assignment Earth

Grades 3-4
Science SOLs 3.8, 3.9, 3.11, 4.8
There’s an alien among us! – and he can help students understand the confusing interconnections between the Earth, Moon and Sun. This exciting and engaging program will capture your students’ attention and help them learn about Moon phases, tides, Earth motions, seasons and more.
Assignment Earth Teacher Resource Guide

Reasons for the Seasons

Grades 3-4
Science SOLs 3.8, 4.8 3.11
Most elementary students have difficulty understanding the causes that result in the Earth’s seasons. In this engaging program, a staff astronomer effectively explains how the motions of the Earth make themselves evident to us on the ground and clears up common misconceptions about how the seasons change.
Reasons for the Seasons Teacher Resource Guide

Follow the Drinking Gourd - A Quest for Freedom

Grades 3-5
Science SOLs 3.8
History and Social Science SOLs VS.1, VS.4, US1.2, US1.5
Experience the fear and the joy of an escape to freedom from the tyranny of slavery. Students analyze celestial clues written in the title song and view the planetarium’s night sky to discover how to navigate their way north. This program, an exciting combination of science and social studies, explores the skies of the U.S. as interpreted by slaves seeking freedom.
Follow the Drinking Gourd Teacher Resource Guide

Night of the Titanic

Grades 5-9
Science SOLs 5.6, 6.5, ES.10
Global climate change is much in the news in our modern era. But the Earth’s climate has been changing for as long as our planet has existed. Climate change has even contributed to such famous disasters as the sinking of the Titanic. Join us in the planetarium as we investigate the demise of the famous ocean liner and discover how the loss of the Titanic has helped us learn more about Earth’s changing climate today.
Night of the Titanic Teacher Resource Guide

Two Small Pieces of Glass

Grades 5-12
Science SOLs 5.3, 6.8, PS.9, ES.3
Originally produced in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s groundbreaking work with his telescope, this program takes your students on a journey through the history of telescopes, how they are made, and how they have helped astronomers make so many astounding discoveries about the universe. A brief look at the current night sky is included.
Two Small Pieces of Glass Teacher Resource Guide

Lincoln: The Case of the Missing Moon

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs 6.8 ES.3 PH.3 PH.4
This program recreates Lincoln’s most famous legal victory when his star witness was – the Moon! Along the way to solving a true 150-year-old mystery, students will learn about the formation and history of the Moon and its effects on the Earth. Tides, eclipses, rotation, monthly variations, comets and meteor showers are covered. Emphasis is placed on observation, experimentation and problem solving.
Abraham Lincoln: The Case of the Missing Moon Teacher Resource Guide

Oasis in Space

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs 6.8, ES.3
Discover the uniqueness of our home planet as we tour through the solar system, seeking that most basic necessity for life – water. Does water exist elsewhere in the solar system? Can life survive beyond the confines of Earth? These questions and more will be discussed in this visually stunning program about the origins and nature of the worlds that surround us.
Oasis in Space Teacher Resource Guide

More information about Oasis in Space


Environmental Science Labs Grades 6-12

The Virginia Living Museum’s environmental science labs spark the excitement of scientific discovery for students in grades 6-12. They are in-depth inquiry-based sessions in which students actively participate in conducting experiments, collecting data and analyzing results. Emphasis is on a direct involvement with the natural world through activity-oriented use of specialized equipment and techniques.

Length of Session: 1.5 hours
Number of Students: 30 maximum
Fee: (includes self guided visit of exhibits)
Contract Schools: Please call for information
Non-contract schools: $13.75 per student ($275 minimum)
Classroom teacher and school staff are free. One chaperone is recommended for every 10 students and is admitted free. Additional chaperones are $18 each.

Follow the suggested procedures for reserving an Environmental Science Lab. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Reservations Coordinator at 757-595-9135 Monday-Friday, 9am – 4:30pm or complete the online request form.

Funded in part by VuBAY FOUNDATION.

Amphibians and Reptiles

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs LS.1 LS.4 LS.8 BIO.1 BIO.4 BIO.6
In this inquiry-based lab, students investigate structural and behavioral adaptations for feeding, locomotion and reproduction of these two major vertebrate groups by observing live reptiles and amphibians, and examining real museum specimens.

Exploring with the Microscope

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs 6.1 LS.1
Students explore a fascinating hidden micro world while practicing the fundamental skills of working with compound and dissecting microscopes. Students then apply these skills to solve puzzling micro-mysteries by searching for clues in fossil sands, pond water, insect anatomy and more.

Fossil Studies

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs LS.4 LS.13 ES.2 ES.7 ES.9 BIO.7
Students investigate real fossil specimens of bones, tracks, teeth and more to uncover clues about animals that lived millions of years ago and their environments. By examining fossils, students draw conclusions about change over time and discover some of the challenges faced by paleontologists today.

Life in the Chesapeake Bay - A 'Meaningful Watershed Experience' Program

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs LS.4 LS.6 LS.8 LS.9 BIO.4 BIO.6 BIO.8
Students discover the amazing diversity of life in the Bay by comparing and contrasting the adaptations and survival strategies of marine vertebrate and invertebrate phyla. Using live and preserved specimens in an inquiry-based format, students identify and classify organisms that make up the Bay’s communities and investigate food pyramids and abiotic factors that affect Bay life.

Pond LIfe - A 'Meaningful Watershed Experience' Program

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs 6.1 6.5 6.7 LS.1 LS.4 LS.5 LS.6 BIO.1 BIO.4 BIO.8
With plankton nets, bottom dredges, dip nets and other specialized field equipment, students study first hand the ecology of a pond by collecting aquatic organisms in their natural habitat. Using sorting trays and field equipment, students investigate (and then release) the collected specimens, learn to identify and classify them, and create a pond food web. Recommended for early Fall or late Spring.

Minerals

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs ES.1 ES.2 ES.4 ES.5
In this inquiry-based lab, students examine rock and mineral specimens from the museum’s collections to learn to identify and classify common and rare minerals, identify unknown minerals using basic analytical tests and discover the importance of minerals in everyday life.

Vertebrate Biology

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs LS.1 LS.4 BIO.4 BIO.6
Biology comes to life in this comparative hands-on inquiry-based overview of the vertebrate classes. Using live animals and real museum specimens, students compare and contrast the structure and survival adaptations of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

Virginia's Prehistoric Past

Grades 6-12
SOLs LS.13 ES.2 ES.5 ES.7 ES.9 BIO.7
Using real rocks, mineral and fossil specimens from Virginia’s physiographic regions as well as “living fossils” as clues, students discover evidence of colliding continents, ancient seas, volcanic upheavals and ice ages that were part of Virginia’s prehistoric past that shaped Virginia as we see it today.

Weather Studies

Grades 6-12
Science SOLs 6.1 6.3 6.6 ES.1 ES.2 ES.12
Equipped with anemometers, barometers and other scientific weather instruments, students investigate weather phenomena and conduct experiments to discover how temperature, air pressure, and wind circulation affect weather conditions on planet Earth.