Temporarily located at the corner of Water and Chestnut Streets in Downtown Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 291-3941
HOURS: Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Outreach Program Guide

The North Museum offers outreach programs on a variety of natural history and science topics. Programs at your location are available on a limited basis. Group presentations are designed for 20 - 100 participants depending on age and topic. Multiple presentations are also available. 

Please contact Senior Educator Jill Showalter at 717-291-4371 for more information about any of the programs and pricing. 

Mileage Fees:
30-50 miles roundtrip - $30
51-75 miles roundtrip - $50
76-100 miles roundtrip - $75

Children's literature and puppets focus a young child's attention while live animals and real specimens create curiosity and excitement about the natural world.  Each preschool outreach program is presented with age-appropriate activities.

Turtles and Tortoises
Oooooh!  Touch the bumpy skin of a live box turtle!  Handle turtle shells and discover what is on the inside of the shell!  Find out how legs tell sooooo very much about the lives of turtles, tortoises and sea turtles.

Touchable specimens
: live animals, turtle shells, scutes, plastic models

Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane, a Smithsonian Backyard Book

Skeletons on the outside--really?  Touch a living insect and feel its exoskeleton!  Really!  Examine real cocoons, and many insect specimens to learn about insect anatomy and life cycles.

Touchable specimens: live animals, insect plastomounts, mounted insects, wasp hive, insect egg casing, cocoons

Story: Clara Caterpillar

Ocean Animals: tiny to HUGE
Peek through a real shark jaw, handle whale teeth and baleen, and learn about many curious creatures that live in the vast oceans: one that puffs up for defense, another that uses dark ink to help escape from a predator, and much more!

Touchable specimens: shark teeth, whale baleen and teeth, coral, shells, platomounts, models

Story: Great White Shark


Length:  Approximately 45 - 60 minutes
Cost:  $225 up to 30 students $10 per additional student plus mileage

Please contact Jill Showalter at 717-291-4371 for more information. 

How does a snake slither?  Where do lizards live?  Do turtles have teeth?  Encounter live reptiles to learn the distinguishing characteristics and unique features of these fascinating creatures that creep, crawl, and slither.  Take a close look and touch if you wish as you discover what makes reptiles special.

Legs and More Legs
Two, four, six, eight..... identify critters from no legs to more legs.  How do they move and where do they go?  look for other clues to classify animals and specimens from the North Museum collections.

Beyond Bugs
Buzzzz into the fascinating world of "creepy crawlies" as we go WAY beyond bugs to investigate the difference among flying, crawling, buzzing, and hairy arthropods.  Live critters will help you identify one from another as you "go buggy" for a variety of critters you can find in your own backyard.

Native Americans
Touch the past as you examine artifacts and replicas from the extensive resources of the North Museum archaeology collections.  Discover more about the lives of those who lived in Lancaster County long ago.  Experience some of their daily life as you explore their tools, clothing, weapons, and pottery.  

Starlab (portable planetarium)
Have a planetarium come to you! Crawl inside a large inflatable 16-foot dome to experience a sky full of stars! Perfect for science fairs, fund-raisers, reward days, multiple classes, library, and scout programs.

Length: Approx. 30 minute program plus 1 hour setup and 1 hour tear down required
Cost: $350 per hour plus mileage

Space Requirements:
  • Electrical outlets
  • Ceiling height of 10'.5” with no obstructions 
  • Floor space of 21' x 18' with no obstructions (gym or auditorium is preferred) plus space to walk around

 (click on image for larger version)


Planet Hunter (theatrical performance) - Recommended for Grades 3 - 6

Join the Planet Hunter ( North Museum Senior Astronomy Educator "Cosmic Mike" Smith) as he searches for planets beyond our solar system.  This live theatrical performance incorporates audience participation as your group will identify the planets in our solar system and help demonstrate the distance between the sun and the earth.  You'll also learn about the challenges in looking for other planets as well as the current Kepler mission, which is searching for the first earth-like planet beyond our solar system, and how astronomers go about looking for those extrasolar planets.  This theatrical performance was made possible through a National Science Foundation grant called STEPS. 

Length: Approx. 25-30 minute performance plus 1 hour setup and 1 hour tear down required, there is an optional demonstration of planet detection technique and Q&A that would add approx. 10-15 minutes
Cost: $450, second performance $250 plus mileage

Space Requirements:
  • Electrical outlets
  • Ceiling height of 8'.5” (minimum)
  • Floor space of 17-ft x 15-ft (minimum) (for equipment only - doesn't include space for audience)
  • Projection space of at least 15-ft


Quantum Levitator - Recommended for Grades 5 & up

The Quantum Levitator is a truly unique demonstration program only available in the US through the North Museum. With the help of Liquid Nitrogen, we'll unlock the secrets of this device and explore the dramatic properties of Quantum Trapping and superconductors demonstrating concepts related to force, motion, magnetic fields, materials science and even quantum mechanics! This device and the related program have proven themselves as a Youtube video phenomenon as well as a hit with live audiences in at the Museum. Utilizes liquid nitrogen, strong permanent magnets and ceramic disks developed with the latest in superconductor technology.

This program also includes Liquid Nitrogen demonstrations leading into the main attraction, the Quantum Levitator, providing the audience the opportunity to guess and test hypotheses in dramatic situations, ask questions, and has the "Wow" factor sure to capture your audience!   Check out our YouTube videohighlighting the Quantum Levitator.

LengthApprox. 40 minutes
Cost$350 up to 30 students $10 per additional student plus mileage