Freebie Friday – Virtual Field Trips – Science Museums

My kids absolutely love science museums, especially the ones with hands-on activities. Sometimes it is difficult to get to them in person, but there are quite a few that we can visit virtually. Here are a few tours you can check out from home.

General Science

Exploratorium – There are over 200 online exhibits to explore most of which include related activities to do. Be sure to check out the "Tools for Learning and Teaching" link under the "Education" section in the upper menu for more helpful resources.

Science Museum Group – On this website from the UK, click the "Objects and Stories" link in the upper menu to explore thousands of science related objects through images and text. Choose the "Learning" link in the upper menu then the "Learning Resources" link on the next page to find activities, online games and resources to use at home.

History of Science Museum – Take a 360° 3D virtual tour of this Oxford museum. Scroll down about a quarter of the way down the home page to locate the virtual museum tour link. You can also check out the "Collections" databases for a closer look at objects. And don't forget to visit the "Learning Resources" page under the "Learn" link in the upper menu for downloadable PDFs, podcasts, videos and more.

Museo Galileo – This museum in Florence, Italy, is home to some of the most important instruments in scientific history. When arriving at the site, hover over the "Museum" link in the upper menu, then locate the "Explore" section to learn about the museum and Galileo and to check out exhibitions. In the "Learn" section there are a few educational activities that you may wish to check out, particularly the "Online" option, but note that some may be in French and may require flash to run. Hover over "Library and Research Archives" for more ways to discover items in the museum.

Air, Space and Technology

The Museum of Flight – Through 360° images and 3D tours, explore a variety of aircraft including the Antonov An-2, a variety of Boeings, the Concorde, the Douglas DC-2, and the NASA Space Shuttle Trainer.

NASA Langley Research Center – After watching the introduction video (we had to keep our mouse over the video for it to play through) click the "Explore" button to begin your photo tour of Langley. Once the page loads, you can select a "site" to see. Use the arrows to move through available images and scroll down below the slideshow to learn about the location. Some of the locations include additional images under the text that are interactive and have imbedded links to more information and videos.

NASA Glen Research Center – When arriving at this site, you will find a list of text links to a variety of virtual tours. Once you have made your selection, use your mouse and/or keyboard to navigate around the destination. There are information, video, and picture icons embedded in the tour you can select to learn more. You will need to use your back button in your browser to return to the homepage list.

The National Museum of Computing – Explore two galleries at this museum through a 360° 3D virtual tour embedded with links identified by target shaped icons that provide additional information and/or link to videos and more.

Natural History

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – Discover the exhibits at this museum with 360° interactive virtual tours. While exploring, look for the camera icons in the exhibits to get a closer look at an item.

The Museum of Natural Sciences – Visit this museum in Brussels, Belgium with this easy to navigate Google Arts & Culture tour.

The American Museum of Natural History – Scroll down the page a bit to locate the link to another wonderful Google Arts & Culture tour for this museum. From the American Museum of Natural History Explore page, scroll below the virtual tour to the "For Families and Students" section to find the link to a fabulous educational site called "Ology" where children can learn about all types of science related topics through colorful activities, games and much more. Select the "Kahoot" link to see what you know about the natural world.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Science – Through photo and 360° tours, discover all the lovely exhibits at this museum. Select the "Learn" option in the upper menu to locate a variety of educational material to use in your classroom including videos, activities, podcasts, downloadable printables and more.

Worldwide Museum of Natural History – Although this is an entirely online museum made up of photos and informational text, its simplistic format makes it easy for younger students to navigate.