Outreach Programs


Let us bring the Morris Museum to you! The Morris Museum, a leading cultural and educational institution, offers outreach programs in the sciences, humanities, and fine arts. All programs are designed to allow students to experience learning in an interactive way using museum artifacts and reproductions. Several programs incorporate PowerPoint presentations.

To submit a request for a SCHOOL Outreach Program(s), please fill out the form below:

School Outreach Request Form

To submit a request for an ADULT Outreach Program(s), please fill out the form below:

Adult Outreach Request Form

To submit a request for a LIBRARY Outreach Program(s), please fill out the form below:

Library Outreach Request Form


We strive to provide interactive, engaging, and educational programs for all age groups, and we need your help to do so! By filling out our evaluation form, this allows you to voice your thoughts and suggestions, rate our educators, and let us know how we can better accommodate your group.

Your feedback is always encouraged and we appreciate your assistance to help us better serve you!

Outreach Evaluation Form


If you have additional questions, please contact Colleen Mackenzie:

PHONE  973.971.3710
EMAIL    [email protected]


STUDENT OUTREACH PROGRAMS

Science Programs

DINOSAURS!
Grades: PreK-4
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

In this investigation of the giants that inhabited the earth millions of years ago, students examine fossils and models of the great scaly beasts. Through observation and comparison, they will learn to identify characteristics of multiple dinosaurs which mark if they are carnivores vs. herbivores, where they lie in the food chain, and what contributed to their extinction.

NGSS: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity, Earth’s Systems  

TRACKS & TRACES
Grades: K-5
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Set out on a nature walk with the Morris Museum! Students will focus on endangered wildlife such as the red-headed woodpecker and other non-endangered wildlife such as beavers and opossums, all native to New Jersey. Students will discuss the secret clues that mammals, birds, and reptiles leave behind, including dens, bird nests, feathers, and snake shed as they view the creatures in their backyard in an exciting new light!

NGSS: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

INVESTIGATING INSECTS
Grades: K-5
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Insects are so much more than buzzing, hopping creatures! This program allows students to get up-close to specimens of beetles, butterflies, and other insects. Some have close to 360-degree eyesight, some can lift up to 850 times their weight, and some have been around longer than dinosaurs. See what makes these tiny invertebrates unique!

NGSS: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity, Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, Earth and Human Activity

TREE TALES*
Grades: 1-4
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Trees provide our earth with the essentials of life. In this program, students will explore the life cycle of trees and environmental impact on their growth, learn how animals depend on trees, and how trees and their products are used by people. Hands on group activities include leaf identification, ‘reading’ the rings of a tree cookie, the handling and investigation of a woodpecker cavity nest, beaver log, and Hummingbird nest.

NGSS: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

*Program would be an ideal accompaniment to a tree tapping activity or a New Jersey Maple Sugaring event!

HABITATS IN HARMONY
Grades: K-3
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

How does an animal’s  habitat contribute to its successful survival? Students will examine various habitats around the world, discover the animals that live there, what it takes for them to survive, and threats to their existence through a multi media PowerPoint and the handling of an armadillo skin, a seal pelt, and a springbok horn.

NGSS: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity, Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, Earth and Human Activity

WILD WORLD OF WEATHER
Grades: 1-5
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Why do we check the weather?  Why does it matter?  Weather affects our lives in both major and minor ways. Students will learn about weather phenomena through wild and interactive demonstrations; they will discover how the Bernoulli Principle is related to the formation of tornadoes and model a tornado as a group, learn the pattern of a thunderstorm and how to predict its length, imitate the formation of hail, and how clouds, dew, and animals can be used as natural weather predictors.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.B

NGSS: Earth’s Systems, Earth and Human Activity

WILDLIFE: WHAT IT TAKES TO SURVIVE
Grades: 4-6
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

What does it mean to be vulnerable? Endangered? Extinct? Based on the International Classification for Threatened and Endangered Species, students will explore the impact of human choices, such as hunting, harvesting, and human-animal conflict on world wildlife. An examination of these biofacts and a special look at critically endangered species such as the hawksbill turtle and the conservation success story of the once endangered American alligator will lead students to new insights on environmental impact.

NGSS: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity, Earth and Human Activity  

NEW! NANO EXPLORATIONS*
Grades: 1-8
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Have you ever wondered how an oil spill is cleaned up or what technology prevents your clothing from staining? It’s nanoscience! Nano is small. Nano is different. Nanoscale structures have existed in nature and have benefited animals such as the gecko in the form of its sticky feet and provided the morphing butterfly its brilliant color through reflective light long before scientist began studying nano science in laboratories. Through grade appropriate demonstrations and hands-on experiments, students will learn how scientists have adapted its technology, identify ways in which it affects our lives, and contemplate where we can expect it to take us in the future.

NGSS: Engineering Design

*This program, is not for large assemblies—is limited to 25 students and the fee is $175. Please allow for 1 hour.  All experiment and lab supplies are provided by the museum. Please discuss with educator before reserving.

NEW! ROCK & ROLL! GEMS, ROCKS, AND MINERALS
Grades: 2-5
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Journey to the center of the earth with the Morris Museum! In this tour of the earth’s active crust, students will explore the historical geology of the earth, and how natural processes impact our planet through volcanic activity, erosion, and weathering. Learn about the three groups of rocks and examine fossils, geodes, and stones specific to the New Jersey area.

NGSS: Earth’s Place in the Universe, Earth’s Systems

Arts & Humanities Programs

NEW! SPOTLIGHT ON ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

ANCIENT GREECE
Grades: 3-8

What was it like to live in Ancient Greece?  How was it ruled?  Who fought in the Battle of Troy? What made Athens so unique? Architecture, culture, history, and religious beliefs will be explored through hands-on examinations of authentic artifacts and reproductions of objects dating as far back as 5000BC, including pottery, jewelry, and a model of the Parthenon.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.2.A, 6.2.B, 6.2.C, 6.2.D

ANCIENT EGYPT
Grades: 3-8

Scarabs, cobras, vultures, and cats, oh my! Travel to ancient Egypt and discover the Egyptian gods through paintings and sculptures found inside temples and pyramids. Learn about Egypt’s unique geography and how it affected its cultural development through architecture and the arts, religion, government, and daily life. The presentation includes artifacts from the museum’s collection such as a limestone vulture relief, a sphinx scarab, mummy gauze, and preserved ancient papyrus.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.2.A, 6.2.B, 6.2.C, 6.2.D

NEW! SEEING THE PAST
Grades: 4-8

Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Why do we need museums? Students will learn the role museums play in researching and preserving objects, and presenting them to the public for the purpose of education and historical importance. Through hands on demonstrations, students will discover how household objects influence the past and how they relate to everyday life, and why it is so important to preserve these tangible pieces of history. Students learn the background and function of a sampler, antique kitchen tools, and the role museums play in conserving these objects, how they inventory such artifacts and will create a museum inventory tag.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.B, 6.1.D, 6.2.B, 6.2.D

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Grades: PreK-8
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Sometimes a cappella is not enough—so what can we use to make music besides our voices? Participants will experience a multi sensory exploration of music by seeing, hearing and touching instruments as diverse as the Brazilian cuica, Polynesian pu’ili sticks, American Indian flute, and a German zither, and learn a bit about the culture that created each instrument.

NGSS: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

Visual and Performing Arts: 1.1.B, 1.2.A, 1.3.B, 1.4.A

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.B

WESTWARD HO! PIONEERS
Grades: 1-6
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

What is a Pioneer? Why, someone who does something new, travels to new places, and moves West of course! Using reproductions and museum artifacts, students will piece together a picture of American pioneer life in the 1800s. Learn why and how people moved westward and piece together a picture of pioneer life in the 1800s.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.B, 6.1.C, 6.1.D

Visual and Performing Arts: 1.2.A

AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURES
Grades: 2-5
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

This program provides a broad overview of American Indian life before European settlement in four major geographical regions: Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, and Northwest Coast. With the assistance of hands on group investigation of authentic artifacts and reproductions, students will connect how each region’s unique resources influenced their culture.  

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.B, 6.1.D

Visual and Performing Arts: 1.2.A

NEW JERSEY INVENTS
Grades: 3–6
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

What innovations and inventions have the people of the great state of New Jersey contributed not only to our home state, but to the rest of the country and the world!? How have these creations impacted our world today? Join us for a hands-on exploration of the inventions that rocked the globe, including Thomas Edison’s Electric Light bulb and Samuel Morse’s improvements on the Telegraph and invention of Morse code.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.C, 6.1.D

NGSS: Engineering Design

NEW! KEITH HARING: ARTIST AND ACTIVIST
Grades: 4-12
Art Activity and PowerPoint Presentation

Students will spend the first third of the program learning about Haring, a twentieth-century artist whose work incorporated elements of popular culture, making art accessible to the masses. As well as learning how his work incorporated bright and artificial colors, drawn from the techniques of street-based art such as graffiti and murals, and how as an artist and an activist, he employed his imagery to engage viewer’s minds in social injustices such as Apartheid and discrimination. The last two-thirds of the program will immerse students in the creation of a Keith Haring inspired class mural (media will include non-toxic paint, markers, and paper).

Visual and Performing Arts: 1.1.D, 1.2.A, 1.3.D, 1.4.A, 1.4.B

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.12.A-D.13(Post War United States), 6.1.12.A.14(Contemporary United States), 6.2.12.A-D.5(The 20th Century Since 1945)

*This program, is led by a Museum Educator with a background in Fine Arts- not for large assemblies—is limited to 25 students and the fee is $175. Please allow for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Art supplies are provided by the museum and a floor space with a span of 20 feet must be available.  Please discuss with educator before reserving.

NEW! CIVIL WAR: THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY AND FREEDOM
Grades: 4-8
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

During the Civil War, African Americans were not mere bystanders, but active participants in pursuit of their own liberation and freedom, they partnered equally in the fight to uphold American ideals through their work as soldiers, abolitionists, nurses, teachers, and spies. Their dedication defined liberty and freedom as we know it today. A few of the activists discussed are: Cathay Williams, Robert Smalls, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Susie King Taylor, Charlotte Forten, and Mary Touvestre.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.12.A-D.4 Civil War and Reconstruction(1850-1877)


COMING TO NJ: IMMIGRATION
Grades: K-5
Object and PowerPoint Presentation

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be an immigrant in centuries past? This program is an exploration of the diverse cultures that contribute to New Jersey’s history. Whether traveler’s reasons for coming were religious, political or economic, everyday men and women have contributed their stories to New Jersey’s rich history. Program’s connected objects include a historically accurate model of a New Jersey Dutch farmhouse and Morris Canal Boat, Stangl Pottery and TC Wheaton Glass.

CCCS Social Studies: 6.1.A, 6.1.B, 6.1.C, 6.1.D

Planetarium Programs

Portable Planetarium programs include two (2) presentations. Each presentation is approximately 50 minutes. Maximum of 25 students and one teacher per session. Space requirements: an open floor area of at least 20 ft x 20 ft with a height of 16 ft.

SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS
Grades: K-2

Explore the celestial skies! Students will learn about the sun and the moon, earth’s seasons, and take a look at stars and constellations found in the night sky.

NGSS: Earth’s Place in the Universe

CELESTIAL STARGAZING AND STORYTELLING
Grades: 3-6

As an introduction to the history and lore of our starry nights, students will learn about the mythological origins of constellations and many of the imaginative interpretations by ancient peoples who saw pictures in the night sky.

NGSS: Earth’s Place in the Universe


ADULT OUTREACH PROGRAMS

Science Programs

WILDLIFE: WHAT IT TAKES TO SURVIVE

Vulnerable? Endangered? Extinct? Based on the International Classification for Threatened and Endangered Species, participants will explore the impact of human choices, such as hunting, harvesting, and human-animal conflict on world wildlife. Discuss the plight of the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle and conservation attempts to save the species and the conservation success story of the once endangered American Alligator.

TRACKS & TRACES

Set out on a nature walk with the Morris Museum! Focus on endangered wildlife such as the Red-Headed Woodpecker and other non-endangered wildlife such as beavers and opossums, all native to New Jersey. Participants discuss the secret clues that mammals, birds, and reptiles leave behind, including dens, bird nests, feathers, and snake shed.

THE EARTH UNDER OUR FEET

Journey to the center of the earth with the Morris Museum! In this tour of the earth’s active crust, participants will explore the historical geology of the earth, and how natural processes impact our planet through volcanic activity and earthquakes. Participants will learn about the three groups of rock and examine fossils, geodes, and stones specific to the New Jersey area.

HABITATS IN HARMONY

How does an animal’s habitat contribute to its successful survival? Participants will examine various habitats around the world, the animals that live there, and what it takes for them to survive. Learn the specific threats to their existence through a multimedia PowerPoint and the handling of an Armadillo skin, a Seal pelt, and a Springbok Horn.

INVESTIGATING INSECTS

Insects are so much more than buzzing, hopping creatures! This program allows participants to get up-close to actual specimens of beetles, butterflies, and other insects. Some have 360-degree eyesight, some can lift up to 850 times its weight, and some have been around longer than dinosaurs. See what makes these tiny invertebrates unique!

NEW JERSEY INVENTIONS AND INNOVATIONS

What innovations and inventions have the people of the great state of New Jersey contributed not only to our home state but to the rest of the country and the world!? How have these creations impacted our world today? Join us for a hands-on exploration of the inventions that rocked the globe, including Thomas Edison’s Electric Light bulb and Samuel Morse’s improvements on the Telegraph and invention of Morse code.

Arts & Humanities Programs

ARTifacts

Using a four-step art critique process, participants are encouraged to discuss fine and decorative art objects from the Morris Museum collection, including Northwest Indian artists, Ashcan School artists John R. Grabach and Henry Gadder, and American sculptor Seward Johnson. While analyzing the artist’s work, participants are encouraged to share their interpretations of the artwork and decorative items, and how it relates to themselves and their life experiences.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: AROUND THE WORLD 

Sometimes a cappella is not enough—so what can we use to make music besides our voices? Participants will experience a multi sensory exploration of music by seeing, hearing and touching instruments as diverse as the cuica, pu’ili sticks, a shofar, and a zither, and will learn a bit about the culture that created each instrument.

MARVELOUS MUSICAL MACHINES 

As a complement to the Morris Museum’s permanent exhibition, the Murtogh D. Guinness collection of Musical Machines and Living Dolls, this program incorporates multimedia clips of various compositions, Swiss and Italian music boxes and an antique disc player. A discussion will focus on the historical significance of the collection and will reveal how the concept of entertainment has changed over time.

WESTWARD HO! PIONEERS 

What is a Pioneer? Why, someone who does something new, travels to new places, and moves West! Using reproductions and museum artifacts, participants will piece together a picture of American pioneer life in the 1800s. Learn why and how people moved westward and piece together a picture of pioneer life in the 1800s.

AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURES

This program provides a broad overview of American Indian life before European settlement in four major geographical regions: Eastern Woodlands, Plains, Southwest and Northwest Coast. With the assistance of a multimedia PowerPoint presentation and participant investigation of authentic artifacts and reproductions, participants will connect how each region’s unique resources influenced their culture.

COMING TO NJ: IMMIGRATION

This program is an exploration of the diverse cultures that contribute to New Jersey’s history. Whether traveler’s reasons for coming were religious, political or economic, everyday men and women have contributed their stories to New Jersey’s rich history. This program includes a multimedia PowerPoint presentation and museum connected objects including a historically accurate model of a New Jersey Dutch farmhouse and Morris Canal Boat, Stangl Pottery and TC Wheaton Glass.

SEEING THE PAST 

Using the objects of the past which relate to everyday life, discover how household objects may influence participant’s perspective on the past, and why it is so important to preserve these tangible pieces of history. Participants learn the background and function of a sampler, antique kitchen tools and the role museums place in conserving these objects.

QUILTS: CONNECTING COMMUNITIES

Much more than bed coverings, quilts serve as tangible expressions of community and heritage, a legacy connecting women and families for multiple generations. Explore the stories that lie between the stitches while learning about the art and history of quilting in various cultural groups, and how quilts can be “read” as letters from the women who created them – with messages of hope, friendship, and family. Additionally, participants will identify and describe various quilt patterns and have an opportunity to create a unique quilt block using geometric shapes.

EXPLORING WORLD CULTURES THROUGH DOLLS

Journey and delight in dolls from around the world! Attired in traditional clothing, formal dress and exquisite costumes, the dolls in the program provide a means for exploring many cultures from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Learn why our doll from Paraguay is dressed in lace, and why the Ghana fertility doll is still significant in today’s African society.

NEW! CIVIL WAR: THE FIGHT FOR LIBERTY AND FREEDOM

During the Civil War African Americans were not mere bystanders, but active participants in pursuit of their own liberation and freedom. African American men and women partnered equally in the fight to uphold American ideals through their work as soldiers, abolitionists, nurses, teachers, and spies. Their dedication defined liberty and freedom as we know it today.

Special Series

TRAVELER SERIES

In the programs below, we take our audience on a tour of a wide variety of locations around the globe.  This is done through PowerPoint slides, videos, interviews with travelers, sharing of artifacts and more.

British Isles: Take a journey with Morris Museum of England, Wales, and Scotland! Explore London, Shakespeare’s birthplace, the Roman baths and more! View a magnificent Welsh castle and join in the fun of Highland Games in the lowlands of Scotland. There is never a dull moment across the lake!

Canada/Alaska: Join in with the Morris Museum staff and explore the scenic wonders of Canada and Alaska! Travel west across the provinces of Canada, view early gold rush towns of Alaska and look at Eskimo and Inuit artifacts and objects.

Caribbean: Always wanted to go on that sunny adventure on the beach? Now you can! Take a journey with Morris Museum and explore the islands of the Caribbean! Visit sugar plantations in Jamaica, a market in the Bahamas, and a national park in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Germany/Austria: Take a tour with the Morris Museum and visit Germany and Austria! Explore Germany’s Rhine River Valley and discover the arts and beauty of the Black Forest before traveling to Salzburg and Vienna in Austria.

Ireland: Did St Patrick really drive those snakes from Ireland? Do leprechauns exist? Join Morris Museum staff on a visit to Ireland! Explore Dublin, the Cliff’s of Moher, Shillelagh Forest, and kiss the Blarney Stone. Learn about the history of Guinness Beer, how Waterford crystal is manufactured, and from where Connemara Marble is quarried.

Italy: Visit the elegant Mediterranean coastline of Italia with the Morris Museum. Explore the Cinque Terre, Florence, and Siena in Tuscany! Discover the ancient treasures of Rome! Dig up history as you view archaeological sites in Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Netherlands: Take a journey with Morris Museum and explore the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg! Explore Kinderdijk windmills and tulip farms. Learn about Brussels lace making. Visit the site of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne before heading to Luxembourg City.

Mexico: Head down south for a warm visit to Mexico! Take a climb up the Aztec and Mayan pyramids. Explore Mexico City and the mountains of Cuernavaca and Taxco before heading to the Yucatan Peninsula. Examine many authentic Mexican arts and crafts!

Switzerland: Put on your hiking boots and prepare to visit the contemporary cities of Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Bern. Explore the natural beauty of Adelboden and Interlaken in the Swiss Alps, and take a ride on the Glacier Express!

SPOTLIGHT ON

These programs present an introduction to specific topics. Handling and examining objects, artifacts and reproductions provide educational and entertaining explorations in the sciences, arts, and humanities.

Ancient Egypt: Scarabs, cobras, vultures, and cats, oh my! Travel to ancient Egypt and discover the Egyptian gods through paintings and sculptures found in temples and pyramids. Learn about Egypt’s unique geography and how it affected its cultural development through architecture and the arts, religion, government and daily life. Presentations include artifacts from the museum’s collection such as a limestone vulture relief, a sphinx scarab, mummy gauze, and preserved ancient papyrus.

Ancient Greece: Explore ancient Greek life through examination of common everyday objects such as plates, cups, bowls, and lamps. Listen to stories of the gods as they worshiped, and view their images in visually artistic and utilitarian works of art.

Mammals: Explore the natural world up-close!  Examine mounted specimens from the Morris Museum’s collection of local wildlife, and learn about their habits and habitats. Learn about opossums, who most would assume are ugly and borings creature but have some incredible skills and adaptations—immunity to snake venom, being the only marsupial of North America, and having opposable thumbs. Find out how urban sprawl has positively and negatively affected gray squirrels, raccoons and bats, and larger mammals such as the red tail deer, black bear.

Birds: Perfect for bird watchers who would like a close-up view of some of New Jersey’s songbirds and other rarer ones native to the United States. Participants will view birds through an assortment of mounted specimens from the Morris Museum’s collection. They will learn about Hummingbird nest construction, and their incredible memories which allow them to return yearly to seasonal territorial flowers and feeders; and the Belted Kingfisher, whose iridescent plumage has earned it the nickname of the “Flying Jewel”. Don’t miss this opportunity to closely observe and learn about these beautiful creatures!

African Masks and Sculpture: These marvelously carved spiritual objects served ritualistic purposes and were considered to be magically powerful. Discover the importance and religious aspect of African masks such as the Baluba, Kifwebe and Senufo masks, as they were believed to be the representation of body and spirit.