School Groups

Hands-on Learning Comes to Life.

At the High Desert Museum, history, art, science and cultural studies spring to life for students from kindergarten through middle school. Our 135-acre facility offers teaching opportunities you won’t find anywhere else. And with 12 different Discovery Classes, it’s easy to find subjects that enrich the classwork you’re already doing.

The learning opportunities here are always evolving and changing along with our exhibits. Our field trips, school programs and educational events meet the Next Generation Science Standards as well as the Common Core Standards for Literacy and Math and the Oregon Social Sciences Standards.

Our education staff is happy to customize any program to fit the needs of your class or school. Integrate a 60-minute Adventure Tour into your trip, or we can bring the Museum to your school. Come explore the Museum’s exhibitions and grounds and give your students a learning experience they’ll never forget.



Remember all programs are open to home school educators.

Adventure Tours

Museum instructors and volunteers guide students through activities at the Museum using the exhibits, grounds and classrooms. Programs are 60 or 90 minutes long.

Discovery Classes

These programs can either be held at the Museum or at your school. New topics will continue to become available throughout the school year, all aligned to Oregon state education standards.


Multiple stations are set up in and around the Museum featuring hands-on activities and opportunities for learning. Students and chaperones explore in small groups.

Self-Guided Tours

You are always welcome to come to the Museum for a self-guided field trip. As long as you register in advance, you will pay the school group admission rate of $4.50 per student.  All teachers and one chaperone for every three students are admitted free. The Museum offers Learning Expedition materials which provide a focused course of exploration during your Museum field trip. Developed with local teachers, each includes pre-visit activities which are built upon during the field trip and completed through post-visit activities in the classroom. The content is linked to state and local standards, with many themes for grades K–12.

Traveling Trunks 

Traveling trunks are a great way to extend the learning experience of the High Desert Museum and bring it back to the classroom. They are all-inclusive, curriculum-based learning units designed to enliven classroom learning through authentic materials and hands-on lessons.

Teacher Training 

A variety of training programs are offered throughout the year for educators of grades kindergarten through 12. The sessions are designed to help teachers gain a deeper understanding of the region’s arts, culture, history and natural sciences.

Early Childhood - Backpack Explorers

Parents and children ages 3-5 investigate science, art, music, stories and culture in a fun, hands-on manner. Don backpacks filled with exciting artifacts while journeying through the Museum's nature trails and exhibits. New themes weekly!

The High Desert Museum partners with the Children's Forest of Central Oregon which prorides a network of outdoor places and programs dedicated to moving all children along a continum of learning, exploration and healthy living through engagement with nature. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

School program registration form here.

Be sure you download our FIELD TRIP GUIDELINES and OFF-SITE PROGRAM GUIDELINES in Adobe PDF format!

High Desert Museum School Programs have been made possible in part by:

Bend Research, a Division of Capsugel 

Children's Forest of Central Oregon

Hickman, Williams & Associates, Inc.

Juan Young Trust

Vernier Software & Technology