Educational Programming at the Highlands Museum

The Highlands Museum & Discovery Center offers a variety of educational experiences designed to reach students of all ages.  Here at the museum we believe that learning is a life-long process.  Our educational experiences are aimed at multi-generational audiences.  From historical exhibits to the Discovery Center and workshops, there are learning opportunities for everyone to experience.


The Highlands Museum & Discovery center preserves and exhibits over 11,000 historical artifacts.  It is also home to an interactive children’s Discovery Center and a newly opened Space Science Hall.  There is a lot to see and do at the Highlands.  The museum offers three types of tours to help students get the most out of their experience:

  • Self-Guided-Museum staff will provide a short introduction. The group then conducts their own tour of all areas of the museum.
  • Semi-Guided-Groups are taken to each of the three floors of the museum and given a brief synopsis before being released to explore that individual floor on their own.
  • Fully-Guided- Groups will be given an in-depth tour of exhibits on the all three floors of the museum.

2021-22 Workshops

For a total of $5 per student, you may add one of our STEAM workshops.

What’s the MATTER with the Three Little Pigs?
K-3rd Grade
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not your students! In this STEAM lesson students will get a chance to engage in the engineering design process to see how many huffs and puffs their house can withstand. Students participating in What’s the MATTER with the Three Little Pigs? will:

  • Learn about the three states of matter; solid, liquid, and gas.
  • Use the engineering design process to build a house for the three little pigs within a set of parameters.

Color Your World
Pre-K-2nd Grade
What is your favorite color? Let’s read the classic book Mouse Paint together. Then we will explore how to mix colors while creating some colorful spinning art of our own.

The Art of Quilting
2nd-5th Grade
Quilts are a long-treasured Appalachian art tradition. In this workshop students will not only learn about the history of quilts, but will piece together their own paper quilt to take back to the classroom. Students participating in The Art of Quilting will:

  • Learn about the history of quilting, and meaning behind different quilt designs.
  • Use different geometric shapes and pattern blocks to make their own quilt block design.

Flying Frenzy
2nd-5th Grade
What does it take to make an airplane fly? What forces help keep an airplane in the air? Let’s construct a paper airplane and see how far we can make it fly. Students participating in Flying Frenzy will:

  • Construct a paper airplane and test its flying capabilities.
  • Identify problems with their paper airplane, and using the principles of flight, re-engineer their airplanes to see if flying capabilities can be improved.

Galactic Slime
K-5th Grade
Slime is stretchy, sticky, and fun. Let’s investigate and talk about different types of slime and then make some of our own to take home. Students participating in Galactic Slime will:

  • Make observations and ask questions about different types of slime to determine if slime is a solid, liquid, or something else.
  • Investigate the unique properties of slime to gain a better understanding of what makes slime so different and fun!

Moving Parts Traveling Trunk
3rd-5th Grade
What makes things move? Students will learn about forces, momentum, and gravity while creating chain reaction to move a ball towards a goal. This traveling trunk will contain 10 lesson plans and all the materials to help your students explore forces and simple machines, and to learn about the famous cartoonist and engineer Rube Goldberg.