Listing of Activities

All in the Family- Or is it?
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-06  |  
Using the HNPCC® kit, students will examine the role of inherited mutations and environmental factors. They will use a family medical history to create a pedigree and select likely candidates for genetic testing and identify family members carrying the cancer-linked mutation with gel electrophoresis.
Grades: 9-12 Length of course: 2.5 hours
Branching Out
Huntsville Botanical Garden
BG-05  |  
Trees are what it’s all about in this program that gets your students investigating these important resources. We’ll teach your students how to classify trees, explain the different parts of a tree and how they all work together, the interdependence of trees and animals, and look for the different ways that trees can be damaged.
Length of course: 2 hours Grades: 2-4
Burritt and His "Green" Home
Burritt on the Mountain
B-01  |  
Dr. Burritt was ahead of his time. His home has many features unique to his day. The wheat straw bale insulation he used is recommended for green buildings today. Even the shape of the house is unique. Learn about the myths of snakes in the walls and dragons in the dining room. Take a tour of the historic park buildings to see how settlers of the past designed structures to take advantage of solar heat and wind power.
Length of Course: 1-1/2 hours Grades: 4-12
Butterflies and Bugs
Huntsville Botanical Garden
BG-01  |  
From caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, your students will thrill at investigating the life cycle of the butterfly in the nation’s largest open-air seasonal butterfly house! The students will be immersed in a total body experience as they come face to face with thousands of native butterflies, tadpoles, frogs, tree frogs, turtles, button quail and other critters living in the waterfall, ponds, streams and lush vegetation of the Nature Center. Located right outside the Nature Center is the two-acre Children’s Garden which is actually eight gardens in one!
Length of Course: 2 hours Grades: K-4
Camp-In!
EarlyWorks Children's Museum
EW-06  |  
Spend the night in an exciting hands-on gallery and join with your team as you solve an ever-changing mystery of historic proportions! Your challenge: you and your teammates must solve a mystery in a search that will take you on an adventure down the river on a keelboat and through a mine explosion, a haunted log cabin and an old general store. The fun and games begin at Camp EarlyWorks after dark!
Length of Course: Overnight
Castles of Cumberland
Burritt on the Mountain
B-02  |  
Visit some early American “castles” of the Cumberland region. These log structures dominated the region’s early rural landscapes. Explore four different styles of cabins and other types of structures. All houses in the historic park are furnished with authentic relics and reproductions.
Length of Course: 1 hour Grades: 4-12
Civil War Encampment
Historic Huntsville Depot
EW-04  |  
The students will discuss and analyze the culture and lives of people living during the 1860s in the South: weather, hardships, daily life, dangers, responsibilities, etc. They will develop map and globe skills by locating features associated with the Civil War; use cardinal and intermediate directions to describe routes used in the war; locate and identify states in the Confederacy and Union. Lasting cultural influences of the Civil War will be explored.
Length of Course: 2 hours
Civil War History
Weeden House Museum and Garden
W-01  |  
The life of Maria Howard Weeden will be presented to the students as they learn how this poet and artist used the conflict of the Civil War to write history. Students will view her art and learn how she painted exquisite portraits and captured the spirit of her model as she transcended the cultural barriers of her time. Visitors will also learn how people during the Civil War survived and how individuals and groups responded differently to their physical and social environments.
Length of Course: 1 hour
Cytogeneticist for the Day
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-04  |  
Taking on the role of a cytogeneticist, students will examine patient samples for chromosomal anomalies and learn how karyotypes are produced. Using HudsonAlpha’s Disorder Detectives® kit, students will also work through one of 15 patient case studies to create a karyotype.
Grades: 9-12 Length of course: 1.5 hours
Exploring Enzymes
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-01  |  
In this investigative activity, students will learn about enzyme specificity, discuss the role of enzymatic reactions during digestion of a fast food meal, evaluate several enzymes used in the production of apple juice and even create their own cheeses using enzymes produced by biotechnology.
Grades: 6-8 Length of course: 1.5 hours
Extreme Extraction
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-05  |  
Extracting DNA is a favorite activity for many students and teachers and this experience takes it to the next level. Students will create their own solutions with common household items to extract DNA from one of a variety of food items, while learning how cell structure impacts the process and the reasons why scientists extract DNA.
Grades: 9-12 Length of Course: 1.5 hours
Fantastic Foliage
Huntsville Botanical Garden
BG-03  |  
Discover the beauty of fall as a guide takes you through an autumn adventure. Your students will investigate why leaves don’t absorb water, discover why leaves change color, find out how boring their food would be without herbs and make a colorful leaf collage to take back to the classroom.
Length of course: 2 hours Grades: K-2
First Person Experiences
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
V-05  |  
This is an ongoing program presented by veterans of World War II and later wars who will share with the students stories about morals, personal objectives and accomplishments of young people of another time.
Length of Course: 1 hour
Folk Life Days
Alabama Constitution Village
EW-05  |  
You’ll love the festival atmosphere at Constitution Village. There will be outdoor concessions, dancing the reel and craft tables for some hands-on fun. Who knows what famous American you might encounter as your class is directed from one craftsman to the next? Perhaps the blacksmith, candle dipper, printer or tinsmith will observe talent in one of your students and request that he/she stay behind as an apprentice!
Length of Course: 2 hours
Garden Hunt
Huntsville Botanical Garden
BG-02  |  
Using scientific inquiry, your students will learn why gardens are important to animals and animals are important to gardens. Students will also go on a hunt looking for signs of the often nocturnal creatures that call the outdoors home.
Length of tour: 75 minutes Grades: K-1
Genes & Consequences
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-08  |  
This computer-based activity will allow students to dive into the Central Dogma and gain experience with DNA sequencing, while looking at how changes in regions of DNA can cause disease. Using one of 15 case studies, students will practice DNA base pairing, transcription and translation, and also create protein folding models to discuss how changes in amino acid sequence may impact protein function.
Grades: 9-12 length of course: 5 hours Box lunch from Hudson Alpha Bistro is available.
Genome Cache
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-09  |  
Using the double helix sidewalks of McMillian Park, students will go on a scavenger hunt to investigate nearly 200 genetic points of interest along a Genome Walk®. Students will use the Genome Cache app to answer trivia questions that will provide them with the next clue.
Grades: 6-12 Length of course: 1 hour
Great History Sleepover
Historic Huntsville Depot
EW-02  |  
Built in 1860, the Huntsville Depot provides the perfect spot for a great History Sleepover! The Sleepover begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 11 a.m. the next day. Students will hear ghost stories as they roast marshmallows; join the Depot Brigade and march to the beat of a drum; discover actual graffiti left by Civil War soldiers and experience the life of a Civil War soldier – cooking, supplies, even medical attention!
Length of Course: Overnight on site
How in the World
Burritt on the Mountain
B-05  |  
How did the people of the past get to North Alabama? Where did they come from? Learn about orienteering, cardinal directions and mapping as you trek across Burritt on the Mountain. You will have the opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt as you use the compass to navigate through the park. Limit 25 students or must be combined with another activity.
Grades: 4-8
In-Depth Development History of Military Vehicles , Weapons and Equipment
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
V-04  |  
The students will learn about history based on the Museum’s collection of unique vehicles, as well as representative weapons, radios, uniforms and personal gear.
Length of Course: 1 hour
In-Depth Studies of Periods of Military History
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
V-03  |  
Students will participate in presentations of specialized facets of military history, often by veterans who were there.
Length of Course: 1 hour
Interactive Docent-Led Tour
Huntsville Museum of Art
MA-01  |  
Taking a tour with a trained docent enhances the museum experience. A docent encourages students to ask and answer questions about the art on view. Docents provide a great deal of background about the artist, the works and the artistic movement to which the art belongs. By helping the student to observe, compare and interpret, the docent provides students the tools to evaluate art on their own. Groups of ten or more may schedule a docent-led tour with two weeks notice.
Length of Course: 1 hour
International Space Station Payload Operations Integration Center
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
N-01  |  
The Payload Operations Integration Center is responsible for NASA’s on board science operations for the International Space Station (ISS), and is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The Payload Operations Center communicates with the astronauts on board the ISS on a daily basis and can remotely operate on-board science and technology experiments. There is a viewing area at Marshall where visitors can observe the control room operations. The Center also develops plans each day to help crewmembers make the best use of their time and resources on board, so they can accomplish their important research related to life science, fluid physics and materials science. Human life sciences experiments conducted on board the ISS are particularly critical to NASA’s preparations for future human space travel.
Length of tour: 30 minutes
Investigating the Genetics of Cancer
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-07  |  
Students will examine the genetic roots of cancer, compare hereditary and non-hereditary cancers and use the HNPCC® kit to trace a cancer-related mutation through a family. Using gel electrophoresis, students will identify family members carrying the cancer-linked mutation and discuss ethical challenges related to genetic testing.
Grades: 9-12 Length of course: 5 hours Box lunch available by the Hudson Alpha Bistro.
Kitchen DNA with a Twist of Inquiry
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-02  |  
Students will extract DNA from strawberries, learning how cell structure impacts the extraction process, and will create their own solutions using common household items to extract DNA from one of a variety of food items.
Grades: 6-8 Length of course: 1.5 hours
Lectures, Gallery Walks
Huntsville Museum of Art
MA-02  |  
Many programs are offered by the Huntsville Museum of Art throughout the year. These programs include gallery walks in which students join an artist for a tour of his/her works currently on view in one of the galleries. Often there are slide lectures presented in the Museum’s Great Hall by artists, museum curators, educators, art collectors and art historians to enhance the enjoyment of exhibitions currently on view.
Length of Course: 1 hour
Library Containing Memoirs and Documents
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
V-02  |  
The students will learn about World War II from written and oral experiences of World War II veterans. They will view one-of-a-kind maps, photos and military orders.
Length of Course: 1 hour
Museum Academy Classes
Huntsville Museum of Art
MA-03  |  
The Museum offers a wide selection of classes and workshops in two spacious classrooms overlooking Big Spring International Park. Students may select from classes in oil painting, watercolor, mixed media, sculpture and ceramics. There are preschool classes, after school classes, Saturday classes, art for home schooled students, as well as classes for high school students.
Length of Course: Varies depending on class
Our Nation's Military Heritage
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
V-01  |  
The students will learn about the Citizen Soldier Tradition, respect for the flag and armed conflicts at home and abroad from the military staff who “lived the history.”
Length of Course: 1 hour
Pathfinder
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
SR-03  |  
Pathfinder is a condensed version of the weeklong Space Camp® program. It focuses on math, science and space mission training. Pathfinder is a two-night, structured, educational adventure which includes a full history of the space program, astronaut simulators, a simulated shuttle mission, model rocket construction and launch and a Spacedome IMAX movie. The program concludes with a graduation ceremony for the trainees. Groups have the option of attending Monday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Friday, or Friday to Sunday.
Grades 4-8, Aviation track also available. Length of Course: 2 nights
Read and Learn Even More
Huntsville Museum of Art
MA-04  |  
Art is accompanied by a label that tells the viewer the artist’s name, the title of the work and the materials used to create the piece. Sometimes an extended text may accompany the label. Its purpose is to provide historical background, define art terms and provide detailed information about the artist. This written information provides the additional opportunity for individual exploration of the galleries at no additional cost. Activity-filled gallery guides are available for specific exhibitions.
Length of Course: Varies according to schedule
Seeds Everywhere
Huntsville Botanical Garden
BG-04  |  
Exploding seedpods, rolling gumballs and whirly-twirly helicopters! Bet your students didn’t realize that engineering started with Mother Nature. Sign your class up to discover the physics behind seeds and nuts; they’ll have a blast!
Length of course: 1½ hours Grades: K-3
Space Camp® & Aviation Challenge®
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
SR-04  |  
Trainees attending Space Camp and Aviation Challenge engage in simulated astronaut and fighter pilot training to learn leadership skills, teamwork, problem-solving and decision-making. Space Camp trainees put their skills to the test as they train to live and work in space and take command of their own simulated space shuttle missions. Aviation Challenge trainees spend an exciting and educational week in the great outdoors training like military fighter pilots as they plan missions and fly high-performance jet simulators. Come experience the ultimate classroom! This program runs Sunday through Friday. A robotics program is also available. High school program is college accredited.
Grades 4-12 Length of Course: 5 days
Surveyor
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
SR-02  |  
Surveyor is an introduction into the makings of the space program. It is a great way for larger groups to experience the excitement of spaceflight’s history. Surveyor is a one-night, structured, educational adventure which includes a guided tour of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, hands-on science activities, a STEM lab, astronaut simulators and other space-based activities. Students tour the Rocket Park, watch a Spacedome IMAX movie and experience some of the forces of spaceflight with our museum simulators. Check-in dates are Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday.
Grades 3-8 Length of Course: 1 night
The Underground Railroad
Burritt on the Mountain
B-03  |  
The Underground Railroad had no tracks or train cars, but it moved thousands of slaves from the South to the North. Learn why people traveled on the Underground Railroad and where they went. Students will experience following the helpful clues from one “safe” house to the next. Hear the music from this era as you reenact this real-life adventure with your class. The size limit for this trip is 40 students.
Length of Course: 1-1/2 hours Grades: 4-12
Time Travelers Sleepover
EarlyWorks Children's Museum
EW-01  |  
Huntsville Historic Depot, EarlyWorks, Alabama Constitution Village: Explore the 1800s at our three unique museums. You’ll get a taste of early 19th century life, a feel for the danger of the Underground Railroad and a glimpse at life of the Civil War soldier. Spend the night at a local hotel with dinner and evening activities at the Depot and daytime activities at EarlyWorks and Constitution Village.
Length of Course: 1½ days
Ultimate Field Trip
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
SR-01  |  
The Ultimate Field Trip is a directed learning experience for students. The program includes a guided tour of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center® museum, interactive presentations and demonstrations about life on the International Space Station, a Spacedome® IMAX movie, simulators, and hands-on group activity. The NEW Math Exploration Ultimate Field Trip adds skills-based activities that bring mathematics to life by connecting our amazing collection of space hardware and artifacts to math skills that demonstrate applications beyond classroom walls. Math Exploration UFT correlates to nationally-accepted mathematics standards for Grades 3-8 and algebra.
Length of Course: Approximately 4 hours (including movie and box lunch)
Village Living History
Alabama Constitution Village
EW-03  |  
Interpreters make history come alive as they invite students to card cotton, turn the great wheel lathe in the cabinet shop, stoke the fires in the blacksmith shop and dip candles.
Length of Course: 2 hours
What is Biotechnology?
HudsonAlpha Institute
HA-03  |  
Students will use a web-based timeline to investigate key events in the history of biotechnology. In addition, they will examine and use biotechnology tools and learn about modern biotechnology applications.
Grades: 6-8 Length of course: 1.5 hours
Wild Wonderful World of Animals
Burritt on the Mountain
B-04  |  
Burritt offers animal studies including domestic, wildlife and urban wildlife. Learn the differences and similarities between these types of animals. You will have the opportunity to visit the habitat of a variety of animals as you hike the trails, travel through the barnyard and observe our pets.
Grades: 4-8

Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau    500 Church Street Suite One, Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Phone: (256) 551-2230 | 1-866-ESC2HSV | Fax: (256) 551-2324

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