Wagner Free Institute of Science

The Wagner Institute’s nineteenth century exhibit hall - a soaring three-story space - houses an extraordinary collection of natural history. Educational programs include interactive lessons, hands-on activities with real scientific specimens, and a scavenger hunt in the museum. Younger groups can learn about animal babies, nocturnal life, dinosaurs, and the categorization of life. Groups in second grade and up can learn about animal adaptation, food chains, evolution, ocean life, rocks and minerals, and urban ecology. Scout groups may participate in programs to earn badges. Homeschool groups may also participate in program offerings and Wagner-to-Go brings the Institute to you!
Contact Info
Address: 700 West Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19121. Philadelphia County. Tel: 215-763-6529. Email: reservations@wagnerfreeinstitute.org. Website: www.wagnerfreeinstitute.org. Hrs: Tues.-Fri. 9AM-4PM. 
Trip Info
Grade Level: PreK-5th. Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Tours. Recomm. Length of Visit: 1-2 hours. Cost: Free, suggested donation.

Museums Fun Facts

Museums are collections - of artifacts, paintings, etc. Talk about what types of collections campers have at home – be they stamps, baseball cards, or other items.

Use this comparison to frame some activities: talk about how museum collections came to be. Who collected and gathered the items on display? Compare this to how campers gathered their own collections at home. Also talk about (both with campers and museum staff) how the exhibits at the museum are arranged – such as the lighting and temperature for a certain exhibit.

Have campers set up a “Trip Museum” back at camp, consisting of items they’ve obtained on field trips; think of it as a group show and tell, where everyone participates and contributes to the collection.