You'll be in for a treat when our cafe reopens in July newly renovated and run in partnership with Creative Caterers.

School Visits to the Museum

School Visits to the Museum

The Rochester Museum & Science Center is a universally accessible facility with hands-on activities, presentation rooms and exhibits on each of its three floors.

As a school group, you may choose to conduct your own visit of the current exhibits and scheduled shows or you may opt into our facilitated programs including guided tours, hands-on activities, workshops and science presentations.

Planning Your Visit

Museum Programs and Pricing

The chart below will help you match up our exhibits and offerings with the grade level of your students. For questions or to make your reservation, call RMSC Group Scheduling at 585.697.1942.

$6 per student for museum admission
$9 per student for museum admission + planetarium show
(+$3 for add-on program or activity, see add-on chart)

One adult free for every five students; additional adults pay the student rate.
Purchase an additional show for half price.

Learn about Current Museum Exhibits


Program Add-on Options (+$3)

Enrich your school visit to the museum with facilitated activities and tours. Scroll down to explore the options in depth.

program addons


Explore in Detail

Carlson Inquiry Room

Hands-on, minds-on learning in the Inquiry Room is available Tuesday throughFriday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for 50 minute sessions with groups of 15 to 25 students. Programs are differentiated by grade level. For more details on activities in the Carlson Inquiry Room, please visit the Carlson Inquiry Room page.

Inventor Center Challenges

Tinker with raw materials to create working inventions that can be tested and shared. Our Inventor Center encourages your students to explore the thrilling process of invention with the following challenges:

Engineer the Erie Canal
Grades 2-8/ 50 Minutes
Now through January 7, 2016
Simple Machines to the rescue! It's time to clear the path to make way for the Erie Canal, but we need your team to build a “stump puller.” Combine levers, pulleys, gears and more to create an engineering marvel capable of extracting stumps out of the ground.

Catapult Forces challenge
Grades 2-8 / 50 minutes
January 28, 2016—June 16, 2015
Experiment with different projectiles, arm lengths and other variables to build and launch catapults and trebuchets and breach a castle. Test creations for power and distance.

Science on a Sphere Presentations

Freshwater Around the World
Grades 3-8  / 50 minutes
Immerse your students into an engaging experience utilizing 3-D data visualization. Observe the hydrologic cycle in action on our 5 ft. interactive globe!  Students will make water resource management decisions by analyzing real scientific data on freshwater sources including the atmosphere, surface, and underground.

Live Science Presentations

For Live Science Presentations, a minimum charge for 40 students applies.

Electricity Theater
Grades K-12. Differentiated by Grade Level / 50 minutes
It's MUSICAL lightning! Be mesmerized by zaps of lightning appearing just feet away in Electricity Theater! This science show experience features a dazzling display of indoor bolts of musical lightning produced by twin solid-state Tesla coils. Watch the dark theater become splashed with light as you explore the excitement of electricity and all that goes with it: lightning, conductors, insulators and storm safety. Tesla coils in the RMSC's Electricity Theater are frequency tunable. They can play music with the coils serving as speakers.

Liquid Nitrogen
Grades PreK-12. Differentiated by Grade Level / 50 minutes
This is the coolest demonstration we have. To be exact, it's the coldest, at -320 degrees Fahrenheit. With liquid nitrogen, students explore how solids, liquids and gases react to extreme temperature.

Grades K-12. Differentiated by Grade Level / 50 minutes
Bringing "pressure = force/area" to life with a bed of nails, marshmallows and nothing. Really....nothing—well, it's a vacuum actually.

The Chemistry of Hydrogen
Grades K-12. Differentiated by Grade Level / 50 minutes
From fuel cells to how life is illuminated miles under the ocean, here's a demonstration that highlights the most common element in the universe.

Guided Tours

Guided Tours

Guided tours are led by the RMSC’s Docents, experienced volunteer gallery facilitators and educators. Guided tours will engage students in discussion and critical thinking within the exhibit galleries and may include opportunity for hands-on engagement with special artifacts and objects. Groups will be split into smaller groups with a max of 15 students each. This 15:1 student to docent ratio ensures the best possible experience for your students in our galleries.

  • Duration: Tours are 50 minutes depending on tour or grade level
  • Dates: 9am-3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, September through May. Special requests for different days may be considered as necessary.     

The Haudenosaunee

Grades 4-8. Differentiated by grade level /50 minutes or 80 minutes with Trade Game

Discover the rich culture-past and present- of the Haudenosaunee (hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) people, more commonly known as the Iroquois Confederacy. Follow their story and discover the culture’s relationship with nature, the importance of clan structure, oral histories, The Great Law of Peace, and more as you compare and contrast the culture before and after contact with European’s. Discuss how the Haudenosaunee maintain their cultural identity across our community today. Each stop on this guided tour connects their story, from past to present, with hands-on objects.

Add our “Trade Game” experience to your Haudenosaunee Tour (at no extra cost) for an additional half-hour of hands-learning. Students will actively explore the impact of the beaver fur trade and the challenges it presented to both the Haudenosaunee and European communities.

Native American Environments & Cultures

Grades Pre-K-3 & 5-7. Differentiated by grade level /50 minutes

Take a closer look at the Algonquin, Apache, Haida, Pueblo, Inuit, Haudenosaunee and Plains cultures. Compare & contrast the past material culture of these various groups of Native Americans living across North America. How are the religious, social, political, economic, technological and artistic aspects of these communities affected by geography? Hands-on artifacts and natural materials aide in student’s exploration of geographic and environmental diversity and the role it plays in the family and community life. Continue the discussion on how Native Americans continue to contribute to cultural diversity in America.

Rochester’s Underground Railroad Immersion Experience

Grades 3-8. Differentiated by grade level /50 minutes

Follow the North Star on a journey from slavery, to the doors of abolitionists, and on to freedom during this Underground Railroad Immersion Experience in our Flight to Freedom exhibition. This tour focuses on the decisions and risks taken along the way. The experience highlights famous abolitionists who called Rochester home and discusses the key people, events that precipitated the Civil War, and our city’s position during this pivotal period of American history. Interactive exhibit components and a role-playing activity in the “Doors to Rochester” engage students from start to finish.

Exhibit Workshops—New in 2016!

Exhibit Workshops are active education experiences led by experienced volunteer gallery facilitators and/or RMSC educators. Exhibit Workshops combine the best of the both worlds—hands-on activities & demonstrations in a classroom setting as well as the opportunity to further that focus through guided exploration and discovery within our exhibit galleries. Exhibit Workshop content is adjusted according to grade level. Reservations required. Please note that the maximum group size for an Exhibit Workshop is 30 students. Larger groups will be accommodated upon registration and split into these smaller groups.

Duration: Exhibit Workshops are 50 minutes in length. 20 minutes will be spent in the workshop room, 20 minutes will be spent in the Exhibit Gallery and the closing 10 minutes will include a time for sharing amongst the class.

Days & Times: Exhibit Workshops are offered Tuesday--Friday 9:30am-3pm

Frog Adaptations—Limited Time Only!
Grades 3-12 / 50 minutes
Available Tuesdays and Thursdays only through April 8

Discover the ingenious adaptations of live frogs in our feature exhibition, Frogs: A Chorus of Colors with this unique experience for your students! Learn what adaptations are and why they’re important. Then it’s up to you to explore the adaptations that make it possible for frogs to live in tropical forests, frozen tundras and scorching deserts. Dozens of frog species from across the globe are showcased--observe and examine as they jump, climb and glide and don’t forget to share your findings! Students will get hands-on during the make & take portion of the workshop as they mix up an essential adaptation for all frog friends.

Animal Adaptations
Pre-K-5 / 50 minutes

Beavers, bears and birds, oh my! Form follows function as students explore the adaptations that abound in the animal kingdom! Learn what adaptations are, the difference between physical and behavioral adaptations and how they help all kinds of animals survive, and thrive, in the habitats they call home. All living things on planet Earth need four basic resources; food, water, air and shelter to survive and over time, all life forms are constantly changing in order to meet those needs. Using those 4 main resources as a lens, students will learn that animals, through adaptations have developed a variety of strategies to meet those needs. Explore up close and hands-on in the workshop room and then adventure into the Expedition Earth gallery to discover specific adaptations that the species in our collections have. From carnivores to herbivores big and small, endangered species and those that are now extinct, animal adaptations are everywhere—can your students discover them all?

Magnetism & Electricity
Grades 2-6 / 50 minutes
Available Tuesdays through Fridays beginning Jan. 25–May 26, 2016

Description coming soon!

When You Arrive

Museum Check-In

Before your visit, please read the information you receive with your confirmation carefully.

On the day of your visit, especially if you are coming for a particular program or show, please arrive in the lobby 15 minutes early with your reservation confirmation and your exact total head count including students, teachers, chaperones and bus drivers. To ease the check-in process, please ask one person from your group to check in at the front desk with your head count and payment. Payment may be made with cash, check, credit card, or purchase order.

Upon your arrival, the closest restrooms are located at the bottom of the main stairs by our café and in the AdventureZone exhibit room.

Courtesy Guidelines

  • Please use indoor voices, walk calmly, and behave respectfully toward other students, teachers, and the Museum staff.
  • Please turn off phones, tablets and other devices when entering a Museum show and keep them powered off until the end of your program.
  • Teachers and chaperones should stay with the students and are responsible for their behavior throughout the visit.

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