Natural History Museum of Utah

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Museum on the Move

Museum on the Move (MoM), is an inquiry-based outreach program that gives 4th grade students the opportunity to work together, as scientists, to conduct science core-aligned investigations through the use of Museum-quality specimens and materials.  Museum on the Move is made possible through the generous support of the Utah State Legislature, Utah State Office of Education, and private donors. This funding provides us the opportunity to visit every public and charter school’s 4th grade classroom in Utah in a 2-year rotational period, free of charge. During the 2013-2014 school year, this program reached over 26,000 students in all parts of the state.

A Museum educator facilitates group discussion and guides students in a series of “discovery stations” throughout the 90-minute program. Students collaborate as scientists to observe, discuss ideas and ask questions, make inferences, justify their conclusions, and record their discoveries in meaningful notes, charts, or drawings. The Museum educator also models inquiry-based methods for the classroom teacher, who also engages in the scientific process and discovery alongside their students.

  • Program Length: 1.5 hours
  • Class Size: 1 class (20 - 30 students)
  • Fee: Free (schools contacted on 2-year rotation)

What to do before your visit: Be Prepared
How to prepare your students: Igniting Inquiry & Recording Stars
How to continue learning: Facts and Inferences

Museum on the Move Topics

  • Teachers may choose from three natural science topics according to their individual classroom needs. These MoM programs address specific Utah State Office of Education’s (USOE) Science Core Curriculum topics including adaptation, classification, Utah habitats, rocks and minerals, and fossils.

    Utah Animals: Adaptations and Classification-

    Discover adaptations of Utah animals by studying preserved lizards, snakes, insects, and mammal specimens and investigate their corresponding habitats. Devise your own classification methods of animals and determine what type of food animals eat, i.e. carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore.

    Rocks and Minerals-

    Develop methods for identifying and classifying rocks and minerals while making inferences based on your observations. Examine the differences between rocks and minerals and discuss what led to the formation of each of the different stages of the rock cycle.

    Fossils: Evidence of Utah’s Past-

    Research different types of fossils by examining specimens from the Natural History Museum of Utah’s paleontology collection. Observe a variety of fossils from Utah’s geologic past to make inferences about Utah’s ancient ecosystems. Determine what features define a fossil and discover the differences between trace and mineral replacement fossils.


    Museum on the Move addresses specific Utah State Office of Education’s (USOE) science core curriculum and Intended Learning Outcomes.

    Specific standards and objectives include:

                    Grade 4: Standard III, Objectives 1 and 2

                                      Standard IV, Objectives 1 and 2

                                      Standard V, Objectives 1, 2, 3, and 4

    Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Use science process and thinking skills.
  • Manifest scientific attitudes and interests.
  • Understand science concepts and principles.
  • Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

“Museum on the Move is truly a great teaching tool from people who have the resources, people who are specialists in their field, and people who are interesting! Thanks! This helps the kids learn more effectively, and translates into better test scores on the Core tests! Your team is greatly appreciated!” 4th Grade Teacher, Mountainside Elementary, Cache District


Don’t forget to tell your class about our “Ask The Scientist” email-ask us any question!

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