Field Trips - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Field Trips

MUSEUM LEARNING PROGRAMS

Explore the Whaling Museum’s art, history, science, and culture content through a guided field trip or self-guided visit through the museum exhibits.

Students can marvel at the whale skeletons, climb aboard the Lagoda whaling ship, and view the New Bedford harbor from the Observation Deck. Extend your trip with additional learning activities like a squid dissection, 3-D movie, curator-led tour of a special exhibit, or visit to the Research Room.

Guided programs are designed to comply with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and Common Core standards. See program descriptions and prices below.

Guided programs are offered for groups of 10-60 students; for groups of more than 60, we are happy to divide your group across multiple days. Groups with fewer than 10 students may still book a guided program but will be charged admission for a minimum of 10 students at the discounted group rate. Some extended learning programs have additional minimum and maximum requirements.

 

A Day at the Musuem

A Day at the Museum

Lower Elementary (K-2)
Up to 60 students | 90 minutes
Offered Tuesday – Friday Mornings

In this introduction to museums, students explore exhibits and learn about whales, art, collections, and local history. Through hands-on activities designed especially for young learners, students discover the excitement and fun of visiting the Whaling Museum.

Learning standards will be met as students:

  • Actively explore whale biology by looking at skeletons and specimens, and by climbing in a model of a blue whale heart
  • Discuss ways to protect animals by keeping trash out of the ocean
  • Imagine life on the Lagoda whaling ship to learn about the maritime history of the region
  • Examine museum displays and sort a collection into categories
  • Look carefully at art to make meaning and compare sources of information
Field Trips Whales Today

Whales Today

Elementary/Middle (K-8)
Up to 60 students | 90 minutes
Offered Tuesday - Friday Mornings

Whales, dolphins, and porpoises (cetaceans) are fascinating animals that have captured our attention for centuries. Through the use of real whale artifacts, hands-on teaching tools, and our magnificent skeletons, students learn about these amazing animals and discover how we can help protect whales today.

Learning standards will be met as students:

  • Compare structures of related species
  • Examine adaptations that enable survival in a watery environment
  • Listen to audio files and see visual representations of sounds of different cetacean species
  • Discuss various ways that students can help protect whales today
Field Trips History on the Hill

History on the Hill

Elementary/Middle/High (3-12)
Up to 60 students | 90 minutes
Offered on Tuesday - Friday Mornings

New Bedford has a deep and rich history. In this survey of the community, students explore the indigenous people of New England, the first explorers and settlers, and the lives of whalers who contributed to New Bedford’s historically unique community.

Learning standards will be met as students:

  • Recognize the diverse nature of the people who inhabited what came to be known as New Bedford and identify what groups contributed to its change and growth
  • Learn about the indigenous people of New England, European explorers, and early settlers and their relationship with each other and the land
  • Discover the daily lives of whalers on a whaling voyage and the products created by the whaling industry
ft Self Guided tour

Self-Guided Tour

Elementary/Middle/High
Up to 80 students | 90 minutes recommended
Available during all open hours

Self-guided tours allow students to explore the museum at their own pace while discovering the museum’s many stories and unique objects. Self-guided tours also allow educators to highlight themes or topics being explored in their classrooms in personalized ways. The Museum Learning team is happy to work with you and your group to design your self-guided experience.

Whales Today Self Guided

History on The Hill Self Guided

Field Trips 3D movie

3D Movie

Elementary/Middle/High
Up to 200 students | 25 minutes
Everyday, Daily Showings at 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM,1:30 PM, 2:30 PM

Big Blue Pictures, an immersive 3D theater experience at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, is the first and only 3D theater on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts. Students can either join a public screening or choose a film from our 3D library for a private screening on the hour.

Big Blue Pictures Titles

Field Trips Squid Dissection

Squid Dissections

Elementary/Middle (3-8)
Up to 25 students per session | 60 minutes
Offered Tuesday-Friday All Day

Students discover the unusual adaptations of squid by investigating their external and internal anatomy. Students use dissecting tools to locate and examine specific features of these important aquatic animals. They learn the functions of these body parts and the role they play in daily activities and survival.

Allergy Notice: The Squid Dissection program includes close interaction with squid, including, but not limited to: handling squid with gloves, interacting with squid fluids in a classroom setting, and being in a room where the smell of seafood is apparent. Squid are considered shellfish. Participants who have a shellfish allergy should be aware of this type of interaction. For questions about this lab and allergies, please call 508.717.6885.

ft Inflatable Whale

Inflatable Whale

Elementary/Middle
Up to 80 students | Scheduled in 60-minute increments
Subject to room availability

Climb inside a 43-foot long inflatable humpback whale to examine internal organs of this marine mammal. Groups can schedule a special hour long session to learn more about animal adaptations. Students rotate through in smaller groups. Unfortunately, the inflatable is not accessible for some students with mobility needs.

ft lagoda below decks

Lagoda Below Deck

Elementary/Middle
Up to 30 students per session | Scheduled in 30-minute increments
Subject to staff availability

Explore the lower deck of the Lagoda whaling ship and see the quarters of the captain and mates. Groups can schedule a special half-hour long session to see an additional section of the ship that is usually closed to the public. Students rotate through in smaller groups to climb down steep steps to the small cabins. Unfortunately, this space is not accessible for some students with mobility needs.

Curator Visit

Curator Visit

High School/College
Up to 30 students per session | Scheduled in 60-minute increments
Subject to staff availability

Join a curator for a tour of a special exhibit or to learn more about working at a museum. Groups can schedule a special hour long session. The Museum Learning team will work with interested groups to schedule a program tailored to your educational goals

ft Research Room Visit

Research Room Visit

Middle/High School/College
Up to 20 students per session | Scheduled in 30 to 60-minute increments
Subject to staff availability

Visit the museum’s Research Room to explore primary sources related to a topic you are studying in class. Groups can schedule a special hour long session. The Museum Learning team will work with interested groups to schedule a program tailored to your educational goals.

RATES

Guided Education Programs
K-12
$10 per student
College group $15 per student
Chaperones One free per 10 students/$12 additional chaperones

Self-Guided Education Programs
K-12 $9 per student
College group $18 per student
Chaperones One free per 10 students/$12 additional chaperones

Lunch Room
On-site lunch fee $50 (Groups must bring own lunches)

Extended Learning Programs*

3D Movie tickets $4 per person per movie (including teachers and chaperones) for regularly scheduled movie
Special Request 3D Movie tickets $7 per person per movie (15 student minimum)
Squid Dissections $7 per student (15 student minimum)
Inflatable Whale $250 per group (no maximum)
Lagoda Below Deck $50 per class (30 student maximum)
Curator Visit speaker
$3 $7 per person student (15 student minimum)
Research Room Visit $3 $7 per person student (15 student minimum)

*Please note that extended learning programs can be scheduled to accompany a self-guided or guided program. These programs are subject to staff availability and may not be offered on all dates and times. Large group may need to be split into rotations based on available space. Groups with fewer than 15 students may still book a squid dissection, curator visit, or research room visit but will be charged for a minimum of 15 students.

 

NBWM Field Trip Confirmation Packet

Payment

  • Full payment in the form of cash, credit card, debit card, or check (made payable to Old Dartmouth Historical Society) is due the day of your program. We suggest paying the day of your visit to avoid any reimbursements or additional payments in case your group's numbers change.
  • Groups are required to pay as one lump sum to receive the Museum’s group discount.
  • Groups that are planning multiple visits will need to pay for each day individually.
  • Arrangements must be made with the Museum Learning team prior to your visit if you will need to be invoiced after your visit.

Subsidized Groups

If you are a school group from New Bedford, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven or Westport, you may be eligible for free admission through the Jessie B. DuPont Educational Fund and Cultural Council funding. Boston school groups may be eligible to receive free admission and subsidized transportation through the Schrafft Charitable Trust. To find out if you qualify, please fill out our online reservation form and check the appropriate box for more details. Funds are limited.

Cancellations

If you need to cancel a program, please contact the Museum Learning team promptly. Failure to cancel a program 1 week in advance may result in a cancellation fee.

 

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US

Museum Learning team at 508-997-0046 x185 or grouptours@whalingmuseum.org for further information about school visits and available programs.

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“These programs are supported in part by grants from the New Bedford, Dartmouth, Acushnet and Westport cultural councils, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.”