Cowan Museum of History and Science

Education Programs 


We are happy to announce that through the NC Science Museums Grant Program, under the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, we were awarded funds to help sustain the Museum and grow STEM/STEAMA education programs for schoolkids and the public, such as:

  • STEAMA programs in Ila's Kitchen Garden.
  • Programs in the Joann Cowan Brown Botanical Garden.
  • Outreach programs and remote learning activities for schools, youth groups, homeschoolers, and the public.  

Please email Anne Skinner for more information:

Preschool Programs:

Staff has made available educational programs for preschool classes that visit the Museum that relate to gardening, agriculture, and more. Teachers bringing classes to the museum will be able to select from a menu of hands-on activities and investigations that teach children about plants, insects, soil, weather, the position of the sum in the sky, and seasons.  

​5th Grade Programs: 

Our science programs for 5th grade students will help them build a strong foundation in science while having fun in order to develop positive attitudes toward science. Further, we hope to develop skills and content knowledge for students that they will build on throughout their school years. 

What's Involved?

  • Onsite and outreach programs linked to North Carolina curriculum standards for science.
  • Hands-on indoor and outdoor activities in which students use critical thinking to do scientific inquiry.
  • The use of weather instruments and cloud charts to measure and predict weather.
  • Analysis of  seasonal weather patterns at different latitudes and hemispheres.
  • Students will model jet stream, El Niño, and La Niña using colored streamers and movement.
  • Analysis of hurricane formation.
  • Demos, outdoor activities, scavenger hunts, data collection, and a puzzle on the water cycle and heat transfer.
  • Identification of producers, consumers, and decomposers in the outdoors; creation of giant food chains, a food web, and an energy pyramid; and analysis of their interrelationships within the ecosystem.

Earth/Environmental Science Lesson:  

Climate change science programs for high school students.

What's Involved?

  • Remote-learning activities in which students use critical thinking to do scientific inquiry.
  • Programs are linked to North Carolina curriculum standards for science.
  • Students will explore causes of climate change, analyze evidence for it, consider impacts, read what we can do about it, and set one short-term and one long-term goal for their own actions.
  • Students will read graphs, maps, diagrams and text; watch videos; and write answers to questions.

EDUCATION resources

Below are resources that students, families, caregivers, and the general public may take advantage of during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you enjoy them.

Smithsonian Virtual Exhibitions:

Learn about such things as habitats; the plants, animals, and humans that call them home; and the importance of protecting habitats. 

Visitors to this site may explore exhibit subjects, like “Gardening for the Common Good,”“Gardening for Science,” “Gardening for the Environment,” and “Gardening to Impress." 

Smithsonian Distance Learning Resources:

Here you will find a spreadsheet showing grade level, theme/topic, resource name, URL, NGSS standard, and whether material is available in Spanish.

This spreadsheet is divided into categories that include: Games, Maker – Low tech & High tech, Activities (Art & Design, History & Culture, Science & Nature), and Resources (Art & Design, History & Culture, Science & Nature).

Science Friday:

Grades 3-8.

Grades 7-12. 

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: 

Do activities like the Water Tension Experiment.

Watch short videos, like Why Carpenter Bees Drill Holes In Houses.

North Carolina Science Festival:

Check out this site's projects and activities page.

San Francisco Exploratorium Online Learning: