Voelker Orth Museum

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School/Group Programs

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The Voelker Orth Museum offers hands-on programs for school groups, camps, afterschool groups, and special needs programs. Browse our menu of offerings below, or reach out by phone (718-359-6227) or email (education@vomuseum.org) to make a reservation.

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ABOUT SCHOOL VISITS

The Voelker Orth Museum occupies an 1890s immigrant family's house and garden in Flushing, Queens. We offer a variety of history, science, and art programs for a diverse range of ages and abilities.

We aim to support our colleagues teaching in classrooms around the city by developing programs that complement New York's rigorous learning standards. Our intimate setting allows us to give our full attention to one visiting class at a time and dig deep into rich content through experiential learning.

Field trips are available for booking weekdays, Tuesday through Friday, year-round. Each program costs $110 for a class of up to 30 students (material fee included).

HISTORY PROGRAMS

Your class is invited to explore our 1890s home to discover how one immigrant family lived in Flushing, Queens over 100 years ago. Students will learn about the history of New York City, immigration, and daily life through the lens of Conrad Voelcker (later Voelker)—a newspaper publisher who emigrated from Germany in 1881—and his family.

History Detectives: Museum Tour
Grades 1-6

Students take on the role of detective as they investigate the lives of three generations of the Voelker Orth family. Each sleuth will collect "clues" hidden in the museum, analyze family photos, and handle historic artifacts to learn about the daily life of one family member. Working in groups, students will draw on primary source evidence and their own experiences in New York City to deepen their understanding of American immigration and cultural identity.

History Detectives: Primary Source Workshop
Grades 4-6

This 40-minute, in-class workshop is available as a pre-museum visit supplement to our History Detectives Museum Tour or as a standalone. Students will learn about different types of primary sources, including written materials (letters and diaries), visual materials (photos, paintings, and blueprints), three-dimensional materials (objects and buildings), and oral histories. Our museum educator is available to travel to classrooms in parts of Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, schedule permitting.

A New Home in a New Country
Grades 4-6

This program focuses on the story of Conrad Voelcker, a newspaper publisher who emigrated from Germany in 1881 and published German-language newspapers in New York City. Each class will take a hands-on tour of the historic house focused on the history of communication between 1890 and the present. We'll explore how Conrad and his family stayed in touch with friends and family in Germany while also making new connections in their new home—using newspapers, typewritten letters, and books. In a culminating printmaking activity, students will create their own newspaper advice column for recently-arrived immigrants.

SCIENCE PROGRAMS

Plant Science Workshops

Students will observe, ask questions, and collect information about plants in the garden, and then share their ideas as they engage in hands-on gardening and discussion in a classroom setting.

Option A: Plants We Eat
Grades Pre K – K

Using a variety of familiar fruits and vegetables and tactile touch boards, your class will classify plant parts, learn what they do, and discuss how humans and plants support each other. Students will start a plant from seed to take home.

Option B: Terrarium Gardening
Grades 1 - 6

Students learn about the basics of plant life, the water cycle, and how plants respond to changes in their environment. Students will make their own terrarium garden to take home.

Urban Habitat Explorers

The city is home to remarkable creatures. Students examine the relationships between humans, plants and animals and learn about the things urban wildlife need to live and grow in our city home.

Option A: Creature Camouflage
Grades Pre-K – K

Students will learn about how animals use their colors for protection and attraction, play a camouflage game in the garden, and make their own colorful butterfly masks using collage techniques.

Option B: Birds of a Feather
Grades 1 – 4

Students will learn about the different parts of a bird's habitat, observe birds in the garden, and make a simple bird feeder so they can continue their observations at home.

Option C: Who's Afraid of Honeybees? (April-Sept)
Grades 1 – 4

Students will learn about the important role of honeybees in our ecosystem, visit our working beehive, sample honey, and make beeswax candles to take home.

FAQs

How much does a class cost and how do I pay?

Each program costs $110 per class (material fee included). Advance payment is required by cash or check made out to the Voelker Orth Museum. Unfortunately, we aren't able to accept credit card at this time.

Do you allow cancellations?

A full refund is available for cancellations up to 15 days prior to the scheduled program.

What should we wear?

Programs include an outdoor component, so please advise your students to dress accordingly.
Additionally, most of our education programs involve working with soil and/or messy art materials. We advise students to wear clothing that they don't mind getting a little dirty. In particular, our New Home in a New Country program involves printing with black ink, so students are advised to wear old clothing or to bring a smock.

Is there parking for our school bus?

School bus parking is available directly in front of the museum on 38th Avenue.

How many students am I allowed to bring?

Our classroom space is limited, so we cap our programs at 30 students (grade 6 and younger) and 4 adult chaperones at one time. Special needs groups are capped at 15, not including chaperones, unless you've made special arrangements. Reach out to us at (718) 359-6227 or education@vomuseum.org to learn more.

Can I bring students with special needs?

We strive to support students of all needs and abilities. Please describe any special consideration that would best prepare us for working with your students (learning styles, physical needs, cognitive and sensory challenges) when making your reservation. The more information you provide, the better we will be able to support your students' unique needs. Please note that special needs groups are capped at 15, not including chaperones, unless you've made special arrangements.

Can we bring our lunches and eat at the museum?

We don't have a cafeteria space on premises and we can't guarantee that the weather will accommodate plans to picnic in the garden. We strongly recommend eating back at school, but are happy to troubleshoot other options as you work through challenges related to timing and travel.

Are your programs aligned to current learning standards?

Our programs complement New York State's Learning Standards and the Common Core Standards. Email education@vomuseum.org for details about specific programs.

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149-19 38TH AVENUE, FLUSHING, NY 11354  |  718-359-6227  |  CONTACT US  |  © 2014 THE VOELKER ORTH MUSEUM