Education is one of Discovery Center’s core values. You’ll find a variety of services and resources including field studies, self-guided tours, mobile labs, Girl Scout programs, and educator workshops. Be sure to take advantage of the 10% discount in the gift shop for your group during your visit.
- Guided field studies at Discovery Center are $8 per person
- Self-guided tours are $7 per person
- Dissection Labs are $9 per student and require a $25 non-refundable lab fee
- Mobile Labs are $5 per person with the exception of the S.T.A.R. program which is $9 per student
- STEAM Bus prices start at $250 for two 1-hour sessions and do not include mileage. Minimum booking of 2 sessions
- Thanks to support from the Nissan Foundation and the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon County, a limited number of field study scholarships are available for free/reduced lunch students. Scholarships are allotted on a first come, first serve basis. Scholarships are not available for Mobile Labs
- Teachers and school personnel are free with the field study. Chaperones are $8 each, and they must pay separately at the door
Cancellations & Late Arrivals:
- Please call us if you need to change your reservation date. We will do our best to accommodate.
- Cancellation of the group tour reservation that occurs between two (2) weeks and 24 hours prior to the scheduled program will be assessed a $50 penalty fee.
- If you will be late, please call (615) 890-2300. We honor the time reserved for each group. Your free time in the museum may be shortened if you do not arrive at your scheduled time.
- Guided field study groups must consist of 20 students or more.
- We reserve the right to combine schools to effectively maximize museum space and staff.
- Outdoor lunch facilities available. If the weather drops below 40 degrees or is inclement, we provide groups with an indoor eating space. However, due to limited space, we cannot provide you with a lunchroom until all Education Programming is completed.
- Beverages, healthy snacks, and ice cream available in our gift shop.
To book your program, call (615) 890-2300 or email our Scheduling Coordinator.
Discovery Center provides fun and effective, informal learning experiences that meld with the classroom learning. Located adjacent to 20 acres of spectacular wetlands, Discovery Center is full of exciting exhibits and wildlife to explore – both inside and out. These exhibits and staff-led activities are designed to complement the standards-based curriculum. Programs include a 90-minute field study plus Discovery Center exploration. Specific field study content is based on grade level attending. Pre-K groups include 30 minutes of field study.
Our goal is to make the Discovery Center an extension of your classroom with premier hands-on and inquiry-based learning. We look forward to seeing you and your students soon!
Click on your grade to download pre/post tour packets complete with curriculum correlations for each tour!
|Animals All Around||PK, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Amazing Anatomy||1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Discovery Detectives||K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Pumpkin Power||K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th|
|Splash & Flash||K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|S.T.A.R. Lab||1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Tennessee Ties||1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Weather Wizzes||K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Wetland Wonders||PK, K , 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Winter WonderLab||K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th|
Animals All Around
Reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds are part of our menagerie! Students learn through guided animal encounters. Also available as a Museums-to-Go.
Amazing Anatomy (Dissection Lab)
Explore the parts of the body and functions of organs through hands-on investigations and dissections of real frogs, squids or owl pellets.
Students will put on their detective badges and use forensic science to solve the mystery! Analyze the scene of the crime for evidence and learn how CSI agents use this scientific process to catch criminals.
Discovery Center’s newest tour addresses “STEAM” curriculum topics: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math — with pumpkins! Use pumpkins in art, math, engineering, and science activities on this unique field study! Available October 10-November 23.
Splash & Flash!
Our most popular science field study with plenty of hands-on action! Science comes alive as students explore light in the shadow room, encounter our animals and study magnets and their effects.
Our STAR-Lab portable planetarium takes students on an exploration of the night sky – during the day! Activities include time inside and outside the planetarium. Program topics may include bird migrations, weather, constellations, star fields, and Native American legends.
From the Ice Age to the coming of Europeans, Tennessee Ties explores some of the cultural elements of prehistoric peoples in the region that the state now occupies. From an examination of stone tools and the eras when they were created, to Indian place names still with us in the landscape, the lessons will bring hands-on, inquiry based learning to some of the teaching standards for history, geography and culture. This field study also presents some of the tools and techniques archaeologists use to understand what remains of the past. A future supplemental lesson can include archaeo-astronomy and Indian folklore represented in the night sky.
Meteorologists in the making! Step into the world of weather and discover how wind, temperature, and pressure affect our ever-changing environment.
Wetland Wonders Tour
Explore the urban wetlands that unique plants and animals call home. Weather permitting, students put on boots to wade in Murfree Spring, use a net to catch and release tadpoles, and have an up-close encounter with our wetlands animals. Available only in August, September, October, April & May.
Check out the coolest field study that the Discovery Center has to offer, literally! Explore STEAM topics in this winter themed field study with hot and cold reactions, snowflake symmetry, winter animal adaptations and engineering a roof to repel snow. Available Dec. 1 – Feb. 10
To book your program, call (615) 890-2300 or fill out an inquiry form.
Be Your Own Guide
A Self-Guided tour offers your group a chance to explore the Discovery Center at your own pace. After an initial introduction, your group will explore in small, teacher supervised groups.
To book your program, call (615) 890-2300 or fill out an inquiry form.
Hands-on lessons presented in your classroom! Mobile Labs: Learning on the Go! is a great way to bring the Discovery Center resources to your classroom.
Each lab session can accommodate a maximum of 25 students and a minimum of 15 students.
Mobile Labs are $5 per students except for the S.T.A.R. Tour which is $9 per student. There is an additional $60 mileage fee for schools outside of Rutherford County. Payment needs to be check or credit card, and full payment must be received before or on the day of your program.
There are no free and reduced lunch scholarships available for Mobile Labs. All Mobile Labs are subject to availability depending on staff and equipment required.
Choose one of the following programs:
- Animals All Around: PreK – 6th
Invite some of our animal friends to visit your classroom! We have members from 5 of the groups that make up the Animal Kingdom: Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, Birds, and Mammals. We provide an up-close, hands-on encounter for your students. Animals may vary.
- Kids Build KEVA: K – 6th
Watch your students discover engineering and math concepts with this unique building program. KEVA planks allow children to construct simple and complex designs by using the principles of cantilever and balance. This program fosters creativity and imagination for builders of all ages!
- S.T.A.R. Tour: 3rd – 6th
Take students on an exploration of the night sky – during the day! Activities include time inside and outside our inflatable planetarium. Program topics include your choice of star fields and constellations, weather, or Native American legends.
Please Note: The planetarium requires a room with high ceiling clearance, open space, and an electrical outlet.
- Outstanding Owls: PreK- 2nd Currently Unavailable
Read a book, see a puppet show, and meet a real owl! This program is fun for everyone and is perfect for a young audience. The program concludes with an art activity.
Discovery Center’s mobile science laboratory brings hands-on experiences that integrate skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, right to your facility! We have program activities designed for all grade levels. Teachers enter the STEAM Bus with their students, one class at a time, typically for 60-minute sessions.
Prices start at $250 for two 1-hour sessions and does not include mileage. Minimum booking of 2 sessions.
- Amazing Animals
The animal kingdom is diverse and amazing …but why? Learn about animal cells and animal adaptations. Study different skin coverings under a microscope: reptile scales, mammal hairs, bird feathers, insect exoskeletons. Students also meet live animals.
- Electricity and Magnetism
During this dynamic lesson, students learn about these two types of phenomena. How do these energies affect our daily lives? Students experiment with magnetic force, build circuits, and see how an electromagnet works.
- Micro to Macro Focus
Scientists need to focus on the small stuff too! Our staff brings components of the wetlands habitat to your school for study. Students use microscopes to zoom in their focus on the basic necessities of an environment: plants and animals. Student discussion of ecological concepts and habitat conservation extends the impact of this lesson.
STEAM Bus Visit Requirements: A minimum clearance of 12 feet in height, 12 feet in width, and adequate room to safely maneuver the 50-foot STEAM Bus is required. The unit is a self-contained mobile laboratory and does not require any hookups at the program site. We will need 30-45 minutes to set up and equal time to pack up the unit upon completion of the program. It is because of this, and with safety as a priority, that the STEAM Bus will not arrive until school is in session and must leave 30 minutes before afternoon dismissal. This will allow us to enter and leave the premises while student activity is at its lowest.
Our programs help scouts learn about science, art and nature. Troops may schedule camp-ins or rent space for their own program.
Call (615) 890-2300 to schedule your troop.
Ready to reserve your field study now?
Click the button below to fill out a field study inquiry form and a Discovery Center staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please note that filling out a field study inquiry form does not reserve your preferred date and time.
Please have the following information available before you call or email:
School/Organization name, address, and telephone number
Preferred time of arrival and departure
The field study you want to experience and an alternate
Email address and phone number for person in charge of trip (required)
Three possible field study dates
Number of classes attending, number of students attending
Number of children with special needs
Whether or not you will have lunch at the Discovery Center