School Tour Options

We offer a variety of tour programs to help educators meet New York State Learning Standards in all curriculum areas.

Vessel in the shape of a green Sea Horse

Adventures in Glass: Art, History, Science

Explore the art, history or science of glass or enjoy an interdisciplinary program designed for your grade level and curriculum needs. Depending upon your focus and length of your visit, this tour may include time in the Galleries, the Innovation Center, the Rakow Research Library or other areas of the Museum. Adaptable for all ages.

Please contact [email protected] or +1 (607) 438-5450 to discuss program content and pre- and post-visit activities.

Please note that school tours must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Not all tours are available at all times.

All tours include a live, narrated Hot Glass Demo. Programs may include a library component, time permitting, at the teacher’s request.

 

All Ages

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Red glass pyramid

Pre-K and Kindergarten: Exploring Shapes and Colors

Youngsters will be delighted as they become explorers and discover specific shapes and colors in the galleries. Docents will ask appropriate questions and use numbers, comparisons (larger, smaller, taller), and directional terms (under, over, etc.) as they help youngsters learn to look. Students will be encouraged to talk about the glass art using “describing words,” and to express their likes, dislikes and feelings about the art. This one-hour program includes an age-appropriate hot glass demonstration.

Elementary

Bowl of over-sized glass fruit

First and Second Grades: Glass: It’s All Shapes and Sizes

While engaged in interactive learning at the Museum, students will apply math concepts they are studying in the classroom, specifically three-dimensional geometric shapes and symmetry and asymmetry (alike and not alike). Pre-visit activities focus on the many uses of glass, including glass as sculpture. Youngsters will interpret art and express their personal feelings through written and verbal exercises before and during their visit.

Blue vase

Third Grade: Glass and Our Community

This program explores the importance of glass in the history of our community. Students will learn about Frederick Carder, one of the founders of Steuben Glass Works, and will use interactive games to consider how artists find their inspiration. This program may also incorporate the Crystal City Gallery and the Rakow Research Library. Pre-visit materials include an Illustrated Glass Glossary to help students understand occupations associated with glass working.

Glass paperweight with blue, white, and green swirls

Fifth Grade: Glass Matters

This interdisciplinary tour answers important questions: What is glass? How is it made? How is it used? Students examine American glass to learn the difference between pressed glass and cut glass. They explore the relationships between labor, technology, markets and economics. They learn that glass may be a mass-produced container, a means for exploring outer space, or an artist’s creation. Pre- and post-visit research and writing activities include becoming acquainted with contemporary artist Josh Simpson and his fascinating glass planets.

Middle Level

Glass paperweight with blue, white, and green swirls

Glass Matters

This interdisciplinary tour answers important questions: What is glass? How is it made? How is it used? Students examine American glass to learn the difference between pressed glass and cut glass. They explore the relationships between labor, technology, markets and economics. They learn that glass may be a mass-produced container, a means for exploring outer space, or an artist’s creation. Pre- and post-visit research and writing activities include becoming acquainted with contemporary artist Josh Simpson and his fascinating glass planets.

Sculpture of a an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh

Glass in the Ancient World

This program explores the history of glass from Ancient Egypt to medieval Europe. Through their gallery activities and pre-visit and post-visit materials, students will investigate the economic relationships of production, technology and trade. They will learn about different glassworking techniques and will discuss how objects were used in different cultures. They will also consider how archeologists and museum conservators help us understand and preserve the past.

Three large arrowheads with log-like glass in the background

Science: Glass and Nature

While exploring the Galleries and Innovation Center, docents will help students understand that glass is made from natural resources, can be formed by natural phenomena, and is used to study nature. Students will learn the basic ingredients of glass and how different elements change the appearance and properties of glass. They will see obsidian, tektites, fulgurites and other natural glasses. Through interactive exhibits, they will discover how glass allows us to see microscopic worlds, explore outer space, share information through the internet, and conserve our natural resources. This program is recommended for middle school and high school students and may be adapted to specific curriculum needs.

High School

Clear glass sculpture by Vera Liskova

Chemistry of Glass

Designed for high school chemistry classes, this tour focuses on the ingredients of glass and how the addition of different elements to the batch changes the properties of glass. Students will explore topics such as borosilicate glass, fused silica, fusion draw glass, and glass ceramics. Practical applications of this technology, including optical fiber, LCD screens, and telescope mirrors, will be discussed. Students will also examine the interrelations of glass chemistry and glass art.

Blue cup with a carved image of people

World Civilizations

This advanced program explores the history of glass from Ancient Egypt to the Renaissance. Through their gallery activities and pre-visit and post-visit materials, students will investigate the economic relationships of production, technology and trade. They will learn about different glassworking techniques and will discuss how objects were used in different cultures. They will also consider how archeologists and museum conservators help us understand and preserve the past.

Museum staff installing an exhibit

Museum Careers

This program awakens students’ curiosity to a variety of potential careers in the museum field. Students will discover how skills in graphic design, science, construction, communications, guest services, retail management, education and other areas can be applied in museum occupations. The tour will include an explanation of museum specific positions, such as curator, registrar, preparator, and collections manager. There may be an opportunity for the group to go “behind the scenes” and speak directly with staff.

more for mobile

Bring your smartphone or tablet & headphones to the Museum, connect to Free WiFi and explore contemporary glass on GlassApp.

Look for this sign to Recharge your mobile device at one of the 40+ Free Power Stations located throughout the Museum campus.

School Tour Lunch Options

Enjoy lunch at the Museum! Bring Your Own or Pre-Order lunch options are available. 

Steps for a Successful Visit

Things to know before your visit. 

Pre-Visit and Post-Visit Resources

Videos, articles, resources + more. 

Professional Development for Educators

Take advantage of our vast resources to light the fires of learning!