Visit MOR

Awaken your students’ curiosity and encourage critical thinking at the Museum of the Rockies through unique and exciting experiences. Touch a Triceratops in the Dinosaurs under the Big Sky exhibit, step back into the late 1800’s at the Living History Farm or watch the night sky come alive in the Taylor Planetarium. Begin a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

Reservations

School groups from across the state of Montana are admitted free of charge to the Museum of the Rockies (with an advanced reservation) thanks to generous donations from individuals and corporations. For every eight students (in grades K-12), one adult chaperone is admitted free of charge as well. Preschool groups will be given one free adult with every five students. Partial reimbursement for travel costs is available for Montana school groups. Inquire when you register for a field trip.

MOR offers a variety of field trip options including guided tours, self-guided tours, classes and planetarium shows. Help your students get the most out of their visit to MOR by reviewing our Tips for Teachers.

To make a reservation please call us at 406-994-5257 or submit a reservation request form. You may also download the Group Reservation Form and email it to visitmor@montana.edu or fax it to 406-994-26823. Reservations must be made at least three weeks in advance. All teachers and chaperones are required to read our Field Trip Guide in advance of visiting the museum.

Guided Tour

A one-hour docent (volunteer educator) tour of any of the Museum’s exhibits (excluding the Children’s Discovery Center and some changing exhibits) with a reservation. Make your reservation at least three weeks prior to your visit.

Self-Guided Tour

Angie Hewitt Weikert, Education Director of Early and Elementary Programs, conducted internal research project in 2010 as a capstone project for the completion of a Master of Science in Science Education. This project, “The Effects of Self Tours on School Groups in the Dinosaurs under the Big Sky Science Exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies,” revealed the importance of using activities to enhance learning during self tour times. MOR has extensive resources available to assist with self-guided tours.

Abstract:
School groups that visited the Dinosaurs under the Big Sky exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies between January and May of 2010 were studied to evaluate the effects of self tours on school groups. School groups were divided into three categories including those self touring using an activity, those self touring without an activity, and those receiving a guided tour with a docent. This project generated evidence that students participating in self tours have an increased understanding of major exhibit concepts and are more engaged when touring with an activity.

Project at a glance:
  • Download the presentation with summaries of data, tables, and graphs
  • Download the virtual poster
  • Read the paper in its entirety

Planetarium Shows

The new Taylor Planetarium is now open with one of the world’s most advanced technologies. Called Digistar 5 and developed by Evans & Sutherland, this state-of-the-art projection system will allow visitors to experience our universe in vivid colors, visual motion and brilliant displays of light.  School groups are invited to visit the Taylor Planetarium with an advanced reservation to view one of the following shows. 
  • The Big Sky Tonight (25 minutes)
  • Experience the Aurora (25 minutes)
  • One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure (25 minutes)
  • IBEX: Edge of the Solar System (28 minutes)
  • Cosmic Colors (31 minutes)
  • Two Small Pieces of Glass (30 minutes)
  • Dark Matter (20 minutes)
  • Flight Adventures (22 minutes)
  • Clockwork Skies (5 minutes)
  • Space Shapes (9 minutes)
  • Sizing up Space (13 minutes)
Download descriptions of all the Planetariums shows.

Tips for Teachers

Benefit from over fifty years of field trip evaluations and teacher feedback at the Museum of the Rockies. Help your students get the most out of their visit to MOR though these tips from teachers, for teachers.

Do you have a tip you want us to include? Please email visitmor@montana.edu.

Planning Your Visit

  • Call MOR early! Our school group visit availability can fill up fast – especially in May.
  • Have multiple possible visit dates that work for your group (including other teachers and your transportation provider) before contacting MOR to schedule a visit.
  • Know your group size (including the number of adults and students) before contacting MOR to schedule a visit.

Before Your Visit

  • Know the focus of your visit and do lessons related to the theme of your visit to prepare your students for the content presented at MOR.
  • Visit the Museum to develop an understanding of how your group will best use the Museum during your field trip. (Admission for teachers preparing for an upcoming visit is free of charge with advanced notice. Please contact us at 406-994-5257 or visitmor@montana.edu to arrange for free admission.)
  • Read through MOR’s School Field Trip Guide. This comprehensive document provides in-depth information on how to prepare your students for their visit.
  • Discuss behavior expectations and your schedule with your students prior to your visit.
  • Make copies of worksheets and gather pencils and clipboards for self-tour activities.
  • Contact your chaperones and provide them with guidelines for their role on the field trip. Use the School Field Trip Guide to help you.

At the Museum 

  • Call MOR if you are running late!
  • Remind students and chaperones of the day’s expectations.
  • Make sure all chaperones are actively engaged and encouraging student learning.

After Your Visit

  • Complete an evaluation of your visit so MOR can continue to improve our school group program.
  • Complete post-visit activities related to the theme of your visit.
  • Visit Bring MOR to You to continue learning about MOR topics in your classroom!

Resources for MOR Learning

In a 2010 internal study, MOR educators found that students on self-guided tours are more engaged and learn more than when touring with an activity. Maximize your students’ learning by using MOR’s extensive library of in-museum learning resources.