Educational Programs

Any group visiting the Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum is welcome to participate in any of our educational programs free of charge, however, reservations must be made in advance. If you are interested in scheduling an educational program for your group, please review the information on this page before contacting the museum.

Why bring your K-12 students to the museum?

The Ohio Department of Education publishes learning standards for every subject and grade level. Students in Ohio are evaluated on their knowledge of these standards.

In Ohio’s Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for Science (click the image below to view the pdf), the word “mineral” appears 130 times! Minerals are highly emphasized in grade 6 and then again at the high school level under Physical Geology content.

Examples of mineral content statements:

  • 6.ESS.1 Minerals have specific, quantifiable
  • 6.ESS.5 Rocks, mineral and soils have common
    and practical uses.
  • PG.M.4: Criteria of a mineral (crystalline solid, occurs in nature,
    inorganic, defined chemical composition)
  • PG.M.5: Properties of minerals (hardness, luster, cleavage, streak,
    crystal shape, fluorescence, flammability, density/specific gravity,
  • PG.IMS.1: Igneous – Mafic and felsic rocks and minerals
  • PG.IMS.3: Sedimentary – Division of sedimentary rocks and minerals (chemical,
    clastic/physical, organic)
Not teaching 6th grade science or high school physical geology? No problem! The pieces in our collection can be used to spark a conversation about any of the topics listed to the right.

Ask us how a museum visit can supplement your lesson about any of the following:

Sorting (i.e. at the Kindergarten level)


Mining & Resource Extraction

Renewable/Nonrenewable Resources

Recycling & Pollution

Plate Tectonics/Layers of the Earth

Geologic Time Scale


Igneous/Sedimentary/Metamorphic Rocks

Nature of Science/Scientific Process

The Periodic Table of Elements


Crystal Shapes/Growth

Natural Disasters

The Electromagnetic Spectrum


Snell’s Law/Refraction of  Light

Careers in Earth Sciences

History of the National Parks/Geotourism



Ancient Civilizations

Large Groups

Space in the museum is limited. If you have a large group (over 25 students) and you want to have your group participate in one of the educational programs, you MUST be willing to have your group split up.

In the past, large groups have split time between the museum and other campus destinations such as the Ward Beecher Planetarium. Sometimes, the tables in the lobby adjacent to the museum can be reserved and split-up student groups can take turns completing a short activity in the lobby and visiting the museum.

Note: If you only want your group to stop in the museum for a brief walk-through, we can accommodate groups with more than 25.  You do not need to call ahead if you only plan on a brief visit, but we always appreciate advance notice when a large group will be stopping in.


Please be aware that minors (under age 18) are not to be left unattended in the museum at any time. Also, be sure to arrange an appropriate number of chaperones for your visit as the museum can only have 1-2 staff members present during any group visit.


Time slots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. All educational programs are conducted by the Museum Specialist, who holds a valid Ohio teaching license. Currently, the museum is only scheduling field trips on Tuesdays & Thursdays between 9AM-1PM. 

Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Young children, including babies, are encouraged to visit the museum! However, our educational programs are designed for Kindergarten-age children and older. To make a visit more interactive and memorable for the wee ones, we suggest either (1) asking a museum staff member to bring out our touch minerals for your child to feel and/or (2) asking a museum staff member for a copy of the Mineral Color Hunt. 


The museum is happy to facilitate an Earth Rocks Webelos Adventure with scout groups. Please contact the museum to arrange a date/time.

The museum's educational programs are divided into two categories: field trips and short activities. What's the difference? Field trips are designed for longer visits to the museum (45-60 minutes) and are aligned with Ohio Department of Education Learning Standards while short activities are more suited for quick visits to the museum (30 minutes or less) and are generally focused on STEM education concepts. Scroll down for a full list of each type of offering.

*Field Trip Programs*

This section is currently under revision – check back again soon!

*Short Activities*

The following short activities are designed to last 30 minutes or less and are perfect for quick visits to the museum.

I'd like my group to participate in an educational program at the Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum. What's next?

  1. Consider the specifications of your visit. Some things to think about ahead of time include:
    • What date and time you would like to visit.
    • How long you want to visit (e.g. 10 minutes vs. 1 hour).
    • Who is coming: how old are the visitors and how many total people will be in your group?
    • Which field trip and/or short activities would you like to do?
  2. Contact the museum to schedule your visit by calling (330) 941-7454 or by emailing the Museum Specialist.
  3. Review the parking options near the museum by checking out our Planning a Visit page.
  4. Remind your group that the museum is located on a college campus and that they should be respectful when traveling to the museum (specifically while in the building) so as not to disturb college classes that may be in session.
  5. If you would like information about attractions and dining options near the museum, check out the Mahoning Cultural Collaborative’s field trip guide (newly revised for 2020).