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Education programmes

Waikato Museum's education programmes explore and develop the curriculum through classroom-based sessions, exhibition tours and activities. 

Explore Art, Science, Social History and Tangata Whenua history and culture through our changing exhibitions. We will work with you to develop a programme to meet your teaching and learning needs.

Admission fees

Short education programme $6 per student
Extended education programme (Big Day Out half-day)  $8 per student
Full education programme (Big Day Out full-day) $10 per student
Exscite and Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks Education programme $8 per student
Exscite and Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks + a gallery programme   $10 per student


Prices vary according to the programme selected, duration of your visit and consumables used.


Early childhood - 1 adult:4 students

Years 0-6 - 1 adult:8 students

Years 7-10 - 1 adult:15 students

Years 11-13 - 1 adult:30 students

These ratios include teachers/supervisors.

NOTE: One adult per the ratios listed above may attend free as a supervisor; additional adults who wish to attend beyond that ratio are charged the student fee. 

For information on class times, length, ratios and how to book, check out Information for teachers. Booking is essential for all programmes. 

Our programmes

Waikato Museum’s Eureka education programmes include a classroom-based session, exhibition tour and activities.

Bookings are essential, email




The Exscite gallery is jammed-packed with great interactive ways to learn about science. The programme includes a classroom session (tailored to your group), exhibition tour and interactive fun – inclusive cost $8.

Building Bridges July SHP 16

Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks

Open now

People have brilliant ideas everyday but how do these ideas get transformed into something bigger and real? Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks examines some of our region’s problem-solving success stories through an immersive experience that will take you on a journey through time and space. Learn how bridges work then design and build your own. Power up an electric fence and find out what’s in the DNA of an innovator. This exhibition is sure to motivate the avid inventor and endless tinkerer in everyone. 


Out of the Bedroom and into the Lounge: Jan Nigro (senior and secondary classes only - pg recommendation)

On now until 22 July 2018

As the anniversary of Jan Nigro’s death five years ago nears, this significant retrospective exhibition has been distilled from her life’s work held by the Jan Nigro Trust. The works illustrate a strong female contribution to the trajectory of contemporary New Zealand art history and reclaims Jan Nigro as an important New Zealand artist. Nigro resolutely celebrated the human figure regardless of trends in contemporary art practice. It also firmly places the artist as commentator, a role she perhaps unwittingly played as her content reflected current events or thinking during a period of immense social change in New Zealand. Read more.

Featured exhibitions:

Image: Nude and Rose, Jan Nigro, courtesy of Jan Nigro Trust and Fine Art Society New Zealand


Boundless: Printmaking (further) beyond the frame

On now until 5 August July 2018

Printmaking is often perceived as work of two dimensions, framed on a wall. The challenge set by this exhibition was to encourage printmakers to explore different ways of engaging with imagery, materials and processes, and to make use of different technologies. The resulting exhibition contains works that crossover disciplines and includes a range of materials such as textiles, ceramics and glass.

The exhibition is curated by Mark Hutchins-Pond for Pātaka Art + Museum in association with Print Council Aotearoa New Zealand.

Featured exhibitions:

Image: Spraycan, Nicole Sanders-O’Shea

Cropped Ida

Ida Carey: A Contemporary Viewing

On now until 7 October 2018

Ida Harriet Carey (1891-1982) was a significant figure in the Waikato art scene. She spent the majority of her working career based in Hamilton and in 1934 was instrumental in initiating the formation of the Waikato Arts Society. Carey is often remembered for the numerous late-career portraits she painted of Maaori women with moko. However, Carey’s oeuvre is much larger than just these paintings, and this exhibition explores the many other subjects she painted over her long career, both at home and abroad. Each work in the exhibition is exhibited alongside a companion piece made by other New Zealand women artists. These comparative works position Carey within New Zealand’s art history and give a greater understanding of Carey’s work. The 2018 Suffrage125 commemoration is timely to acknowledge Carey’s contribution to the Waikato, and in turn New Zealand’s art history. 

Image: Detail, Self Portrait with Hat and Shawl (1943), Ida Carey, oil on canvas, collection
of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, gifted by the artist in 1980

Featured exhibitions:



Top Art

On now until 22 July 2018

What does it take to achieve Excellence in NCEA Level 3 Visual Art? Top Art features a selection of portfolios that achieved this in 2017. Top Art is an annual touring exhibition featuring a selection of the NCEA Level 3 portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year. Five streams are covered: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Top Art provides an opportunity for secondary students and teachers to gain an understanding of what is required to achieve Excellence at Level 3. It also allows members of the public to see the high-quality art being created in schools. 

Featured exhibitions:

Image: Painting, Emma Savage, Hillcrest High School (from the 2017 exhibition).

Tangata whenua

Te Whaanau Maarama:The Heavenly Bodies

Until 11 August 2019

Tune in to the stars! Te Whaanau Maarama shines a spotlight on modern Maaori astronomy and promotes a better understanding of the history and meaning of Matariki.

Developed in partnership with the University of Waikato, this ground-breaking exhibition examines the traditional Maaori societal view of the night sky and how it is being revitalised in the modern world. 

Supported by taonga, photographs and koorero, this exhibition will help students to explore the night sky with more knowledge and understanding. The three parts of the exhibition shine a spotlight on Maaori astronomy and the evolution of Matariki over the last 20 years. Curriculum links: Social Sciences(History), Science, Technology, Art, Mathematics.

Download the Teacher Resource booklet (PDF)

Image: Detail, Matariki over Taupiri, 2015, photograph by Erica Sinclair

Social history

 JPEG Crop

Elle and the Youthquake: The Changing Face of Fashion

On now until 14 October 2018

Diana Vreeland, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine, said in the 1960s: “Young designers are taking over and setting the trends – it’s a “Youthquake!” Right here in Hamilton, 21-year-old Wendy Ganley established the fashion label Elle, proving that youthful confidence could change the face of fashion. In 1964, she opened the doors to her boutique and paved the way for other young designers to fully express identity through fashion. The Youthquake story continues in New Zealand, with young designers showcasing New Zealand fashion on the world stage. Elle and the Youthquake celebrates an original young fashion mover, shaker and maker.

Developed and curated by New Zealand Fashion Museum.

Featured exhibitions:

Image: Turquoise culotte suit modelled by Susan Devereux. Photo by Mary-Ann Crawford for Waikato Pix, 22 April 1966, collection of Wendy Hall. Image courtesy of New Zealand Fashion Museum.

Jane Austen Brochure Image Cropped

Be Persuaded: A Jane Austen Experience

On now until 14 October 2018

To mark the 200th anniversary of her passing, Dressing Australia Museum of Costume has designed a rare and wonderful exhibition bringing Jane Austen to life in original fashion of the era. Be Persuaded follows Austen’s life - and the unforgettable characters she created - from growing up in the 18th century into the era most associated with her -  the Regency era at the beginning of the 19th century. Be Persuaded features rare fashion, accessories and ephemera from the 18th century when Austen was born, through to the 1840s, when Jane’s beloved sister Cassandra died.

Featured exhibitions:

Image: Engraved portrait of Jane Austen. Courtesy of Dressing Australia Museum of Costume/Shutterstock

50 Years of Fieldays

On now until 19 August 2018

Fieldays heads into its 50th year a powerhouse. Each June, tens of thousands flock to Mystery Creek for the four-day event. The exhibits, demonstrations, food and shopping at Fieldays showcase the best of New Zealand’s primary industries to national and international audiences. To mark this milestone anniversary, this exhibition looks at how Fieldays began and became both an economic marvel and the pride of the Waikato.

Featured exhibitions:

Image: Aerial shot of Fieldays event, Mystery Creek, 2017, courtesy of New Zealand National Fieldays Society

New Zealanders use a favourite backdrop in Egypt Collection of Richard Stowers

For Us They Fell

Until 5 May 2019

For Us They Fell is a major exhibition about the people of the Waikato and Coromandel during World War 1. Children will learn about the human side of WW1 and what life was like for soldiers and their families. Students participate in a classroom session, an exhibition tour and a practical activity before creating their own memorial memento to take home.

Image: New Zealanders in front of a favourite backdrop in Egypt. Collection of Richard Stowers.

Pre-school programmes


The Museum is a vibrant and engaging learning experience for students of all ages, and at Waikato Museum we appreciate and value our youngest visitors. We can offer a range of early childhood programmes focused on visiting exhibitions as well as our interactive science galleries Exscite and Milk Matters. Trained teachers work with centre staff and visiting parents to provide interactive and fun programmes using music, storytelling, games and activities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 Teacher resources 

teacher resource

Our Teacher Resource booklets contain information to assist in the planning of classroom units. They are in PDF format and are free to download. 

These booklets ask teachers to explore any one of the four areas of interest at the museum: art, science, social history and taangatawhenua. In the booklets we suggest possible areas of study and how we can enhance your programmes by providing a comprehensive education package.

Experience Art (PDF)

Experience Science (PDF)

Explore History (PDF)

Explore Tangata Whenua (PDF)


Archived teacher resources

Early Childhood Experience Resource booklet (PDF)

Level 1 - 4 Teacher Resource Booklet

Years 9 - 13 Teacher Resource Booklet

Art In Colour

Is it Art?

Planet Warriors

Da Vinci Mechanics 

Science Big Day Out

Discovery Dash

Early Childhood Experience

Hamilton Sesquicentennial 

With Bold Needle & Thread: Rosemary McLeod Collection 

Roman Machines 

Never A Dull Moment 

Games and Play in Great Grandfather's Day  

Science Magic