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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

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.


Eureka: The Inventions of Archimedes

eureka waikato museum2

Explore the mind of the father of modern science.

Featuring 70 models of historical artefacts and interactive reconstructions of technology and machines conceived by one of the world’s greatest ancient scholars. Waikato Museum is the exclusive New Zealand venue to host this international touring exhibition.

Our education programme will explore the fundamental principles of science and modern-day applications of Archimedes’ technology. Students can touch and interact with many of the models, including a gravity machine, Hellenistic pulley and Herodotus machine used for building the Egyptian Pyramids.

Curriculum links

Science, mathematics, technology, history, engineering, art

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.

Inventors and Innovations: Waikato Bright Sparks

23 June 2018 - 8 March 2020

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

Future Islands: Venice Architecture Biennale

On now until 17 June 2018

Future Islands was New Zealand’s exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Drawing on narratives of islands as sites of possibility, or alternative ways of living, Future Islands presents built and speculative projects from this place, one of the world’s smallest, most open and diverse societies.

In the exhibition, which was inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and its fables of Venice and by the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), models of 54 projects are arranged on or near an archipelago of floating forms.

Using yacht-building technology, recycled materials, data projections, audio-visual installations and hand-crafted elements, Future Islands offers new, often unsettling, perspectives on architecture in New Zealand and its received relationship to land and culture.

Featured exhibitions:



2018 Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award

11 May - 11 June 2018

Held annually around the Fieldays event, the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award celebrates innovation by challenging artists to create artworks using No.8 wire, an iconic Kiwi agricultural product. The award, hosted by Waikato Museum, culminates in a public exhibition in May/June at Hamilton’s ArtsPost. The award draws on an iconic farm product and translates this through talent and ingenuity into an art form.

Featured exhibitions:


Image: Akky van der Velde, winner of the Fieldays No.8 Wire National Art Award, with her work Outside the Square.

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

50 Years of Fieldays

11 May - 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

Mokaa: The Land of Opportunity

On now until 1 July 2018

Celebrate 125 years of Indian New Zealanders in this exhibition with remarkable stories and close to 100 compelling and rarely seen photographs. Curated by the New Zealand Indian Central Association, the exhibition tells the story from the first Indian presence in Aotearoa New Zealand, through stories of pioneering settlers, to the established communities living in New Zealand today. 

Featured exhibitions:


Image: Gathering of Indians in Auckland on Grafton Bridge, 1922, courtesy of New Zealand Indian Central Association

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