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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.




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.

milk splash blue

Milk Matters: Towards Sustainable Dairying 

26 November 2016 - 29 April 2018

In this highly interactive, educational exhibition created for children and families, we explore issues and highlight advancements in agricultural science that are paving the way for a safer, more efficient and environmentally conscious industry. 

Download the Teacher Resource booklet (PDF)

Sunlight Ihi Komaru2

Sunlight - Ihi Komaru 

21 January - 30 April 2017

Sunlight - Ihi Komaru is a hands-on interactive touring exhibition that tells the story of sunlight in Engligh and Te Reo Maaori. Students will learn how light is created in the Sun, how fast light travels, how it behaves and reacts and how it influences biological life and human culture. 

Programmes available: 

  • Sun Science
  • Sun cultures - Social Studies
  • Pre-school programme - myths and legends "The Sun" 
  • The Solar System - also featuring Te Whaanau Maarama 

The education programme fee is $6 per student, adults are free on a 1:6 ratio  for schools and a 1:4 ratio for pre-schools. 

Download the Teacher Resource booklet (PDF)

Download the junior activity booklet (PDF)

Download the senior activity booklet (PDF)

PM Gorgonopsians

Permian Monsters: Life Before The Dinosaurs

13 May - 13 August 2017

Step back in time 290 million years, when bizarre looking animals dominated life on land and sea. Find out about the greatest mass extinction the earth has ever seen.

This exhibition blends art and science to create the Permian World. View fossilised skeletons and models of these bizarre creatures. Go on an archeological adventure with us. Learn more about the climate change, global warming and the huge volcanic eruptions that started it all.

Download the Teacher Resource booklet (PDF)



IMG 6668sm

Is it Art?

Ever asked yourself this question while looking at a ‘challenging’ piece of art? This programme explores artistic elements and concepts while discovering the many art exhibitions at the Museum. Students will be encouraged to think in different ways about what they are viewing and will each take home their own art creation at the end of the visit.

Featured art exhibitions:

Download the Teacher Resource booklets (PDF)

Image: Closing the Gap 11, Anthony Davies.

Taangata whenua

Media release teaser Matariki over Taupiri2

Te Whaanau Maarama:The Heavenly Bodies

Until 13 July 2018 

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

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

For Us They Fell

Until 11 November 2018

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.

Download the Teacher Resource booklet (PDF)

Related: Waikato Museum School War Poets Exhibition

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. 

Find out more, download the Early Childhood Experience Resource booklet (PDF)


 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 taangata whenua. 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 Taangata Whenua (PDF)


Archived teacher resources

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