Museum Tours and Gallery Programs

All tours and gallery programs are 30 minutes in length, unless otherwise stated. Each program can accommodate a maximum of 15 people. Museum tours and gallery programs are free for preschool through grade 12 educational groups. There is a $5.00 per program fee for all other groups.

GUIDED TOURS

  • Museum Overview (Recommended for adult groups only)
    The museum overview tour introduces all four floors of the museum's exhibits. The tour can be completed in 30 minutes, but 45 - 60 minute tours ensure a more comfortable pace.

  • Made in Maine: 19th Century Life and Work (Grades 3-12; Adult)
    A walking tour of the Made in Maine exhibit includes stops to examine work being done at home, in shops, and in mill and factory settings. This will allow participants to get a glimpse of how people lived in the 19th-century and compare their own work environments to those of Maine's past.

  • 12,000 Years Into Maine's Past (Grades 4-12; Adult)
    This tour focuses on Maine archaeology and prehistoric life. Participants explores artifacts and specimens dating from the end of the Ice Age through the 1800's and are given a glimpse into what it is like to be an archaeologist and what an archaeological dig looks like.

GALLERY PROGRAMS

Gallery programs are generally 30 minutes in length and provide a concentrated, often hands-on look at specific subjects about Maine's natural environment, as well as its pre-historic and historic past.

Maritime and Fishing History

  • Sail Making and the Story of the ST MARY (Grades 3-12; Adult) Hands – on!
    This program examines the techniques and history of sail making and shipbuilding in Maine. Participants have an opportunity to try their hand at sewing sails while they discover the story of the ST MARY, one of the two last wooden square rigged sailing ships built in North America.

  • The Story of Claws: The Maine Lobster (Grades 3-12; Adult)
    Participants learn about the early history of the lobster industry and discuss the techniques and economic significance of lobstering in Maine today. We also take a closer look at the lobster's anatomy and life cycle.

Military History

  • The DEFENCE Story (Grades 4-12; Adult) Hands – on!
    Hands-on activities introduce participants to underwater archaeology, map work, and the recovery and conservation of artifacts, all centered around the Revolutionary War privateer, DEFENCE, and the Penobscot Expedition of 1779.

  • Flintlock Musket and the Revolutionary War (Grades 4-12) Participants examine the workings of a flintlock musket. They are led in a discussion of Revolutionary War battle strategy and will have an opportunity to simulate loading a flintlock musket.

Agricultural and Industrial History

  • Farming throughout Maine's Past (Grades K-8)
    Participants will compare and contrast farming techniques of early settlers and Native Americans. Emphasis is placed on identifying and understanding the uses of early farm tools.

  • Ice Harvesting on the Kennebec (Grades 4-12; Adult) Participants are introduced to the history and tools of ice harvesting as it was undertaken on Maine rivers. We will also discuss the economic significance of one of Maine's most successful 19th century businesses.

  • The Importance of Iron (Grades 4-12) Hands – on!
    Locomotive parts, wood stoves, farm machinery, and more were all cast in Maine's foundries. Participants will learn of the history and uses for iron, and participate in the making of a sand mold used in the casting process.

  • Maine's Golden Age of Granite Quarrying (Grades4-12; Adult)
    We will take an in-depth look at how granite is formed, its mineral composition, and the history of granite quarrying in Maine. Participants are introduced to the uses, techniques and economic impact of the industry.

  • Logging Camps, River Drives, and Sawmills (Grades 3-12; Adult) Participants will explore what life was like in a 19th-century Maine logging camp, discover the dangers of river drives, and follow the logs onto the Lion – the nation's 8th oldest locomotive, then into the sawmill. They will examine some of the machinery involved in the harvesting and transporting of timber, including the evolution of the peavey.

  • A Look at 19th-Century Textile Production (Grades 3-12; Adult) This program focuses on the significance and history of textile production in both the home and factory. We will enter a 19th-century weave shed and explore other textile manufacturing environments to get a feeling for what it must have been like to work in this growing industry.

  • Wool Carding (Grades K-6) Hands – on!
    This program focuses on the processes involved in the preparation of woolen yarn. Using hand cards, students will have an opportunity to card wool and then to begin spinning it into yarn.

  • Water Power in Maine (Grades 4-12; Adult) Explore how water power helped shape Maine's past. Take an in-depth look at a water-powered mill, examine how power is transferred, and learn about the different shops and factories that made use of water power.

  • The Power of Steam (Grades 4-12) Why did steam power replace water power in many of Maine's mills and factories? Answer this question and learn about the history and development of the steam engine. How do steam engines work? Watch as we use a working model to demonstrate how steam is produced and power is transferred.

  • Water and Steam Power; Energy Sources for Maine's Historic Industries (Grades 4-12; Adult) An in-depth, 45 minute program focussing on energy sources in Maine's industries.

Prehistory

  • Ancient Middens: What We Can Learn from Bones and Teeth (Grades 4-12)
    Discover what ancient bones tell us about the animals important to Native Peoples. Participants will examine actual bones, make comparisons and draw conclusions from their observations.

  • Arrowhead Making (Grades 4-12; Adult)Hands – on!
    An opportunity to try your hand at making your own arrowhead using antlers and stone. We will also discuss the arrival of the first peoples in Maine, the hardships they faced, and the skills they used to survive.

  • Relief Rubbings (Grades K-8) Hands – on!
    Participants learn about two of Maine's petroglyph sites. We explore who may have created these symbols in stone and why. After discussing the possible meanings of these symbols, there is an opportunity to create rubbings of the petroglyphs using casts from both sites.

Natural History

  • Flying With Feathers (Grades K-8)
    In this program participants are led in a discussion about the distinctive features of birds. Participants are encouraged to examine the differences and similarities between birds and other animals.

  • Formation of Rocks and Minerals (Grades 4-12)
    Participants examine significant rock and mineral specimens found in Maine. Emphasis is placed on the formation, identification and historic uses of these rocks and minerals.

  • Life Under a Log: Maine Reptiles and Amphibians (Grades K-8)
    In this program, participants examine characteristics of specific reptiles and amphibians found in Maine. They are encouraged to compare and contrast these characteristics to those of other Maine animals.

  • Life in a Tide Pool (Grades K-8)
    This program provides an opportunity for students to examine some of the inhabitants of a tidal pool using preserved specimens and the coastal scene of the Back to Nature exhibit.

  • Mammals Large and Small (Grades K-8)
    Participants discuss the characteristics that define a mammal. They then using actual mammal fur specimens the participants are led on an exploration of how these characteristics are different and similar to other animals in Maine.