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County of San Bernardino

Group Visits and Reservations

Thinking of taking a field trip to the Museum? The variety and regional focus of the Museum's collections and exhibits guarantee you will find objects, ideas and topics that appeal to your group. Field trips are excellent opportunities to encounter real world examples and applications. Not just for school kids, Museum field trips can fulfill scouting badge requirements, complement a college course or program curriculum; entertain the out-of-town relatives for a day; and motivate mature visitors to see familiar -- and new -- objects with a fresh, youthful eye.

Making the Most of Your Field Trip to the San Bernardino County Museum

Call (909) 798-8608 Tuesday through Friday and have this information ready.

  • date you are requesting for your trip

  • name of teacher or organizer making the reservation

  • name of school or organization, with address and telephone number

  • names of teachers or leaders

  • number of students and adults who will be visiting

Terms for Group Visits to the Museum

  • We require at least one adult chaperone per ten students over first grade, and one adult per five students first grade and below.

  • Last minute changes in field trip arrangements are subject to space availability.

  • Drop-in groups are permitted, but the Exploration Station is not available without reservations.

  • If you need to cancel, please let us know at least ten days ahead.

  • Payment for your field trip may be by cash, check, money order, or purchase order. Cash visitors: please collect and count your admission fees before you arrive!

My Day at the County Museum

  • Using the "My Day at the San Bernardino County Museum" guide, explore the three levels of the museum. The gallery guide uses questions and activities to help students investigate the museum galleries. The guides are grade-specific and tied to California Content Standards.

  • Enjoy interacting with museum staff and volunteers stationed throughout the museum using museum artifacts and specimens to provide hands-on learning opportunities.

  • Changing exhibits are presented on a variety of topics around the museum. Check to see what's showing during your visit. Throughout the year, special exhibits highlight seldom-seen objects from our history, anthropology, paleontology, biology, and geology collections, plus fine art and photography.

  • Take a walk and visit our gardens. Learn about native plants and their uses in our ethnobotany garden, check what's growing in the community garden, and enjoy our cactus and desert gardens.

  • Visit our Exploration Station. Your class will be greeted by a museum educator who will enrich your experience with live animals and hands-on experiences to help students relate to the world around them.

  • The Museum Store is available and offers inexpensive souvenirs to help remind students of their great day at the museum.

Getting Ready to Visit
Before your field trip, prepare your students and Chaperones. Conduct one or more of the pre-trip activities with students. Keep in mind that the more they know before they arrive, the more they will benefit from their trip. Show them our Education Program brochure and photos from our website. Knowing what to expect while on their trip eases the novelty of being in a place for the first time.

Copy the student guide, My Day at the San Bernardino County Museum for each student. (You receive this Guide when you make your field trip reservation.) Show students their guides before your trip. This will build anticipation for the experience. Prepare cardboard-with-rubber-band clipboards, and remind the students to bring only pencils to the Museum. Having student fold their own guides and make their own clipboard builds their excitement for Field Trip Day.

Hints for Chaperones and Parents
For Your Visit to the San Bernardino County Museum

As a Chaperone for your child’s field trip, you are an important part of the learning process. Your role in making sure students have a successful field trip is important. This is easy to do by asking kids open-ended questions. These are questions that encourage kids to think about their response, not just come up with the right answer. Remember: you are not looking for correct answers nor do you have to know the answers to all of the questions. The idea is to engage students with the subject. If you are visiting with your family, you can easily take advantage of these ideas.

Pre-Planning Visits
Teachers who make field trip reservations each receive one free admission pass to the Museum to prepare for their trip. You may visit the Museum during regular hours prior to the day of your reservation. Your confirmation letter will include a pre-trip packet that you can use to prepare your students for their visit. This benefit is also available for home-schoolers who reserve a field trip for a group of at least ten students. Family members are welcome to join a teacher's planning visit, but they are required to pay regular admission.

Museum Store Discounts
Teachers can show their school identification to become eligible for our Teacher's Discount Card, good for a 10% discount on educational materials. The Museum Store is also happy to work with you on special orders for your classroom. You can call the Museum Store at (909) 798-8607.

After Your Visit
Learning improves when concepts are reinforced through reflection. Do the post-trip activities to strengthen the field trip experience for your students. Consider how the concepts learned in the field trip relate to your curriculum and draw relationships throughout the school year. Ask students to recall their field trip through stories, pictures or oral presentations three or four weeks later. This activity helps bind the experience and its outcomes to memory, enhancing overall learning.

Using Inquiry
Open-ended questions encourage students to think critically and process their thoughts into discovery of new ideas and information. Practicing this type of activity develops critical thinking and promotes life-long learning. If you practice these questions before your trip, students will be mindful of them when their Chaperones ask them at the Museum. See Hints for Chaperones on this page for open-ended question starters.

Prepare Your Chaperones
Give Chaperones a copy of the Chaperone Edition of the My Day at the San Bernardino County Museum guide as soon as you receive it. (This Guide also comes in your pre-trip materials when you make a field trip reservation.) Go over some of the questions on the Chaperone Guide to show how easy it is. Remind them that they are working on the process, not the answers. Questioning focuses student observation; learning facts is supported by the ability to observe and reflect.

Don’t forget – you are a “Chaperone” for your students, too, so become familiar with the guide yourself.

Asking Questions Gets Students Thinking
By asking questions, you help students explore and learn. Ask question that start with who, what, where, why, can and how. Questions that start with why address the listener’s emotions. We make emotional connections with people and objects when we think about why things are the way they are. How, where, and when focus on process. Making a personal connection with the Museum’s objects, exhibits and ideas makes the experience more meaningful than just looking at them and reading the signs.

Here are some suggestions:
• Why do you think the polar bear is that big?
• When was this photo taken? Where was it taken? How do you know?
• Can you think of a time when… ?
• If the animal in this exhibit were still alive, what would it do next?
• Pretend you are the animal in this exhibit. How will you move? What will you eat? How do you know?
• Can you imagine soaring like a hawk or diving to catch prey?
• Who are the people in this photo? What are they doing?
• Can you imagine riding in this covered wagon?
• What if we lost all automobiles and had to use covered wagons and stage coaches? How would this change our daily lives would you stop going certain places?
• Can you imagine…?
• What would happen if…?
Fill in the last questions with ideas of your own.

Kids Love to Tell Stories
Seeing an animal in a Museum exhibit often reminds them of an experience they have had. Let the students tell you their stories, and ask questions about them. Your questions encourage students to think about their world and their experiences in new ways. This is an important thinking skill that promotes success in school. Enjoy your visit!!


Programs & Events
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San Bernardino County Museum - (909) 307-2669 - 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, California 92374 TDD/TYY: (909) 792-1462

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The information contained in the following pages was valid at the time of publication. The County of San Bernardino, Museum Department reserves the right to make changes and improvements at any time and without notice, and assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. Please contact the webmaster with comments or suggestions. Website by RedFusion Media
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