A valuable educational resource for teachers and students, the Whatcom Museum provides educational opportunities to thousands of students each year by way of hands-on art, history, and cultural workshops and presentations. We also offer interactive, guided tours of the Museum’s exhibitions, as well as professional development coursework for educators.
Our programs are designed to support the educational goals of teachers and students of all grade levels, from pre-school through high school and college. Our educators work together with teachers to create tours and workshops that address specific classroom needs. Self-guided tours are offered as options.
Whatcom Museum education programs are aligned with local district curriculum and the Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements.
How to Schedule a Tour
To schedule a school program email the Education Department. Please allow at least three weeks advance notice.
Lightcatcher Art Exhibition Tour
$6 per student (grades K thru 12); $8 per student (college/university students)
Art galleries make excellent classrooms! During this one-hour interactive guided tour, students explore a variety of art styles, materials, and techniques and practice creative problem solving and visual thinking strategies as they engage in discussions with their classmates. Exhibitions change throughout the year, so please check the exhibition schedule before reserving your class visit.
Lightcatcher Green Building Tour
$4 per student
Explore the ‘green’ aspects of our Lightcatcher building and learn about the environmental benefits of ‘living roofs,’ rain gardens, and pervious pavement. Discover how we use rainwater runoff to flush our toilets! Find out how our ‘lightcatcher wall’ regulates heat and light, saving in energy and utility costs. You’ll also learn about Low Impact Development and LEED certification.
People of the Sea and Cedar Tour and Workshop
$6 per student
This unique, two-part, one-hour long program introduces students to Northwest Coast Native art, history, and culture. A guided tour of the exhibition, entitled, People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey Through the History and Cultures of the Tribes of the Northwest Coast is followed by hands-on exploration of various traditional materials, tools, and technologies essential to everyday life. Students learn the cultural importance of gathering, processing, and weaving with wool and cedar, rope-and basket-making methods, woodworking techniques for mask-making and canoe building, cooking in bentwood boxes, and more. The program supports Washington State educational curriculum for grades 4 and 5.
Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) Early Childhood Field Trip
$5 per student/adult/teacher
FIG field trips provide a creative space in the museum for young children to role-play, build, create, and problem-solve. Changing interactive exhibits integrate art with science, technology, engineering, math, social studies, and literature. To schedule a tour of our Family Interactive Gallery, please email the FIG. For more information, please view this PDF: FIG Field Trip general information.