Photo by Kevin Lowdon Photography

Photo by Kevin Lowdon Photography

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. Tour costs start at $4 per student. Financial assistance is available for Title 1 schools. Teachers and chaperones are free.

To schedule a school program download and fill out the School Tour Request Form and email to, or call 360.778.8960. Please allow at least two weeks advance notice.


Art FUNdamentals
$6 per student

The gallery is our classroom during this two-hour program which includes an educator-led tour of our most current exhibition(s) on view inside the first floor gallery of the Lightcatcher building and an exhibit-related  hands-on studio activity. Students are introduced to basic museum exhibition practices, while learning about the artworks on display and the artists that created them. Students are exposed to various art styles and techniques, and gain experience in creative problem solving and visual thinking. Designed for grades 4 and 5 (adaptable to older grade levels on request).

Lightcatcher Gallery Group Tour
$4 per student (grades k thru 12); $8 per student (College students)

Teachers are invited to bring their students to view the current exhibitions inside the first floor gallery of the Lightcatcher building. This is a self-led tour that encourages participants to engage with their classmates in a discussion-based experience of art. Exhibitions change throughout the year, so please check the 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
$4 per student
This popular program introduces students to Northwest Coast Native American art, history, and culture. Emphasis is on the use of the cedar tree and other indigenous resources used to make baskets, masks, blankets, bentwood boxes, canoes, and other items essential to daily living. Tour lasts 1 hour.

People of the Sea and Cedar Tour and Workshop
$6 per student
In this two-part program, students are given a guided tour (described above), plus participate in an hour-long workshop. Designed to complement upper elementary curriculum, the workshop immerses students in hands-on exploration of materials, tools and technology. Students rotate through five stations preparing cedar bark, making twine, weaving, woodworking, and more! Schools must provide 8 – 10 volunteers to work at the stations. Designed for grades 3 and 4 (adaptable to other grades), this tour and workshop lasts 2 hours. This workshop is available as an outreach program for an additional fee.

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.