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Eli Whitney Museum

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Designed to fit Connecticut state teaching standards, our programs can be taught at the Museum, at your school, or we can provide you with kits and training. To schedule a program, call the Museum at (203) 777-1833 or email

Group Size
Most programs can be structured to accommodate a team of up to 100 children. There is no minimum size, but there is a minimum charge of $200 per group. Occasionally, we combine small groups interested in the same program to help defray the minimum charge. We will most likely ask small groups to come after noon.

Our Fall schedule is usually more flexible than the Winter or Spring. If your group can come after noon, we can almost always give you your first choice of date.

If you don’t see it here
This brochure shows only about 80 of the 120+ projects we will produce and teach this year. We modify and invent projects to your specifications. Call with your needs.

We design our programs for 1.5 hours. Some programs may take 2 hours. We can abbreviate programs to accommodate problems with bus schedules. Occasionally your group may overlap the work of another group.

Double Programs and Full Day Programs
Many schools request longer programs to combine program elements or to develop projects. Costs rise proportionally. Call 203.777.1833 for information or email

There is space for lunch outside (weather permitting); space for lunch can be arranged inside in most cases.

We follow the Winter Storm closing decisions of the Hamden Public Schools.

We do not specify a minimum number of chaperones. There is no fee for chaperones. We do ask that you prepare chaperones to actively support the programs, more broadly than just with their own children. When we ask that students wear safety goggles, parents and teachers must also wear safety goggles.

Smoking and Bus Fumes
Ours is a No Smoking Site. We ask your chaperones and bus drivers to respect this health and safety rule. We will ask your bus drivers to turn off their motors and come inside rather than stay outside in an empty, running bus.

Our projects are experiments, not toys. Safety is a top priority in the designs. Still student work should be checked for loose or sharp parts. Supervised play is recommended.

If your group must cancel for any reason (other than a snow day), please notify us immediately so that we can avoid charging you the $75 set up fee. If your program is cancelled due to weather, please call so that we can reschedule as soon as possible.

We travel
Nearly all our projects can be adapted to be taught in your school if your schedule or travel budget makes this attractive. Certain minimum enrollments are necessary to make this feasible. Call 777-1833 or email for information. Costs of programs listed on the website are for programs done at the Museum. Costs for programs at a school is broken down into a daily (or half day etc) fee + travel plus a materials fee per student. These fees will flex with cost of materials and time and distance. If you have free busses it is always less expensive to come to the Museum.

We make kits

We produce the parts for all the projects in our catalog. We sell kits for your classroom, after school programs, or school event. Few tools are necessary. We offer safety goggles and hammers at reasonable prices. We’ll add scrap wood for free. We’ll take you through the steps and give you teaching tips when you pick up your kits. Not all projects are in stock at all times. Call in advance to order.

The Connecticut Frameworks, Common Core or Next Gen Standards
We design projects and presentations to honor the requirements of the Science, or Math, or Social Studies standards. Current references are listed on our web page. The projects incorporate the basic goals of Literacy, Numeracy and Inquiry. Next Gen Standards have their own page of projects and is being expanded as we find or design projects that match grades. Call to talk to us about them.

Tested Curricula
The projects complement the pedagogy of tested, standard programs: STC, FOSS, or NSRC, Common Core, Next Gen for example.

Teacher Needs
We collect hard to find materials. We have abundant tools. We undertake the experiments and constructions that are too noisy or too messy for classrooms.

Teacher Inspiration
Teachers asked for every project in this catalog. Teachers invent their own uses for projects. Consider the BlockHead:
A fable: Six Crows
A Fairy Tale: Literacy
A Hero: My Hero
An Animal: Literacy
A Leader: Social Studies

An Eli Whitney Legacy
Whitney saw his factory as a school. His artisans developed practical competence and confidence in their senses.

Experimenting to learn and learning to experiment are twin legacies of that tradition. These projects are drawn from our traditional catalog or created especially for young hands. We can teach them here or at your school.

Eli Whitney built jigs and fixtures, stops and patterns to coordinate the work of his artisans and machines.
He invented a technology of communication. Communication is still revolutionary.

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