Museum-Based Programs PreK - Grade 5

Guided Museum-Based Programs

Join CMM educators for guided programming focusing on paleontology, estuarine biology, and maritime history in the museum.  Activities listed will vary depending on the grade level – details below.  Calvert Marine Museum programs align with Next Generation Science Standards and Social Studies C3 Framework. Guided programs are available September thru May for groups of 15 or more children. Groups of 20 or less may request guided programs June through August, based on staff availability.

In addition to the guided museum-based programs, groups have the option to add a narrated cruise on the historic Wm. B. Tennison. The cost of a cruise on the Tennison is $200 per hour and it is available seasonally May through October. 

For more information contact the Group Services Coordinator at 410-326-2042 ext.8083 or melissa.mccormick@calvertcountymd.gov hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Pre-K (1 hour)

Pre-K groups are scheduled for an hour-long museum walkthrough that includes the Discovery Room and Secrets of the Mermaid’s Purse exhibit.  Admissions fees and program fees may apply.

The Discovery Room represents the museum in miniature. At the base of the “cliff” is a beach box where children can dig for fossils and figure out what they have found at our Fossil Identification Station. Students can “sail” in the sailing skiff, climb the model lighthouse steps to turn on the light at the top of the lighthouse and visit the keeper’s cottage. Learn about local species at the touch tank, such as a terrapin or horseshoe crab.

Kindergarten – Grade 1  (2 hours)

This program includes four 30-minute rotations led by CMM educators featuring: 

The Discovery Center

The Discovery Center highlights two hands-on activities related to fossils and local aquatic species. Students will dig for fossils and identify their fossil with guidance. CMM educators will also introduce two local aquatic species and learn about their habitats. Animals may include: a variety of turtles, Horseshoe crabs, Fiddler crabs, and snakes. 

Fossil Adventure

In our Clues in the Cliffs exhibit, students conduct hands-on observations about Miocene epoch fossils.  Highlights include a life-sized megalodon skeletal model and a trip past the paleontology preparation laboratory.

Chesapeake Habitats & Adaptations

This museum-based segment takes place in the River to Bay: Reflections and Connections gallery. Students will observe live animals and discover the impacts of changing habitats on local species.  

Marsh Exploration (March - October)

Students begin by exploring the marsh with their senses – searching for clues of animal life and sharing what they have found. They discover some of the special adaptations of the animals and plants that inhabit the marsh. As part of this program, students visit our River Otters. The program takes place on the marsh walk or inside the museum in the case of inclement weather.  This seasonal program is only available March– October.

Buoyancy Challenge (November - February)

Students will have the opportunity to explore the force of buoyancy in this hands-on STEM lesson.  After observing different types of ships, groups of students will construct a vessel out of common household items.  The students will test their boats, then have the chance to adjust their designs and test them again.  This seasonal program is only available November – February.

Grade 2 – Grade 5  (2 hours)

This program includes four 30-minute rotations led by CMM educators featuring:

Fossil Adventure

In our Clues in the Cliffs exhibit, students conduct hands-on observations about Miocene epoch fossils.  Highlights include a life-sized megalodon skeletal model and a trip past the paleontology preparation laboratory. Students will also discover how changing climates and habitat impact species. 

Chesapeake Habitats & Adaptations

This museum-based segment takes place in the River to Bay: Reflections and Connections gallery. Students will observe live animals and discover the impacts of changing habitats on local species. Students will work in teams with an assigned adaptation and search for animals that share the adaptation in the aquariums.   

Drum Point Lighthouse

Students explore the historic Drum Point Lighthouse, completing a scavenger hunt to discover the daily life of lighthouse keepers and their families.  Students observe a Fresnel lens up close and learn how the Drum Point Lighthouse aided navigation of the Patuxent River. 

Marsh Exploration (March - October)

Students begin by exploring the marsh with their senses – searching for clues of animal life and sharing what they have found. They discover some of the special adaptations of the animals and plants that inhabit the marsh. As part of this program, students visit our River Otters. The program takes place on the marsh walk or inside the museum in the case of inclement weather.  This seasonal program is only available March– October.

Buoyancy Challenge (November - February)

Students will have the opportunity to explore the force of buoyancy in this hands-on STEM lesson.  After observing different types of ships, groups of students will construct a vessel out of common household items.  The students will test their boats, then have the chance to adjust their designs and test them again.  This seasonal program is only available November – February (in place of our Marsh Exploration program).

Program Fees and Admission

Program Fees

  • Program fees are collected during program registration.
  • Maryland Public Schools are exempt from program fees thanks to the generosity of the State Aided Institution grant awarded to Calvert Marine Museum.

Homeschool Groups and Out of State Program Fees:

  • One hour Pre Kindergarten Tours 15-40 people         $20
  • Two hour Elementary Tours: 15-20 people                 $50     
                                                  21-40 people                 $70
                                                  41-60 people                 $80
                                                  61-80 people                 $90

Museum Admission Fees:

  • Museum admission is collected upon arrival.
    • Teachers and school staff are admitted free.
    •  Students up to age 12: $6
    • Students age 13 and older: $8
    •  Chaperones: $11.  Due to limited capacity, please only schedule one chaperone per every 10 children. 
    •  Personal memberships are not valid with school programs.

                 *Calvert County and Maryland Title I Schools are exempt from Museum Admission fees.

Refunds are ONLY issued due to school or museum closures.

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