Planning a future visit? Check out our offerings below!
Take your students on an exciting exploration of the natural world. Our three floors of exhibits, ranging from dinosaurs and dioramas to hands-on interactive stations, are sure to make your field trip to the Academy the highlight of the school year.
November 11, 2023–September 29, 2024
You’ve likely heard of the Jurassic and the Cretaceous, but do you know about the Devonian? With its incredible diversity of terrestrial life, this fascinating period in geological history — hundreds of millions of years before the age of the dinosaurs — was pivotal in shaping the world as we know it today. All vertebrates living on land, including humans, stem from the remarkable creatures that began the move onto land in the Devonian Period.
Life Onto Land: The Devonian centers around the Academy’s internationally celebrated paleontological research and the incredible discovery of Tiktaalik roseae. Unearthed in 2004 on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, this transitional fossil has been critical in piecing together a picture of how fins became limbs — or, of how terrestrial, limbed vertebrates arose from aquatic, lobe-finned ancestors.
This new exhibition features the original holotype specimen of Tiktaalik roseae and a newly commissioned Tiktaalik model by Tyler Keillor. See enchanting drawings by Spanish artist Aina Bestard, breathtaking footage of Arctic and Antarctic research sites and the vivid scientific illustrations of Scott Rawlins. Experience the stunning plant and animal fossils collected from Devonian rock found here in Pennsylvania and around the world.
Life Onto Land reveals the diverse marine, freshwater swamp and terrestrial ecosystems of this period, as well as the amazing scientific discoveries of the Academy’s team of paleontologists who continue to contribute to our understanding of this transformational time in our planet’s history.
Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity
June 24, 2023–January 21, 2024
Skin — it's deeper than you might think. Discover the shape-shifting, color-changing and ever-evolving nature of this complex organ in Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity. A media-rich, hands-on exhibition offered in both English and Spanish, Skin inspires wonder and curiosity about this uniquely complex organ and illustrates its many incredibly adaptive and evolving properties.
Explore the fascinating roles that feathers, furs, scutes, scales, hides and hairs play for different organisms across the globe through dozens of scientific specimens. Learn how evolution has shaped our own skin sensitivity and diversity — and how much scientists have yet to uncover about its underlying genetics.
This exhibit will also help spark dialogue and reflection about skin’s role in shaping human culture and identity. Investigate the layers of meaning associated with skin color throughout history and discover skin’s influence on shifting ideas of race and culture in our modern world.
Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity was created by the California Academy of Sciences and modified for travel and distributed by the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibit is generously supported by Susan and Nicholas Pritzker and Family.
Explore the exciting world of paleontology, stroll beneath towering fossil skeletons, and examine dinosaur anatomy up close.
NEW! Chaperones, download our Dinosaur Hall Scavenger Hunt! Answer key located here.
Dioramas of Africa, Asia, and North America
Travel the globe without leaving the museum! Our ever-popular dioramas let students get nose-to-nose with gorillas from Africa, pandas from Asia, and bison from North America. Chaperons may also find the following exhibit guides useful: Africa and Asia Diorama Hall Activity Guide and North American Journey.
Science at the Academy
Find out what Academy scientists are up to these days in this multimedia exhibit. Watch video footage from research expeditions, see recently collected specimens, and find out about our latest scientific discoveries.