Design Field Trips

four elementary school children seated at a table, gluing strips of colored paper onto posterboard.

Design Field Trip

This 90-minute program includes an interactive exhibition tour and hands-on workshop. Students will explore 5-6 objects and participate in a design focused workshop. The teacher selected program offering will be the focus of your field trip.

Design Field Trip for New York City Schools is made possible by Target Logo.

Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Current field trip offerings

From January 25 to June 24, 2016: Designing Stories

Students are invited to discover our special installation Pixar: The Design of Story to examine the animation studio’s key design principles of story, believability, and appeal. On this 45-minute inquiry tour of the installation and our unique permanent collection, they will learn how various designers tell stories across design disciplines. Also included in the program is a 45 minute workshop where students will be given the opportunity to explore the design principle of story by prototyping a main character and narrative inspired by Pixar movies.

Designing Stories Teacher Resource Packet

From February 22 to June 24, 2016: Designing Identity

Designers use visual language in order to make statements about beauty and identity. On this 45-minute inquiry tour of our special exhibition, Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, students will discover what influences their identity; including aesthetic preferences, culture, environment and values. Also included in the program is a 45-minute workshop where students will collaborate to create a wearable piece that represents their unique style.

Designing Identity Teacher Resource Packet

Showing Off Presentation

Embracing the Elements Presentation

Sea Inspired Presentation


New York City Schools

Includes private, public, and charter schools in the five boroughs):

  • FREE. Includes admission and all materials
  • Minimum* of 15 students and Maximum of 30 students
  • Minimum 1 chaperone for every 10 students / Maximum 4 chaperones, including classroom teacher

Non-New York City Schools

  • $400 includes admission and all materials
  • Minimum* of 15 students and Maximum of 30 students
  • Minimum 1 chaperone for every 10 students / Maximum 4 chaperones, including classroom teacher

*If your group has special needs that require a smaller group size, please contact or (212) 849-8351.


Registration is now closed for the 2015-2016 school year. If you are interested in registering for the 2016-2017 school year, please email to receive more information about upcoming school programs and registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long is the program?
Each Design Field Trip is 90 minutes.

2. What do the students do during the program?
The program includes an exhibition tour and hands-on workshop. When you register, you can select which exhibition you want to explore. During the tour, students will explore five to six objects; during the workshop, they will participate in a design-focused activity.

3. Can I register for more than one class to visit?
You can schedule up to two groups for the same time slot; both groups will participate in the full program (one will begin with the tour, the other with the workshop). Up to 30 students are permitted per group; smaller classes may not be combined to form a larger group of more than 30 participants.

4. How far in advance do I have to register?
Registration must be done six weeks in advance. We only take weekday reservations.

5. What information do I need to have when registering?
a) School and mailing address
b) Teacher name(s) and grade
c) School and teacher contact information (e.g., school phone, cell phone, email address)
d) Number of classes and students (up to 30 students per group; smaller classes may not be combined to form a larger group of over 30 participants)
e) Number of chaperones (up to four chaperones per class; a minimum of one adult per ten students)

6. What happens after I submit my reservation request?
Your reservation request will be reviewed within seven business days. A confirmation email will be sent to you noting the program date and start time.

7. Can my class stay in the Museum after my guided visit?
Yes. When you arrive, your class will receive entrance tickets and may come and go freely for the rest of the day. We recommend that chaperones and students divide themselves into smaller groups, as large groups cannot be accommodated in the galleries at the same time.

Please note that due to limited capacity of the Process Lab only one group (15+) can be in occupancy at one time. The priority will be given to groups that have confirmed programming in the space.  High peak times for the process lab are Monday-Friday 10am-2pm when school groups are in the space.  If you are part of a confirmed school group that arrives early to your program you are welcome to have your chaperones take small groups into other galleries.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

8. Where can I eat my lunch?
Cooper Hewitt Cafe seating is for non-group cafe customers only, however school groups are welcome to sit on the lawn, the benches or on the west side of the garden. Please note, we do not have a place to store your lunch, and food is not allowed in the galleries.

9. Where do I check in?
We ask that you arrive ten minutes before your scheduled start time to check in (we cannot attend to you if you arrive sooner). Enter the museum on 91st Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, and the Design Educator assigned to your program will greet you there.

10. What should my students bring?
Students don’t need to bring anything; we’ll provide all necessary supplies. Please note that students will be asked to check their belongings when they arrive, so they should not bring any valuables with them.

11. What if we’re late?
If your group is late, your program will be shortened accordingly, and finish at the originally designated time. Groups more than 30 minutes late will have their tours canceled.

12. What if I need to cancel my tour?
All cancellations must be received in writing at least two weeks prior to the scheduled visit. Please review our full cancellation policy on your confirmation letter and contact School Programs at or 212.849.8351 with any questions. Cancellation and other processing fees may apply.

13. Where can the bus park?
The main entrance to the Museum at 2 E. 91st Street is where buses may drop off and pick up school groups. While waiting, buses can remain on 5th Avenue or seek alternative locations.

14. What if my group requires special accommodations?
On your reservation request, please indicate special accommodations under “Additional Information.” Additional information will be helpful in allowing us to provide the most successful experience for all participants.