School Programs

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.

Current program offerings

Tools: Extending Our Reach
January 12 – May 25, 2015:
Students will engage with objects from Cooper Hewitt and nine other Smithsonian collections, spanning 1.85 million years of tool use and design. Students will explore the various ways that tools extend humanity’s ability to do everything from completing everyday tasks to being able to do the extraordinary, such as printing parts from a 3D printer in space! During the workshop students will design tools of survival.

Beautiful Users
January 12 – April 26, 2015:
This inaugural exhibition focuses on the design process and welcoming students to learn about the significant role of the user in design. They will critically explore everyday examples of products, spaces, and interfaces to understand how many designers today are changing their point of view from designing for people to designing with people. During the workshop students will construct their own design that fits the need of a user based on a unique scenario.


New York City Schools (includes private, public, and charter schools in the five boroughs)
• FREE admission and all materials.
• Minimum* of 15 and maximum of 30 students.
• We require 1 chaperone for every 10 students. Maximum of 4 chaperones including classroom teacher.

Non-New York City Schools (outside five boroughs or out of state)
• $400.00 includes admission and all materials.
• Minimum* of 15 and maximum of 30 students.
• We require 1 chaperone for every 10 students. Maximum of 4 chaperones including classroom teacher.

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


Start 2015 with a Design Field Trip to at Cooper Hewitt. We are now booking reservations for January through June 2015.

Click here to submit your reservation request.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

2. What do the students do in the program?
The program includes an interactive exhibition tour and a hands-on design workshop based on your program theme selection. Students will explore 5-6 objects in the Museum’s galleries and participate in a design-focused workshop.

3. Can I register for multiple classes for one trip?
You may request to schedule up to two groups for the same time slot. Both groups will get the full program with one beginning with the tour and other with the workshop. Up to thirty students per group; smaller classes may not be combined to form a larger group of over thirty participants.

4. How far in advance do I have to register?
Registration must be made 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/subject
c) School and teacher contact information (e.g., school phone, cell phone, e-mail address).
d) Number of classes and students (up to thirty students per group; smaller classes may not be combined to form a larger group of over thirty 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?
After you submit a reservation request it will be reviewed within 5 business days. Please note that a confirmation email will be sent to the email listed in the registration form confirming the program date and start time.

7. Can my class stay in the Museum after my guided visit?
Yes, upon arrival your class will receive entrance tickets and may come and go freely for the rest of the day. We recommend chaperones and students to divide themselves into smaller groups as large groups cannot be accommodated in the Galleries at the same time. Also, your class may not enter Cooper Hewitt early before your designated tour start time. Weekday Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

8. Where can I eat my lunch?
Cooper Hewitt doesn’t have student lunchroom facilities. The field trip organizer is responsible for finding an alternative eating location. Please note we do not have a place to store your lunch; food or drinks are not allowed in the galleries.

9. Where do I check in?
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. The Design Educator assigned to your program will greet you at the entrance.

10. What should my students bring?
Students don’t need to bring anything; we’ll provide all necessary supplies. Students must check their belongings when they arrive; they should not bring any valuables to their Cooper Hewitt visit.

11. What if we’re late?
If your group is late, your program will be shortened accordingly and will finish at the originally designated time. Groups who arrive more than thirty minutes late will be 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 accomodations?
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.