School Groups

FALL 2018 rEGISTRATION now closed
registration for spring 2019 school programs resumes on monday november 26, 2018


Cooper Hewitt offers free, dynamic educational programs for K – 12 school groups. Our immersive learning experience is designed to align with city, state, and national learning standards. Drawing upon the museum’s exhibitions, design educators facilitate thoughtful discussions and activities focused on the process of design thinking. We empower students to view the world optimistically through the lens of design and to improve it by honing their design thinking abilities.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Practice creative critical thinking
  • Develop interdisciplinary problem-solving skills
  • Collaborate with peers using verbal and visual strategies
  • Define key design process terminology
  • Build advocacy/empathy competencies

Find out about Cooper Hewitt’s accessibility services.

Design Field Trip

The Design Field Trip (DFT) experience is a 90 minute tour + workshop (for 15-30 students). In the workshop, students learn about the design process and build connections to objects explored in the galleries. This program fosters a deeper understanding of brainstorming techniques, empathy, and collaboration.

Each DFT will center on the theme: Designers are Problem-Solvers.

Teachers will be asked to select one of the 2 overarching lenses for their DFT:

  • Arts Integration
    Help students build creative confidence by exploring how and where designers find inspiration.
  • STEM
    Help students develop an understanding of design as a collaborative and interdisciplinary process used to address complex real-world problems.

Pre-Visit + Design Field Trip

Pre-visit prepares students for their museum visit by taking them through a design case-study and related hands-on activity in your classroom! This program enhances the museum experience by preparing students with key design concepts that will be further explored in the Design Field Trip. Pre-visits must be booked with DFT’s with the exception of grades 9-12.

Self-guided Visits

Self-guided visits are also available. Reservations are required at least 4 weeks in advance of the desired visit date – please visit the Tours page for more details and to complete a registration form.