Design Field Trips
Cooper Hewitt welcomes K-12 classes to experience design through in person and virtual field trips. Our field trips explore how design shapes and is shaped by our everyday lives. Students will be guided by a Cooper Hewitt educator through a tour of the museum’s exhibitions and collections, followed by a hands-on activity that immerses students in the design making process. Advanced registration is required for school groups visiting for educator guided field trips. Availability is limited.
Field Trips by Grade
We have three Design Field Trip tracks available for both virtual and in person experiences, which have been tailored by grade level to meet the needs of students in every stage of their learning journey. Each track has been developed to meet national and New York Education Standards and is aligned with the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education framework.
Please note: The grade level for each track is a suggestion. We are happy to offer any of the three tracks to accommodate the specific needs of your class.
In-Person Field Trip (Wednesdays & Thursdays 10:30AM-12:00PM EST)
Track 1– Design Explorers (K-3rd): In this in-person field trip, students will practice their observation skills to discover that design is
all around them! By looking closely at designs across Cooper Hewitt’s Designing Peace, Mr. Pergolesi’s Curious Things: Ornament in 18th-Century Britain, and Hector Guimard: How Paris Got Its Curves exhibitions, students will consider how design elements can give us clues to how the designer intended objects to be used. In a hands-on design activity, students will discover design elements such as texture, size, color, and shape.
Track 2– Data, Design, and Me (4th-8th): In this in-person field trip, students will discover how designers are partnering with data scientists and researchers to translate complex facts and figures into imagery that can help everyday people better understand themselves and their communities. Students will investigate examples of data visualization through Cooper Hewitt’s Designing Peace and Deconstructing Power: W.E.B. Du Bois at the 1900 World’s Fair exhibitions, then collect and visualize their own data in a hands-on workshop.
Track 3– Data Visualizations for Change (9th-12th): In this in-person field trip, students will discover how designers are partnering with data scientists and researchers to translate complex facts and figures into imagery that can help everyday people advocate for the causes they care about. In an exhibition tour of Cooper Hewitt’s Designing Peace and Deconstructing Power: W.E.B. Du Bois at the 1900 World’s Fair exhibitions, students will investigate how data visualization has been a powerful tool for analyzing inequities and enacting social change. In a hands-on workshop, they will have the opportunity to interpret and visualize data around important human rights issues.
Please note: The exhibitions that students visit are subject to gallery closures or any other unforeseen circumstances. If one of the above listed exhibitions is unavailable during your scheduled time, a Cooper Hewitt Educator will modify the tour based on available exhibitions.
Virtual Field Trip (Tuesdays 10:30-11:30AM and 1:30-2:30 PM EST)
Track 1– Design Explorers (K–3rd): In this virtual field trip, students will practice their observation skills to discover that design is all around them! Through storytelling and hands-on activities, students explore the impact of design on everyday life and tackle hands- on design challenges as they embark on a virtual journey from home to school.
Track 2– How Posters Work (4th–12th): In this virtual field trip, students will discover how design can be used as a tool for communication and change through posters. From city streets to protests, concerts, and classroom walls, posters are all around us. Through object exploration and hands-on activities, participants will learn how designers use form, color, image, and language to tell stories.
Reservations are required at least 4 weeks in advance of the desired visit date – please complete the tour registration form. Fees: individual admissions fees (same as online prices)
Minimum of 10, maximum of 35 participants
Design Field Trips are made possible with generous support from Adobe and The Hirsch Family Foundation.
Featured Image: Two students looking at a computer screen. One student is pointing at something they see on the screen.