School Groups

school programs registration now open!

Fall 2019 Program Dates: October 7, 2019 – December 20, 2019

If you are looking to register for Spring 2020 dates, please return in late November to register.



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

Field Trip Accommodations

Cooper Hewitt provides sensory tools and assisted listening devices upon request. Please indicate appropriate accommodations on field trip registration form. Additional information about Cooper Hewitt accessibility services can be found here. 

Please reference the social narrative before your visit to the museum.

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 expand students’ awareness of design and cultivate design-thinking competencies.

Teachers will be asked to select one of the 3 tracks for their DFT:

  • Design Explorers (K–2)
  • Arts Integration (3–12)
    Help students build creative confidence by exploring how and where designers find inspiration.
  • STEM (3–12)
    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.

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.