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School Programs

The McClung Museum offers a variety of on-site and off-site programs for preK–12 groups that meet the curriculum of Tennessee public schools. Students will learn to use visual analysis of objects in our collection to enhance their understanding of history, art, and science.

Schedule a K–12 Visit

On-site Programs

On-site programs and admission to the McClung Museum are free. Programs take place in the galleries and are based on the content of the exhibits, which have direct connections to the current science, social studies, or visual arts curricula of Tennessee public schools for specific grade levels.

Tour Options 

  • Archaeology and the Native Peoples of Tennessee. Grades K–12, social studies, science.
  • Geology and Fossil History of Tennessee. Grades PreK–12, science.
  • Human Origins: Searching for Our Fossil Ancestors. Grades 5–12, science, art.
  • Art of the World Peoples in the Decorative Experience Gallery. Grades PreK–12, art and social studies.
  • Freshwater Mussels: Treasures Past and Present. Grades K–12, science, social studies.
  • Temporary Exhibitions. Contact museum educators to discuss connection to curriculum stands.

Two girls looking at geology exhibtion

Museum Policies for Teachers and Students

  • Gallery programs take approximately 45 minutes each. Teachers and chaperones are responsible for the discipline of students at all times.  One adult is required for every 15 students.
  • Reservations are required for all groups. For reservations, please use our online form or contact Leslie Chang Jantz with any questions at or 865-974-3662, Monday through Friday.
  • Minimum group size is 10 students. 
  • Maximum group size is 30* students in the museum at any one time.
  • No food, drinks, or gum are permitted in any exhibit area. There are no dining facilities in the museum. Circle Park is just outside the museum and Tyson Park is within two miles should students bring packed lunches, and there are some restaurants nearby both on and off campus.
  • Parking is under the control of university Parking Services, not the museum. Buses may drop off and pick up students at the museum but may not park on Circle Park Drive. Please call the university’s Parking Services at 865-974-6031 for advance information on bus parking. Private vehicles may park at no charge on Circle Park Drive in front of the museum for a maximum of two hours. Permits for this parking are available at the Information Center kiosk at the entrance to Circle Park Drive. Permits must be visible through each vehicle’s windshield. Permits for more than two hours may be purchased at the information kiosk.
  • Knox County Schools Risk Assessment

Contact Leslie Chang Jantz, curator of education, for programming and scheduling questions at


Off-site Programs

Off-site programs are available for schools and organizations within the Knox County area. Museum educators provide  presentations to your classroom enhanced with  artifacts or hands-on activities.

Teacher explaining an animal model

Program Options

Tools and Technology (Archaeology in Tennessee). Grades 1–12, social studies, science, art.

Program themes include archaeology, agriculture, and object-based learning. Contact museum educators for topics that suit your classroom needs. 

Geology and the Fossil History of Tennessee. PreK–8th,  science

PreK program highlights dinosaurs and fossils. For upper grades, themes include the rock cycle, plate tectonics, and fossil analysis.

China and the Silk Road. K–6th, social studies, art

Explore China during the Tang Dynasty. Topics include art and animals, The Silk Road, and cultural diffusion through trade.


Outreach program fees are $80 per reservation. The price includes up to three sessions per reservation. Title I schools are eligible for a reduced fee. School will be invoiced after engagement.

Reservations Requests

Reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance. Use the form below to request a reservation. Please note that outreach programs occur only on Wednesdays.

Schedule a K–12 Visit


Engagement Requirements 

  • A programmed session lasts 45 minutes (approximately one class period).
  • Programs can be scheduled between 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on a Wednesday.
  • Teachers must remain with students during the outreach program.


Virtual Programs

Engage with museum educators remotely through Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Virtual programs are free but reservations are required. 

black vessel

Program Options

Mano and Maize (archaeology). 1st–8th. Social studies, science

Learn about the emergence of agriculture in Tennessee, tools used by Native Peoples, and how archaeologists use science to study the past.

Freshwater Mussels: Tennessee’s Treasure. 3rd–8th, Science

Let’s journey into the diverse waters of our state to discover the fascinating world of freshwater mussels! Lesson themes include the life cycle, biological adaptation, and human’s environmental impact. 

Northwest Coast Art. 1st–8th, Social studies, art

Travel with us to explore the traditions of natives cultures in the Pacific Northwest Coast. We will examine the role of artworks in everyday life and long-standing customs.

Policies for Teachers and Students

  • Virtual programs occur on Mondays during the regular school year between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Virtual programs are offered through Zoom or Microsoft Teams. You may select your preference when filling out the reservation form.
  • Programs can be between 30–45 minutes and are led by museum educators.
  • Teachers maintain control of student engagement and behavior during the virtual presentation.

Reservation Request

Reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance. Click the button below to request a virtual program.

Schedule a K–12 Visit

Submitting a request form does not reserve your program. Museum educators will contact you via email to confirm your request or suggest alternative options.