Every year, the After School Program (ASP) offers courses to New York City high school students interested in the sciences. There are courses in anthropology, astrophysics, earth science, genetics, biodiversity, and more. Each course makes use of the Museum's unique resources through hall visits, lab and collections tours, talks and lectures by scientists, and hands-on activities.

ASP offers multiple sessions throughout the school year. Each session is six weeks long, and courses meet once or twice a week from 4:30 - 6:30 PM. Students may attend only one course per session.

All After School Program Exploratory and Science Research courses are offered free of charge!



Within these content areas, we offer two types of courses, Exploratory and Science Research. To Learn more about any of the courses listed below please follow the link in the course title.

Click here for the 2016-2017 Exploratory and Science Research Course Calendar


Exploratory courses allow students to engage their diverse interests through in-depth, “elective-style” coursework. They allow our scientists, educators and students the chance to explore science in unique and surprising ways. Any New York City high school student may take one or more exploratory courses throughout the school year.

Session 1 - (9/14 - 11/2)

#ScienceFTW: Cuba
Life Beyond Earth

Session 2 - (11/3 - 12/20)

Claw to Wing


Science Research courses are intensive 6-week courses that introduce students to the fundamentals behind the science practiced at the Museum. Courses cover a variety of topics including anthropology, astrophysics, conservation science, and evolutionary biology and focus on core scientific theories, concepts, and practices. Each Research course is co-taught by a Museum scientist and a Museum educator and are designed to prepare students for the possibility of conducting authentic scientific research through a partner program, the Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP). Please note that completion of three Research AMNH courses is a requirement for SRMP, but that completion of prerequisites does not guarantee acceptance into SRMP.

Science Research courses are open to students in 10-12th grade (public, private, and homeschool).

Life Science Tracks:

Session 1 - (9/14 - 11/2)

Research Methods in Conservation Biology
Culture, Language and Society
Molecular Genetics

Session 2 - (11/3 - 12/20)

Tree of Life
Human Origins

Physical Science Tracks:

Session 1 - (9/14 - 11/2)

Dynamic Earth

Session 2 - (11/3 - 12/20)

Wonderful Universe
Secrets of the Solar System



The Museum's Youth Initiatives Programming is generously supported by the leadership contribution of 





















































































































































































Upcoming Offerings

Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth - Science Research Course

In this Earth and Planetary Science course students will learn about the latest research conducted at the Museum through interactions with scientists, lectures, hall visits and hands-on activities. Our goal will be to understand the ongoing processes that transform our unique world by looking at how Earth was formed, why and how events such as earthquakes, volcanoes and climate change occur, and much more.

Comparative Genomics

Molecular Genetics - Science Research Course

This course will cover genetics and genomics, with a focus on understanding the composition of the genome. Students will learn what is in the genome, how mutations arise, and how variation in the genome impacts evolution and natural selection. Through a series of projects, we will study how Museum scientists use genetic information to study the history of life on earth and the conservation of endangered species.

adult cuba map

#ScienceFTW: Cuba - Exploratory Course

Go behind the scenes to learn about island biogeography - the spectacular ways life evolves on islands - and revisit collections and discoveries Museum scientists made on the island. At the same time, work with science educators and game designers to develop a prototype for a tabletop game to teach others about island biodiversity and the trials and tribulations of a museum-based scientists.


Life Beyond Earth - Exploratory Course

September 16, 2016 - October 21, 2016

Are we alone in the Universe? This question has intrigued humans ever since we had the courage to look skyward. Explore the science of categorizing and searching for life in the cosmos. How do we recognize life when we see it? How likely is life to develop? If we found intelligent civilizations, what would we want to say? Discover the exciting, multidisciplinary process of finding extraterrestrial lifewith hands-on experiments and a close look at the museum’s collections.

Wonderful Universe

Wonderful Universe - Science Research Course

November 3, 2016 - December 20, 2016

What makes a star shine? What holds the stars in a galaxy together? What exactly is a black hole? Could spaceships travel faster than the speed of light? This class will introduce and discuss the physical laws and principles that make the Universe what it is, from gravity to electromagnetism to quantum mechanics. We will meet some bizarre and unfamiliar objects along the ride, such as pulsars, cosmic rays, and dark matter.

Tree of LIfe

Tree of Life - Science Research Course

November 3, 2016 - December 20, 2016

From bacteria to whales, there are over 2 million known species on our planet Earth.  This amazing array of biodiversity is everywhere–even in places you cannot see, like deep underground. This course will explain how living organisms are related through the Tree of Life. With hands-on activities, hall and museum collection visits, and laboratory dissections students will learn how scientists organize biodiversity into classification systems using morphological and molecular data.   

Saurischians to Birds image

Claw to Wing - Exploratory Course

November 4, 2016 - December 16, 2016

Explore what extinct theropods and birds had in common with paleontological evidence and how paleontologists collect, prepare and analyze fossils in the field.

Introduction to Physical Sciences

Secrets of the Solar System - Science Research Course

November 7, 2016 - December 19, 2016

This class will take you on a grand tour of the solar system, from Mercury and the moons of Saturn, to asteroids and comets. How did such a diversity of worlds come to be? Like space detectives, we will follow the clues and try to unravel the secrets of the solar system’s formation and evolution.


Human Origins - Science Research Course

November 7, 2016 - December 19, 2016

Trace the path of human evolution through in-depth discussions, hands-on activities, and visits to Museum halls that plot the history of humankind.

Past Offerings

Pleiades M45 Open Star Cluster

Stars - Science Research Course

May 3, 2016 - June 9, 2016

This class will introduce you to the variety of stars out there – from white dwarves to red giants, and G-type stars like our Sun to recently discovered brown dwarves that are changing our thoughts on what a star even is. 

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Archaeology of Tomorrow - Exploratory Course

May 3, 2016 - June 9, 2016

Explore how the study of material culture is changing as satellites, 3D scanners, and digital museums gain use in the field, and gain hands on experience to see how technology is teaching us about the past.

Charles Darwin Birthday 2014 image

Darwin’s Dangerous Experiments - Exploratory Course

March 15, 2016 - April 21, 2016

In this class, you will test the origins of the theory of Natural Selection with experiments recreated from the writings of Charles Darwin. Darwin’s great curiosity for the natural world meant that he carried out scientific experiments throughout his life, from small garden experiments to traveling the globe. Darwin developed the theory of evolution by natural selection working with a vast network of correspondents across the globe, helping him understand how his experiments worked in real-world conditions. Find out what Darwin told his friends and learn how he formulated his theory by trying Darwin’s Dangerous Experiments on worms, plants and seeds!

Microbial Warriors Battle Digestive Disease

Invisible Bodies - Exploratory Course

March 11, 2016 - April 22, 2016

Find out how some of the hardiest life forms on the planet can cause disease, jump from body to body, and compete with other microorganisms to survive virtually everywhere you (don’t) look!