The Sackler Educational Laboratory offers hands-on lab experiences designed for middle- and high- school  students. We cover life science topics such as: evolution, building a cladogram, DNA structure and function, and gel electrophoresis and analysis. 6th-8th grade labs (Lab A and Lab B) consist of a 45 minute lab activity and a 30 minute tour in the Hall of Human Origins. 6th-8th grade labs are designed to support the NYC Scope and Sequence for Science. High school labs (Lab C, Lab D, Lab E, Lab F) are designed to support the Living Environment Regents Standards.

We can accommodate a maximum of 30 students per group, and offer labs at two different time-slots per day; 11am and 1pm. The cost is $150 per group. Please book your field trip at least 3 weeks in advance, call Central Reservations to book a lab: 212-769-5200. 

Through the Con Edison STEM Days Out program we offer complimentary labs for seven days throughout the school year. If you would like to be a part of this program, please call to book a lab on one of the following days: 


For a full list of 2016-2017 offerings, download the flyer below:

To learn more about public programming in the Lab on weekends, click here.

Past Offerings

Lab F Sackler Food Image

Lab F: Food Forensics

October 13, 2015 - June 17, 2016

In this 90min lab activity, students carry out an advanced investigation into the evolutionary genetics of crop domestication, including testing food products for genetic modification. Students extract DNA from domesticated crops, amplify the DNA through a PCR reaction, and analyze the DNA through Gel Electrophoresis, all while learning about the origins of agriculture and the positives and negatives of genetic modification of food.

Sackler Lab B image

Lab B: DNA Extraction from Strawberries

October 13, 2015 - June 17, 2016

In this 45 minute hands on lab activity, students learn about the molecule that is the basis for all life on earth by extracting DNA from strawberries and visualizing the DNA with their naked eye and then magnified under a microscope. This activity is coupled with a Guided Field Trip Exploration in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins.


Lab C: Primate Evolution

October 13, 2015 - June 17, 2016

In this advanced 90-minute activity, students act as scientists by collecting different lines of evidence for evolutionary change over time. Using the Sackler Educational Lab collections as well as the museum halls, students will collect skeletal data of extant and extinct primates and then analyze DNA sequences of different species to investigate the evolutionary relationship between humans and non-human primates.


Lab D: Exploring Human Orgins - Fossil Skulls, Stone Tools, and DNA

October 13, 2015 - June 17, 2016

In this 90 minute lab activity, students compare the evolution of hominid skulls, stone tool technologies, and DNA sequences to understand which biological and cultural traits are adaptations unique to each species and which are shared. Student will combine their physical, cultural, and genetic data to determine where each species fits on the evolutionary tree.


Lab E: Meet Your Microbiome

October 13, 2015 - June 17, 2016

In this 90 minute hands-on microbiology lab, students will learn about the diverse array of microbes living in and on our bodies. Students will culture bacteria from their own hands and gram-stain bacteria to understand the difference between major types of bacteria.This lab is also accompanied by a microscope learning module.

The Museum greatly acknowledges The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc. for its support to establish The Sackler Brain Bench, part of the Museum's Sackler Educational Laboratory, in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, offering ongoing programs and resources for adults, teachers, and students to illuminate the extraordinary working of the human brain.

Student classes in the Sackler Educational Laboratory, offered through the Museum’s Gottesman Center for Science Teaching & Learning, are made possible by a generous grant from The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc. and The Hall of Human Origins’ lead benefactors Anne and Bernard Spitzer.