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Sackler Lab for School Groups Image

Programs for School Groups

Sackler Educational Laboratory for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins

As part of Con Edison's STEM Days Out, Labs A, B and C are free and open to all New York City and Westchester classes visiting on field trips for the following Wednesdays:

November 4th
December 2nd
February 3rd
March 2nd
April 6th
May 4th

Please call Central Reservations to book a lab (212) 769-5200

AMNH gratefully acknowledges the continued support of Con Edison.


Step into the state-of-the-art Sackler Educational Laboratory with your students and begin investigating in-depth life sciences for middle and high school focusing on such topics as the Human Brain, Evolution and Environment, DNA Isolation and Biotechnology all linked to the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. 

Space is limited to 30 students for all labs. 6th-8th grade labs (Lab A and Lab B) consist of a 45 minute lab activity and a 45 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, Lab G) are designed to support the Living Environment Regents Standards. For High School groups of more than 30 students, we recommend reserving two 90 minute lab sessions. Please book your field trip at least 3 weeks in advance. All school groups registered for a lab will receive the Hall of Human Origins Educator's Guide in their confirmation packet. 


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


Location: 1st Floor - Spitzer Hall of Human Origins.


Available Days and Times:

Monday - Friday

Morning Lab: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Afternoon Lab: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 



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.

Upcoming Offerings

Sackler Lab B image

Lab B: DNA Extraction from Strawberries

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

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 E: Meet Your Microbiome

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.


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

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 F Sackler Food Image

Lab F: Food Forensics

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.


Lab G: Forensic Anthropology: Whose Body Was Left Behind

In this 90 minute advanced lab activity, students will learn and use forensic anthropology techniques to determine the identity of an individual who’s body has been recovered.  Using a real human skeleton, microscopes and Gel Electrophoresis images, students will collect and compile evidence to determine the identity of the individual and what may have caused their death.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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