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Sackler Educational Laboratory

A hands-on learning space with a focus on human biology.

Learn how humans compare to other species, how we've changed over time, and what makes us unique—the evidence may surprise you! You'll have the opportunity to talk with a scientist, learn about the latest discoveries in human evolution, handle fossil casts, look through a microscope, and see a real human brain. 

The Lab is open to the public on weekends, and is free with Museum admission. School groups may visit on weekdays by appointment.

School Groups

Enrich your field trip with hands-on experiences designed for middle- and high-schoolers. Featured educational programs focus on human biology, including evolution, genetics, and the brain.

See the available Sackler Lab programs for school groups.

Weekend Drop-In Hours

The Sackler Lab is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.

Visitors are invited to:

  • See and touch casts of the most recent fossil discoveries in human evolution such as, Homo nalediHomo floresiensisAustralopithecus sediba and Ardipithecus ramidus
  • Examine anatomical details on key fossil hominins such as: Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis), Turkana boy (Homo ergaster), and The Taung Child (Australopithecus africanus). 
  • Hold an early stone tool, and determine how our early ancestors created and used these tools to hunt and survive in their environments.
  • Look at a real plastinated human brain, and learn the structure and function of between different anatomical regions. 

The Museum is deeply grateful to the Hall's lead benefactors Anne and Bernard Spitzer, whose marvelous generosity inspired and made possible the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. The Museum also extends its gratitude to The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc., Katheryn C. Patterson and Thomas L. Kempner, Jr., Arlene and Arnold Goldstein, the Honorable Lucy Wilson Benson, and the Stout Family for their generous support.

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 for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins, in The Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, offering ongoing programs and resources for adults, teachers, and students to illuminate the extraordinary workings of the human brain.

Select Sackler Educational Labs are offered free of charge to school groups through the Con Edison STEM Days Out program.