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. Sixth- to eighth-grade labs (Lab A and Lab B) consist of a 45-minute lab activity and a 15-minute tour in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. Sixth- to eighth-grade labs are designed to support the New York City Science Scope & Sequence.  Labs designed for 8th to 12th grades (Lab C, Lab D, Lab E, Lab F, and Lab G) are 90 minutes and 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: 11 am and 1 pm. Lab E and Lab G are only available for the 11 am time slot. The cost is $150 per group. Please book your field trip at least three 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 Wednesdays throughout the school year. Registration for the 2018-2019 school year is currently closed. Please check back later for updates. 

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.

View all past offerings »

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.