Voelker Orth Museum



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School/Group Programs

We have posted our regular educational programs that are presently on pause for the current school year. If your school, class, or group is interested in participating in a program this season, our staff can explore the options with you. 

The Voelker Orth Museum is offering a virtual workshop for school groups starting this spring. We've modified Plants We Eat, one of our popular educational workshops, for children in the classroom or remotely participating in their school-day from home. The programs are available at a $60 per class introductory rate this spring. Contact education@vomuseum.org or call 718-359-6227 for details.

Additional virtual workshops will be available in the Fall. And we'll be here for onsite instruction when it is once again safe to accommodate groups without the current requirements for social distancing.

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The Voelker Orth Museum occupies an 1890s immigrant family's house and garden in Flushing, Queens. We offer a variety of history, science, and art programs for a diverse range of ages and abilities.

We aim to support our colleagues teaching in classrooms around the city by developing programs that complement New York's rigorous learning standards. Our intimate setting allows us to give our full attention to one visiting class at a time and dig deep into rich content through experiential learning.

Field trips are available for booking weekdays, Tuesday through Friday, year-round. Each program costs $115 for a class of up to 30 students (material fee included).


Your class is invited to explore our 1890s home to discover how one immigrant family lived in Flushing, Queens over 100 years ago. Students will learn about the history of New York City, immigration, and daily life through the lens of Conrad Voelcker (later Voelker)—a newspaper publisher who emigrated from Germany in 1881—and his family.

History Detectives: Museum Tour
Grades 1-6

Students take on the role of detective as they investigate our 1890s immigrant home. Each sleuth will collect "clues" hidden in the museum, from colors, shapes, and textures in the furniture and architecture to family photos and historic artifacts. Students will leave with the ability to use all their senses to make observations about primary sources, the clues historians use to solve mysteries about how people lived in the past.

History Detectives: Primary Source Workshop
Grades 4-6

This 40-minute, in-class workshop is available as a pre-museum visit supplement to our History Detectives Museum Tour or as a standalone. Students will learn about different types of primary sources, including written materials (letters and diaries), visual materials (photos, paintings, and blueprints), three-dimensional materials (objects and buildings), and oral histories. Our museum educator is available to travel to classrooms in parts of Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, schedule permitting.

A New Home in a New Country
Grades 4-6

This program focuses on the story of Conrad Voelcker, a newspaper publisher who emigrated from Germany in 1881 and published German-language newspapers in New York City. Each class will take a hands-on tour of the historic house focused on the history of communication between 1890 and the present. We'll explore how Conrad and his family stayed in touch with friends and family in Germany while also making new connections in their new home—using newspapers, typewritten letters, and books. In a culminating printmaking activity, students will create their own newspaper advice column for recently-arrived immigrants.


Plant Science Workshops (Year-Round)

Students will observe, ask questions, and collect information about plants in the garden, and then share their ideas as they engage in hands-on gardening and discussion in a classroom setting.

Option A: Plants We Eat
Grades Pre K – K

Using a variety of familiar fruits and vegetables and tactile touch boards, your class will classify plant parts, learn what they do, and discuss how humans and plants support each other. Students will start a plant from seed to take home.

Option B: Terrarium Gardening
Grades 1 - 6

Students learn about the basics of plant life, the water cycle, and how plants respond to changes in their environment. Students will make their own terrarium garden to take home.

Urban Habitat Explorers (April - September)

The city is home to remarkable creatures. Students examine the relationships between humans, plants and animals and learn about the things urban wildlife need to live and grow in our city home.

Option A: Birds of a Feather
Grades 1 – 4

Students will learn about the different parts of a bird's habitat, observe birds in the garden, and make a simple bird feeder so they can continue their observations at home.

Option B: Who's Afraid of Honeybees?
Grades 1 – 4

Students will learn about the important role of honeybees in our ecosystem, visit our working beehive, sample honey, and make beeswax candles to take home.


How much does a class cost and how do I pay?

Each program costs $115 per class (material fee included). Advance payment is required by cash or check made out to the Voelker Orth Museum. Unfortunately, we aren't able to accept credit card at this time.

Do you allow cancellations?

A full refund is available for cancellations up to 15 days prior to the scheduled program.

What should we wear?

Programs include an outdoor component, so please advise your students to dress accordingly.
Additionally, most of our education programs involve working with soil and/or messy art materials. We advise students to wear clothing that they don't mind getting a little dirty. In particular, our New Home in a New Country program involves printing with black ink, so students are advised to wear old clothing or to bring a smock.

Is there parking for our school bus?

School bus parking is available directly in front of the museum on 38th Avenue.

How many students am I allowed to bring?

Our classroom space is limited, so we cap our programs at 30 students (grade 6 and younger) and 4 adult chaperones at one time. Special needs groups are capped at 15, not including chaperones, unless you've made special arrangements. Reach out to us at (718) 359-6227 or education@vomuseum.org to learn more.

Can I bring students with special needs?

We strive to support students of all needs and abilities. Please describe any special consideration that would best prepare us for working with your students (learning styles, physical needs, cognitive and sensory challenges) when making your reservation. The more information you provide, the better we will be able to support your students' unique needs. Please note that special needs groups are capped at 15, not including chaperones, unless you've made special arrangements.

Can we bring our lunches and eat at the museum?

We don't have a cafeteria space on premises and we can't guarantee that the weather will accommodate plans to picnic in the garden. We strongly recommend eating back at school, but are happy to troubleshoot other options as you work through challenges related to timing and travel.

What's your policy for snow days and inclement weather?

If the Voelker Orth Museum is closed due to inclement weather, all field trips are cancelled. Museum closings will be announced on our voicemail at 718-359-6227. We will also leave a message for you at your school and/or on the contact number you've provided. If school bus service is delayed or suspended, or you elect to cancel your field trip due to weather, please contact us immediately at 718-359-6227. If a trip is cancelled due to weather (either because the museum is closed, schools are closed, or your bus is canceled), we will do our best to reschedule your trip. If we are unable to find a time that works for all parties, we will issue a full refund.

Are your programs aligned to current learning standards?

Our programs complement New York State's Learning Standards and the Common Core Standards. Email education@vomuseum.org for details about specific programs.


149-19 38TH AVENUE, FLUSHING, NY 11354  |  718-359-6227  |  CONTACT US  |  © 2017 THE VOELKER ORTH MUSEUM