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Immersive Science Programs for Homeschool Students at Q?rius

by Nicole Webster -- Aug 27, 2018
A woman wearing glasses and blue gloves holds up two human skulls. Teenage students watch in the background.

Nicole Webster is the School Programs Coordinator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. She develops, evaluates, and facilitates...

Museum educator Nicole Webster guides students in the school program “Reefs Unleashed.” Photo by Don Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution.
Museum educator Nicole Webster guides students in the school program “Reefs Unleashed.” Photo by Don Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution.

Many students learn science best through hands-on experience. We know it can be difficult for homeschoolers to find such immersive science programs, so we are now providing several options for local D.C.-area homeschool students. Two of the options feature our staff-led Q?rius School Programs, in which museum educators provide students with a chance to both see and participate in the science happening at the Museum. Q?rius school programs are designed for students in grades 6-12 and provide unique insights into the scientific process.

Here are the choices for homeschool groups:

Q?rius Homeschool Days - Programs for Individual Students or Small Groups

The first Monday of every month from October through June is "Q?rius Homeschool Day," when we offer our school programs exclusively to individual homeschool students or small groups of up to 14 students. The first Q?rius Homeschool Day of the 2018-2019 school year will be "Collections Challenge" on October 1. Registration fills up fast, though, so don’t miss out! By completing all nine programs, students earn a certificate of completion from the Museum.

Programs for Large Homeschool Groups

If you have 15 or more homeschool students in your group, you can register for any of the available Q?rius School Programs. We offer hour-long school programs Monday through Friday at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Coming as a group can be a great experience and we have worked with homeschool groups of all different sizes. Some have participated in a single program, while others have chosen to attend all six programs. Past participants have commented, “Thank you so much. Our kids absolutely LOVE these classes!!!”

Photo of students participating in a school program.Programs You Can Participate in From Home

Can’t get to the Museum or want something more? Check out the Smithsonian Science How schedule. You can watch live video webcasts and ask a scientist a question, or take a peek at the archives and see what some of our scientists have been up to. You can also participate in live text career chats and ask our scientists about their career paths. If your homeschool group has 15 or more participants, you could even participate in our “Webcast +” program, in which students get to explore our 6,000-object Collections Zone and watch the webcast onsite in Q?rius.


Program Details: "Q?rius Homeschool Days" feature free, staff-led school programs created for students in Grades 6-12. Programs are designed to keep students on task for 60 minutes. "Q?rius Homeschool Days" are for 1 to 14 homeschool students. 

How to Register: We offer “Q?rius Homeschool Days” the first Monday of each month from October through June. To register, go to the school program registration page, find a Q?rius Homeschool Day, choose your time, click the "Sign Up" button, and complete the online form.

Questions about our school programs? Contact us at

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