These traveling educational trunks help make natural history come alive for your classroom. Each trunk is filled with interdisciplinary and scientifically-accurate educational materials such as grizzly hides, wolf skulls, age-appropriate lesson plans, posters, videos, audio cassettes, games and puppets.
Trunks are sent statewide to Montana teachers, reaching over 4,000 students annually.
To see a detailed list of each trunk and its contents, download the MNHC Trunk Guide.
To reserve a trunk, please call 406.327.0405 during our business hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm. (Please do not email your request–call us directly!)
AQUATIC INVERTEBRATE MONITORING
Featuring high quality research tools, this trunk provides everything you need to lead students through classroom and field trip-based investigations in the study of aquatic invertebrates. The trunk features a curriculum guide with lab exercises, stream bottom sampling net, surber samplers for quantitative study, student sampling and identification kits and lots of background information to set up quality science inquiry activities. Grade Level: 7-12
CLARK FORK PEND OREILLE WATERSHED
This trunk offers a glimpse into our local watershed. Take an imaginary journey using a hand-painted floor map and wooden figurines to tell the stories of historical characters whose lives were dependent on water. Curriculum and multimedia materials addressing watershed issues are included. Themes covered are the water cycle, water quality, bull trout, aquatic life, and human impacts. Grade level: 3-6
Hands-on learning about fire ecology. Themes include: wildfire behavior, forest change, plant and animal adaptations to fire and management of wildland fire. Included is a curriculum guide, tree cookies, posters, games, puzzles, books, slide show, videos, and everything you need to experiment with fire (plus a fire extinguisher!). For more information, take a look at the fire lab’s website about the fireworks trunk.
Grade level: 1-9 * Cannot be shipped due to weight.
This trunk will provide a set of 15 Garmin MAP 60 units for classroom or group use. The units come with preloaded maps and software and are easy to use. The trunk includes instruction guides, cables to connect the units to computers, and CD’s with additional computer software to use with the units. The Geospatial Trunk for grades 6-12 provides curriculum and additional software and resources that can be made available free of charge for use with the units. The GPS units are available for free shipping through a partnership with the Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals. Contact us for more details.a
GLACIAL LAKE MISSOULA
This trunk provides everything necessary to conduct a detailed investigation of the dramatic ice-age floods that shaped our landscape over 12,000 years ago. Full of lessons, maps, pictures, and extension activities your students won’t be able to get enough! A great geology source and an amazing natural history detective story with evidence in our own backyard. Grade level: 6-9
HEALTHY AIR, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
Air pollution in the inner-mountain west is the focus of this unit, empowering learners to protect our precious air quality. Hands-on activities integrate the subject areas of science, mathematics, health, social studies, and language arts. Includes an experiment trunk for creating miniature inversion layers, puppets, posters, books and a curriculum guide. Grade level: 3-5
LIVING WITH WINTER
This trunk is designed to supplement ecological studies with the opportunity to think about complex relationships and systems. Concepts such as snow metamorphosis, animal and plant adaptations, and energy transfer are examined through the inquiry-based, experiential activities. The trunk includes posters, pelts, books, videos, and games. Grade level: 5-8
This exciting hands-on trunk consisting of a loon mount, costumes, puppets, books, posters, and more was created by Donna Love, author of Loons and member of the Montana Loon Society. Discover the legend of loons and their remarkable lives with this engaging trunk. Grade level: K-6
This trunk brings geology, Montana history and the story of mining for minerals into the classroom with hands-on learning. Themes include: rocks and minerals, formation of rocks, history of mining and equipment, how minerals are found, why mining continues and what mined minerals are used for. The kit includes curriculum guides, examples of rocks and minerals, posters, examples of mining equipment and tools, examples of products made from mined minerals and everything you need to learn about mining in Montana. Grade level: 3-8
MONTANA WILDLIFE TRUNK
This trunk and curriculum offer a study of some of the amazing wildlife in Western Montana. Students become wildlife biologists to complete a creative research project about mammals of Western Montana. Track replicas, skulls, animal stamps, binoculars, games, picture books, ready-to-use lessons, science experiment supplies, and much more await your use! Grade level: 3-5
Two-to-four week thematic unit that involves students in a hands-on exploration of the geologic and human history of this Missoula landmark. Specific plant and animal relationships are also covered. A slide show, books, transparencies, field guides, posters, and biological specimens are all included.
Grade level: 3-5
This well-known Project WET resource has found a home at the Montana Natural History Center. Everything you need to bring the wonders of ponds and wetlands to your students, including books, slides, posters, flannel board, games, viewing tank, hands-on activities, and curriculum guides. Grade level: preschool-4.
Lying in the shadow of the Rockies, the prairies comprise nearly one third of the continent. Discover this unique ecosystem and the many creatures that depend on the grassland habitats. The trunk contains curriculum materials, books, videos, prints, and hides. Grade level: K-12
RAPTORS OF THE ROCKIES
The Raptors of the Rockies Traveling Trunk is an excellent resource for teaching students about Montana’s birds of prey. The trunk contains 10 raptor mounts encased in Plexiglass, plus bird parts such as feathers, wings, feet and an owl skull. Also included is a box of laminated Species Accounts and Range Maps of the 31 raptors of Montana, plus a glossary and sheets on silhouettes, taxonomy and topography. Because they contain protected birds, they must remain within the state of Montana. Although it is not the same as a live bird show, it should be equally informative and interesting for your students! Grade Level: 3-8
Explore the natural history of migratory birds with this award-winning trunk! Learn about their life in Mexico and Montana, and find out about the increasing problems they face in their summer and winter homes. Help students appreciate songbirds and learn how to help insure that their songs always herald spring in the Rockies. The trunk includes a curriculum guide, specimens, books, puppets, tapes, videos, and a felt storyboard. Grade level: K-6
THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES
Many of Montana’s animals face extinction due to habitat loss. Learn of the tenuous existence of these animals and what steps are being taken to recover their populations. Inside the trunk you will find hides, specimens, books, posters, videos, plaster tracks, and a curriculum guide.
Three versions: #1 for Grades 2-6; #2 for Grades 5-8; and, #3 for Grades 7-12
WOLVES AND HUMANS
Absent from Montana for nearly 50 years, the gray wolf is coming back, but not without controversy. Explore the natural and cultural history of wolves and invite students to consider how we can coexist with one of nature’s wildest and most symbolic animals. Included in the trunk is a curriculum guide, hides, fur samples, skulls, plaster casts, videos, and cassette tapes. Grade level: K-12