Field Trips

The Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts is a great place to bring students! Field trips are facilitated by certificated teachers and each student receives a research journal for collecting research data. Content includes hands-on, interactive activities aligned to Common Core State Standards and are fun for all. All field trips require a 10-student minimum.

Admission to the museum is free for Puyallup School District classes.

Out-of-district field trips are also encouraged. Teachers from outside the PSD can schedule a field trip any day PSD schools are in session. Admission is $6 per student.

Tuesday through Friday, we host two field trips per day. The morning field trips starts at 9:30 am and the afternoon field trip starts at 12:15 pm. On Mondays we host one field trip which starts at 10:30 am.

To schedule a field trip please complete this form and submit.

For more information on costs and funding contact the Karshner Center office at (253) 841-8748.



 Pioneers and Covered Wagons

#1 Pioneers and Covered Wagons (September - June)
Preschool & Kindergarten
90 minutes, 25 student maximum

The field trip “Pioneers and Covered Wagons” is an early learning, content immersion experience introducing children, ages 4 – 6 to pioneer life. Using hands-on museum artifacts, historical photographs, paintings and a pioneer museum journal, students critically think about the daily life of the pioneers and the work and supplies necessary to have joined a wagon train.


 What is a museum  

#2 What is a Museum? (September - June)
Grade 1
90 minutes, 60 student maximum

This field trip introduces students to primary sources and teaches them how to use them as a clue to the past. Students visit several galleries featuring diverse thematic exhibits and learn how a museum is a place to explore, learn and develop critical thinking skills. With lots of hands on opportunities to work with primary sources including artifacts, historical photographs, paintings and documents, students will dive into history, exploring diverse cultures and time periods. Students will also participate in an art class exposing them to different artists and visual thinking skills after which they will create their own masterpiece.

 What does a scientist do  

#3 What Does a Scientist Do? (September – June)
Grade 2
90 minutes, 60 student maximum

This fun and all hands-on science field trip introduces students to several branches of science and the scientific method. Students have an opportunity to be a scientist as they study insects, skeletons, fossils, rocks and minerals and many other specimens in our science gallery. Following their investigation, students visit the great hall and use scientific tools including microscopes and scales to extend their research. The field trip culminates in a forensic investigation in which students work through the entire scientific method while conducting a lab investigation analyzing fingerprints. 

From Mt Tacobet to the Salish Sea  
#4 From Mt. Tahoma to the Salish Sea - Coast Salish Learning Day
(February - May)
Grade 3
3 hours, 60 student maximum

Students will extend and enrich their studies of Washington State Native American culture as they spend the morning exploring the Karshner Museum’s extensive collection of Native American artifacts. This fieldtrip is aligned with state literacy and common core standards.

Students will be engaged and mesmerized as they participate in all activities packed into this field trip. Using the museum research journal as a guide, students will explore the artifact gallery and study the beautiful craftsmanship of the Coastal Salish tribes. In the Great Hall students participate in interactive stations simulating tasks done by Native American cultures as well as learn some phrases in the Twulshootseed language. 

 An amazing race through Washington State HIstory  

#5 Discovering Washington State History through Primary Sources (September - June) 
Grade 4
90 minutes, 60 student maximum

Students experience facets of Washington State history and dive into the past by studying primary sources. Developing critical thinking skills, students analyze artifacts, historical photographs, paintings and documents to better understand the events and life of Washington’s earliest settlers.

 #6 Primary Sources – History Through Art & Artifacts (September – June) 
Grades 5 and 6
60 minutes, 30 student maximum

Students will extend their understanding of primary sources, learning how to use visual thinking skills to study historical photographs, paintings, and artifacts to gather information pertaining to specific time periods or themes in history such as civil war or immigration. Schedule at Karshner Center or we can travel to your classroom.

#7 Around the World in Eighty Days (September  – January)

Grades 5 and 6
90 minutes
35 students maximum

Students will take a trip around the world and see unusual, fun and beautiful artifacts from every continent donated by Dr. Warner Karshner and his friends.  Students will learn about geography, transportation, use of natural resources, world folk art and similarities and differences in the variety of cultures around the world while developing critical thinking skills.

Students will play the game “Around the World in 80 Days”, be a collector, decide what form of transportation will be the quickest to the next continent, and chart their own course around the world.

#8    1968 The Year That Rocked Washington (September – January)
Grades 5 & 6
90 minutes
60 students maximum

A field trip that explores the lives of 19 Washingtonians caught up in one of the most tumultuous years in world history. Their courage and convictions helped them lead the fight for civil rights, rights for people with disabilities, protection of natural resources and natural treasures, improving education, fair and equal housing, stopping the Vietnam War, and the cultural revolution that was 1968. With profiles, compelling photos and artifacts, Legacy Washington documents activism and aftershocks of a landmark year in world history. Students will:

  • Understand major events of the 1960s through the eyes of people from Washington State.
  • Be able to place important events on a timeline.
  • Categorize major events into international, national, and state events.
  • Categorize events into political, social, and cultural events, while learning critical thinking skills.


 TRAVELING FIELD TRIPS (for Puyallup School District only)

Our teachers will come to your classroom for your choice of 1 of the following field trips:

1. Clues to the Past - Primary Traveling Field Trip
Grades K-1 (1 class at a time)
1 hour 

Bring the Karshner Museum to your classroom and watch your students become primary source detectives as they use visual thinking skills to learn about artifacts and historical paintings. Themes of study include family, friendship and communities.

2. Primary Sources—History through Art and Artifacts
Grades 5 and 6
1 hour
30 student maximum

Students will extend their understanding of primary sources, learning how to use visual thinking skills to study paintings and artifacts to gather information pertaining to history.