The MOST's Mission and Commitment: The MOST's vision is to be a pre-eminent science and technology center, inspiring all generations through hands-on education and entertainment. With our exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, classes, planetarium shows, special events, and the Bristol IMAX, we really do have something for all ages. We are committed to fostering a lifelong love of science in the hearts of our CNY community and our friends from around the world.
How to book a group at the MOST: Group booking is handled through our reservationist, who can be reached at (315) 425-9068 ext. 2141. Be prepared with the number of students and adults in your group, when you are arriving and departing, what activities you are interested in, and if you want to book a lunchroom. If you want something special for your group, don't hesitate to ask. The Education Department can customize programs for your group. After booking, you will receive a confirmation letter that includes rules and expectations. More information is located here.
We recommend a free planning visit: Teachers who have booked a group can come to the MOST for a free look at our exhibits. (The planetarium and IMAX shows are not included.) Before a group visit, take a look at our online curriculum to plan a pre, during, and post set of activities. Our experience is that groups with an agenda are more focused on learning. The MOST will schedule when your group can use the playhouse, planetarium, lunch room, etc, but you can decide what to do with the rest of your time. When you plan your trip consider how much time you will need. An hour and a half is usually enough time for a group to see the exhibits (including Science Playhouse time). An additional hour is needed for an IMAX film, a half hour for lunch and a half hour for a Planetarium show. Time needed for special programs can be determined in consultation with the education staff.
When your group arrives: When you arrive an education staff member is usually waiting to greet you. The staff member will direct bus drivers to a parking space based on exit time. If you come on a bus, please keep your students on the bus so the staff member can greet the entire group and give the leader a copy of their schedule for the day. If your group is running late and in danger of missing their scheduled IMAX, a staff member will properly greet you after the IMAX, before you enter the exhibit halls. The greeting includes an explanation of the museum rules, a list of the major exhibits and their locations, and an overview of your schedule. Schedules are made by the museum to accommodate the needs of many groups. Someone from your group will need to sign in at the admissions desk.
What your chaperones should know: Chaperones are required for groups of children aged 17 and under. There must be at least one chaperone, age 18 or over, for every ten children, ages 17 or younger, in the group. One chaperone for every ten students will receive free admission to the exhibit hall only. Extra chaperones will be charged the group admission rate. Everyone, including chaperones, is required to pay admission to the Bristol Omnitheater and the Silverman Planetarium. Chaperones are responsible for the group's behavior and students must be accompanied by chaperones at all times.
What Your Students Should Know:
When They Visit: All students are expected to stay with their chaperones. They must treat the museum property, employees, and other visitors with respect. Running, roughhousing, eating, drinking, and chewing gum in the exhibit halls is prohibited. Students should bring socks to wear in the playhouse.
Volunteering: The MOST has volunteer positions in our education department for all ages. Volunteers help our museum achieve its goals. Your students can assist our education staff in the exhibit halls and even perform demonstrations. All ages are welcome (our youngest is 6 years old), but volunteers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult. All volunteers are expected to give a minimum of 30 volunteer hours to the museum per semester. Please fill out a volunteer application if interested.
Science Playhouse: Groups are given an assigned time slot (15-20 min) to explore the Science Playhouse. This allows students to have time in the structure, while encouraging them to discover our other exhibits. Everyone inside the playhouse needs to wear socks. Chaperones are required in the playhouse. Students need to be careful of other guests, including very young children, who may also be in the playhouse at the same time. Free with admission.
Live Planetarium Shows: Schools may order shows in advance. Planetarium shows focus on seasonal constellations and navigating the night sky. Lasting 15-20 minutes, the style and length of our performances are tailored to your age group. Longer/custom shows may also be requested or teachers can select a special show for groups. For a list of available special shows visit Private Planetarium Shows for Groups. All planetarium shows are live and students are invited to ask questions. Our planetarium holds 50 visitors at a time. Larger groups may need to book multiple shows. See group rates for prices.
Bristol IMAX Omnitheater: An experience unlike anything else. We play mostly educational films on our special domed screen, which run about 45 minutes. Please check here for movie times, titles, and educator guides. We request a two week advance booking for archived films not currently in our listing. When choosing an IMAX time, be careful about films that start soon after your arrival. If your buses are late, it could mean missing your film. Groups have assigned seating and are seated before the general public. Your group will be called to the theater 15 minutes before it starts to give your group priority seating and to assure your group is seated together. This is especially important when we have multiple groups and general public at the same show. Please let us know in advance if you will need special accommodations for wheelchairs or people of limited mobility. See group rates for prices.
Curriculum: There are a variety of activities to complete related to the exhibits and correlated to the NYS Science Standards. Make the most of your visit by taking advantage of our free pre-, during, and post- activities!
Science Demonstrations: Our staff may perform a 15 minute live science demonstration. Demonstration topics include liquid nitrogen, polymers, sound and other science topics. Animal demonstrations include a chance to meet the museum's Ball Python, Red-Eared Slider Turtle, or Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Education staff will try to honor advance requests for specific demonstrations.
Science on the Go: The MOST offers a traveling science program for pre-K through eighth-grade students. We also will visit summer camps, daycare centers, retirement homes, and festivals. This 45-minute live show includes your choice of programming tailored to fit your audience. Half-hour shows are available for Pre-K. We can work with you to build a show that fits your needs. To book, call (315) 425-9068 ext. 2148.
Hands-on workshops: For groups of 25 people or less, the MOST offers inquiry based, hands-on workshops, both in the museum and at your location. Our workshops investigate astronomy, nanoscience, and other interesting topics. Our education staff can customize programs and accommodate larger groups if given enough advance notice. Please contact us with any questions at (315) 425-9068 x2148.
Camp-ins: For the truly adventurous, the MOST offers overnights at the museum. We provide a program that includes demonstrations, inquiry based activities, planetarium shows, an evening snack, breakfast and exhibit hall time. An IMAX movie may also be scheduled. Each overnight is designed with the teacher to provide a program that is educational and fun. For more information and pricing, contact (315) 425-9068 x2148.
Educator Resources: Please call with any questions at (315 )425-9068 x2145.
Teachers Guides: These guides, available on our website, accompany the IMAX films. They provide additional information about the scientific principles involved and suggest related activities you might like to do with your students. For smaller groups, the educational staff may be able to provide some of these activities as a workshop during your visit at the MOST.
Workshops for Educators and Parents: The MOST schedules workshops for educators and/or parents. Adults participate in the hands-on-activities we provide. These workshops are intended to give educators and parents ideas to use at school or at home. They are an excellent way for educators to preview our programs before bringing a group to the museum. These workshops can be customized and ordered for your school or parent's group. Our current program offerings include astronomy and nanotechnology. Contact the education department for more information at (315) 425-9068 x2147 or x2143.