314 965 6212 • museum@transportmuseumassociation.org • 2933 Barrett Station 63122

Educational Development at the National Museum of Transportation

The primary goal for the development of the educational division of the National Museum of Transportation is to inspire the community to access, investigate, enjoy and support the National Museum of Transportation and all it has to offer.

Specifically, the education division seeks:

  • To provide enjoyable and content-rich educational experiences for preschool, elementary and middle school students.
  • To extend the National Museum of Transportation’s outreach into area schools.
  • To provide special events geared toward families, home-schooled children, preschoolers, scouts and adults.
  • To develop the National Museum of Transportation’s appeal as a venue for a variety of community activities.
  • To generate funding through outreach and increased community attendance.

The first step in developing a sound educational curriculum for the National Museum of Transportation has been to identify the Missouri “Show Me” Standards that are most relevant to the museum.  By providing learning experiences based on these standards, the museum takes its rightful place alongside the St. Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Zoo, and other venues as a first-rate location for learning.

This is what teachers say about our field trips:

“Love, love this field trip and every year my students do too! Well organized. Age appropriate. This is a teacher’s dream!”   Perryville Elementary

“Best field trip ever. We will be back next year.” Immacolata School

“Love the Museum! The kids always enjoy all the activities. Easy field trip for a teacher with their whole class. We look forward to it every year!” Clyde Hamrick Elementary

“Age appropriate and well organized. The ladies we work with are awesome with explaining facts to our kids on their level and keeping them involved. Highly recommend.” Rockport Heights Elementary

Education Group Offerings


Guided field trips are available for Preschool Groups.  There is a facilitated field trip, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” especially for Preschool 3 & 4 year-olds.  View Elementary school field trips section below for more information.

Elementary School Field Trips

Facilitated Field Trips

Field trips are offered March- May and September – November.

During a facilitated field trip, your elementary class will experience a “hands-on” field trip led by a museum educator.  It’s the perfect way to kick off or culminate a themed unit in your classroom!  Our workshops include post visit activities which are aligned with the Missouri “Show Me” Standards.  See the focus areas below.

If your school is unable to visit us, we can bring transportation programs to you!  See our outreach programs.

Field trips are approximately two, to two and half hours long.  Each field trip offers an exclusive lesson with a hands-on activity, and a private educational tour.

  • $6.00 per student
  • One complimentary chaperone admission per every five students
  • K–5th grade, 15-30 students per class
  • We can host up to 4 classes per visit
  • Available Tuesday-Friday
  • 9:00AM is our first available field trip time
  • Miniature train rides included during seasonal operation, weather permitting
  • Outdoor picnic tables are available for groups staying for lunch.  We do not have indoor eating facilities for school groups
  • Refunds are not given for absent students

Field Trip Focus Areas

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
Preschool 3–4 year olds
Preschool friends will explore the purpose and design of different railcars, automobiles and other museum artifacts on their “Private Outdoor Children’s Tour.”  Students will be guided through passenger cars, a dining car, cabooses, steam engines and many other forms of transportation!  All students will be given a Museum Activity Book to take home with them at the end of their visit.  Fee: $5.00 per student.

Bird, Plane, Boat or Train?
Kindergarten–2nd Grade
Does an airplane travel in the sky or on the ground?  Does a tugboat float or fly?  Are bicycles considered a form of land transportation?  Do hot air balloons have steering wheels?  This unique lesson helps students learn the difference between land, air and water transportation.  It also introduces very basic sorting and graphing skills.  This is a great class to coordinate with a transportation unit or to reinforce organizational math skills.

A private educational tour and miniature train ride are included.

Meets MO Show-Me Knowledge Standards in Communication Arts: 5 & 6; Mathematics: 1, 2 & 6; Science: 2, 5, 6 & 8; Social Studies: 2, 4 & 5.

Down By the Station
Kindergarten–4th Grade
Do you know the difference between a steam and a diesel engine?  What is the purpose of a smoke stack?  Does a conductor or engineer actually navigate the train?  Have you ever heard of a cow catcher?  These questions will be answered as students learn the difference between past and present railroad transportation and how the different engines function.  This entire lesson is coordinated with museum artifacts explored during The Children’s Tour and reinforces the importance of the changes in life on the rails over the past hundred years.  This is our most popular field trip and each class has specific criteria that is taught accordingly to their grade level.

A private educational tour and miniature train ride are included.

Meets MO Show-Me Knowledge Standards in Communication Arts 5 & 6; Mathematics 1 & 2; Science 2, 6 & 8; Social Studies: 2, 4 & 5.

What Does It Carry and Where Does It Go?
2nd–4th Grade
Children often wonder what kind of liquids does a tanker car transport? Which rail car needs the assistance of a crane to unload its stock?  Can you take a trip inside of a caboose?  How fast does the snowplow travel on the tracks?  Do Bobcats and dump trucks work with the rail crew to get certain commodities to their destinations?  Students will explore the purpose, order and design of the various rail cars in a train set.  Then, they will be introduced to each specific car when they are out on the museum grounds during their private tour.

A private educational tour and miniature train ride are included.

Meets MO Show-Me Knowledge Standards in Communication Arts: 5 & 6; Mathematics: 1 & 2; Science: 2, 6, & 8; Social Studies: 2, 4 & 5.

Tracks Across America
4th–5th Grades
Students will explore the challenges and triumphs of the people who built the transcontinental railroad.  The children will learn about the different railcars that were used on the Transcontinental Railroad and experience an exciting “hands-on” bridge building experiment.  A private tour of the railroad artifacts is included in the programming fees.

A private educational tour and miniature train ride are included.

Meets MO Show-Me Knowledge Standards in Communication Arts: 5, 6 & 7; Mathematics: 1, 2, 4 & 6; Science: 2, 6, 7 & 8; Social Studies: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7.

Assemble This!
4th – 5th Grades
Henry Ford’s idea to mass-produce automobiles revolutionized the automobile industry.  Students will explore this powerful idea in a hands-on activity designed to illustrate “Ford’s Fantastic Idea.”  Students will receive a private tour of the Lindburg Automobile Building and other museum railcars and artifacts.

A private educational tour and miniature train ride are included.

Meets MO Show-Me Knowledge Standards in Communication Arts: 5, 6 & 7; Mathematics: 1,2,3 & 6; Science: 2, 6 & 8; Social Studies: 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6.

Telephone for reservations at 314-965-6885, ext. 5.

Middle School Tours

Private tours are available for middle school students March – May and September – November.  The students will be guided on an hour tour through transportation history.

Tours include passenger rail cars that are not open to the general public, the automobile building, and miniature train ride (during seasonal operation).

  • $5.00 per student
  • One complimentary chaperone admission per every five students
  • Allow 90 minutes if riding the train and participating in the scavenger hunt
    Wear sturdy shoes
  • Please see Making Reservations for detailed program information
  • Refunds are not given for absent students

Call 314-965-6885, ext. 5 to schedule your visit.

Classroom Activities

Activity Sheets

Choose the activity by title and the document will open so that you can print or save it to your computer.

Preschool/Lower Elementary
> Fun With Trains Tic-Tac-Toe
> Train Puzzle

> Trains Crossword > Trains Crossword Key
> Trains Vocabulary >Train Vocabulary Key
> Trains Word Search >Trains Word Search Key
> Trains Challenge >Trains Challenge Key
> Trains Alphabet Activity >Trains Alphabet Activity Key
> Sudoku Puzzle includes answer key

Upper Elementary/Middle
> How Will I Get There?
Choosing modes of transportation and estimating mileage.

Investigative Learning  > Investigative Learning Key
Using the Internet, encyclopedia and other library resources to find answers for transportation related questions.

> Transcontinental Railroad
A short dictionary of terminology related to the transcontinental railroad.

> Transportation Trivia
Trivia game with a transportation theme.

> Transportation Timeline Scramble > Transportation Timeline Scramble Key
Unscramble the timeline to learn some transportation history.

General Information
> Parts of a Locomotive
Labeled picture of a steam locomotive.

Transportation Timeline
A timeline of transportation milestones.

Home School Groups

Homeschool groups are invited to “rent” one of our scouting Travel Cases.   Children will have a blast using educational tools as they complete an outdoor scavenger hunt on the museum grounds.

They will make predictions, learn about transportation history, use math skills, read maps and follow directional instructions as they navigate around the park property.

Each case accommodates up to ten children.


  • $15.00 for Travel Case Rental
  • $6.00/each for children and adults
  • Please call 314-965-6885, ext. 5 to reserve the travel case.
  • Full payment for admission and travel case rental is due when making reservation.  Please have the exact number of visitors and your credit card in hand when calling the Education Department.

Please note: Your credit card will be charged $50.00 if the case is not returned or a minimum of $10.00 if items are broken or missing.

Outreach Programs

If your school is unable to visit us, we can bring our transportation programs to you!

  • We serve elementary classes that have up to 30 students per session.
  • We travel to schools within a 20 mile radius of the museum.  Groups beyond a 20 mile radius may still participate in our programs for an additional fee.
  • A minimum of one teacher (or adult chaperone) per group is required for all groups and must remain with the students throughout the entire program.
  • The minimum age for the preschool program is 3 years old.
  • Outreach Programs can be scheduled through the Museum Education Department: 314-965-6885, ext. 6.


Preschool 3 & 4’s: “Choo, Choo to You”
What are the names of all the railcars that are hooked up to the engine?  Find out their names and why they are important in the transportation of people, food, liquids and merchandise.

Kindergarten–4th Grade: “Down by the Station”
Do you know how a steam engine runs?  What is a cow catcher, sand dome or a firebox?  How do these parts help a steam engine roll on the tracks? Cabooses, boxcars, tankers and flatcars are also explored!

4th–5th Grade: “The Transcontinental Railroad”
Have you felt how heavy a rail hammer is?  Figured out how many spikes hold down a piece of track?  Experimented with the dynamics that support the weight of a 30 ton steam engine?  This program will shed a different light on western expansion across the United States.


  • 30 minute preschool presentations: $80.00 each, a minimum of two programs must be scheduled.
  • 45 minute elementary programs: $150.00 for the first program, $125.00 for the second program scheduled at the same site on the same day.
  • Additional travel fees: $25.00 for each additional 5 mile increment.
  • A $50.00 deposit is required to hold your reservation.
    (Deposits are transferable one time, but are non-refundable).
  • Full payment is due two weeks before the program.
  • In the event that your school and/or the museum are closed the day of your program due to weather, we will try to reschedule your program or issue a full refund.

Making Reservations

Making Reservations for Your School Group

To make a reservation for a preschool, elementary or middle school field trip, please call The National Museum of Transportation Education Department at 314-965-6885 (Ext. 5) Monday through Friday. Read below for special notes.

Please have the following information ready when you call:

  • School name, phone number and contact person and cell number
  • Visit date, arrival and departure times
  • Number of classes.
  • Number of students per class

Making Payments:

  • A $40 non-refundable deposit is due within two weeks of your phone reservation. Deposits should be paid on-line through Pay Pal using the link below left. If the deposit is not made within two weeks, our computer system will automatically drop the reservation.
  • If you use the “Pay Deposit Online!” Paypal button below to make your deposit, please type in your school name and date of your field trip in the area that says 
  • Please review the confirmation email carefully noting your payment due dates, field trip date and time slot. This serves as verification in the event of any miscommunication.
  • Cancellation must be made two weeks in advance in order to reschedule. Refunds are not issued.
  • Final payment is due exactly two weeks prior to your visit date.
  • If you use the “Pay Final Amount” Paypal button below right to send the final payment via Paypal, please type in your school name and date of your field trip in the area that says  to help us identify the reservation.

Please Note other important information:

  • Admission stickers will be given to you when you arrive at the museum for your field trip. Every person must be wearing a sticker before the field trip begins.
  • In the best interest of the students, we request the maximum of one chaperone for every five children, including all teachers and staff members.
  • Siblings are NOT invited to participate in education programs.
  • Allow enough travel time; groups arriving late will receive a shortened program to accommodate your departure requests.
  • We have outdoor picnic areas for lunch; please consider the seasonal weather when considering an extended afternoon visit. We do not have indoor eating facilities available for school groups.
  • Busses will enter at Parking Lot #2, unload all visitors at Function Junction and then will be given parking directions for the duration of the field trip. There is no parking charge.
  • Refunds are not given for absent students.

Pay Deposit Online!

Pay Final Amount