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Big Back Yard

School Groups

school groupsThe Big Back Yard provides a one of kind resource to introduce and study multiple earth system topics, especially source to sink and river system dynamics.

We have set aside special days for school groups to play a round of mini-golf while experiencing the effects of various surfaces on storm water, investigating river meanders, putting around wing dams, analyzing erosion effects of quickly flowing water and more.

During your visit to the Science Museum, you will also have access to all of the exhibit galleries, including Dinosaurs and Fossils, Mississippi River Gallery, and the Experiment Gallery.

Available September 25-28, 2012 and October 2-5, 2012
Tuesday - Friday

Cost: $10.00 per student (includes museum admission and all golfing fees)

Download the Big Back Yard Teacher Guide (PDF | 424 KB)

For a small additional fee, you can also choose to see the Under the Sea or Tornado Alley Omnitheater film.

Reservations are limited, so please reserve soon.
Email to make your reservation or for more information.

For a free teacher preview of the Big Back Yard (golf fees not included), museum galleries or the Omnitheater film, just bring your school ID to our box office. The Big Back Yard opens to the public during Memorial Day weekend.

Supports Minnesota Academic Standards

The Science Museum of Minnesota provides a field trip destination that allows teachers and students to reinforce Minnesota Academic Standards. Use of the activities in this guide will help you link learning experiences to the following content standards.


Grade 4

The Nature of Science and Engineering
The Practice of Engineering Describe the positive and negative impacts that the designed world has on the natural world as more and more engineered products and services are created and used.

Earth and Space Science
Interdependence Within the Earth System Identify where water collects on Earth, including atmosphere, ground, and surface water, and describe how water moves through the Earth system using the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation.

Human Interactions with Earth Systems Describe how the methods people utilize to obtain and use water in their homes and communities can affect water supply and quality.

Grade 5

The Nature of Science and Engineering
The Practice of Science Understand that different models can be used to represent natural phenomena and these models have limitations about what they can explain.

Earth and Space Science
Earth Structure and Processes Explain how slow processes, such as water erosion, and rapid processes, such as landslides and volcanic eruptions, form features of the Earth's surface.

Grade 8

The Nature of Science and Engineering
The Practice of Science Use logical reasoning and imagination to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models based on evidence.

Interactions Among Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Society Explain how scientific laws and engineering principles, as well as economic, political, social, and ethical expectations, must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions or conducting scientific investigations.

Earth and Space Science
Earth Structure and Processes Explain how landforms result from the processes of crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, weathering, erosion and deposition of sediment.  Explain the role of weathering, erosion and glacial activity in shaping Minnesota's current landscape.

Human Interactions with Earth Systems Recognize that land and water use practices affect natural processes and that natural processes interfere and interact with human systems.


Grades 4-8

Interconnections V.D. How humans influence the environment and in turn are influenced by it.


Grade 4

Places and Regions Locate and identify the physical and human characteristics of places in the United States, and also Canada or Mexico.

Human Environment Interaction Explain how humans adapt to and/or modify the physical environment and how they are in turn affected by these adaptations and modifications.

Grade 6

Human Systems Locate, identify and describe major physical features in Minnesota; explain how physical features and the location of resources affect settlement patterns and the growth of cities in different parts of Minnesota.

Grade 8

Human Systems Describe how the physical and environmental features of the United States and Canada affect human activity and settlement.