Educational Loans and Classroom Kits

Use museum materials to create enduring learning experiences

Imagine learning about volcanoes by examining samples of pumice and basalt, or making observations about camouflage by comparing bird egg color patterns. The museum’s loan program enhances the work of educators by providing minerals, fossils, wildlife mounts, and thematic kits on subjects ranging from ancient Egypt to tropical forests. Where relevant, some topics are enriched by multiple copies of children’s literature.

Registration Fees

One-time Loans
The fee for a two-week loan is $50. No limit is set on the number of items that may be requested. One-time loans average eight items.

Annual Registration
For facilities with enrollment of less than 400, the annual registration fee is $150. For facilities with enrollment over 400, the annual registration fee is $200. Registration grants unlimited borrowing privileges to all faculty members for a full 12 month period.

Borrowing Procedures

Materials may be picked up from and returned to a loading dock accessed from the museum parking lot between 7 a.m.–6 p.m. daily. Detailed directions will be emailed upon request.

Pick-up and return assistance from parent volunteers or other school district staff can make this task easier.


To register call 412.622.3288 or email

Educational Loan BoxAvailable Materials

Click here to download the full loan program catalogue with complete descriptions and sizes of each package (Adobe PDF, 400 Kb).

Thematic Loan Kits
Kits generally contain specimens, artifacts or replicas, and related audio-visual and printed materials.

  • Archaeology: Tools and Technology
  • Desert Wildlife
  • Dinosaurs: Mesozoic Marvels
  • Gifts from the Sea: Native Northwest Coast Fishing
  • The Hopi
  • The Inuit: Past and Present
  • Inuit Games
  • Life in Ancient Egypt: Scribes and Farmers
  • The Monongahela: Prehistoric Pennsylvanians
  • Pawprints (mammal tracks)
  • Pennsylvania Botany
  • Pennsylvania's Endangered Species
  • People of the Plains
  • Rock and Mineral Identification
  • Tropical Forest Wildlife

Topical Boxes
Topical Boxes are groups of specimens or artifacts packaged as a single unit.

  • African Artifacts
  • Bats
  • Bird Beaks and Feet
  • Bird Eggs
  • Bird Flight
  • Bird Nests
  • Bird Skulls
  • Bird Song
  • Bird Study Skins
  • Coral
  • Freshwater Mussels
  • Fossils
  • Horns and Antlers
  • Mammal Bones
  • Mammal Pelts
  • Mammal Study Skins
  • Mammal Skulls
  • Ocean Life
  • Owls
  • Pittsburgh Rocks
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Sea Shells
  • Sea Turtles
  • Sharks
  • Taxidermy
  • Textures in Nature
  • Volcanic Rocks
  • Whales

Animal Specimen Cases
These portable cases display actual mounted specimens. Many different species are available within each category; please call to discuss your needs.

  • Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Insects
  • Mammals
  • Mollusks and other Invertebrates
  • Reptiles


Don't let cost be a barrier! Support may be available for some outreach programs. Call the Group Visits Office at 412.622.3289 for more information.