The Stanley School Programs offers tailored tours for your K–12 class or organization. Led by trained docents or museum staff, students will learn about the history of the museum, view key works in our collection, and engage in lively discussions and activities to ignite their critical thinking skills and imaginations.
We recommend submitting fieldtrip requests as early as possible. After we receive your request, a Learning & Engagement staff member will contact you within in two weeks to discuss logistics and share pre-visit materials.
Choose from our themed tours list. Our themed tours include:
- Collection Highlights: See key works on view.
- African Art: Learn about the rich artistic traditional and cultures of Western Africa.
- Collectors & Collecting: Curious about how and why Stanley’s collection came to be? Find out in this tour.
- Color Tour – Red: Color tours focus on the significance of particular hues across time and cultures. The featured color changes periodically.
- Formal Affinities: Consider visual similarities among objects from a variety of cultures and time periods.
- Iowa Connections: How does the Stanley’s collection relate to life in Iowa?
- Iowa Idea: Before there was a museum, the University of Iowa believed art was an essential part of learning across disciplines. This tour focuses on how teaching, research, and artmaking intersect throughout the collection.
- Science of Conservation: Learn how chemistry and art converge to keep our collection looking good.
- Social Justice: Artists, activists, and equity.
Connections to State Standards
A fieldtrip to the Stanley is an extension of the classroom and an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in new ways. Our themed tours aligned with Iowa Core Standards, including:
- All the Universal Constructs
- Literacy: Speaking & Listening Standards
- Comprehension and collaboration.
- Presentation of knowledge and ideas.
- Social Studies Anchor Standards
- Constructing questions
- Constructing supporting questions.
- Developing claims and using evidence.
- Communicating and critiquing conclusions.
- Visual Arts Anchor Standards: Presenting, Responding, and Connecting
- Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
- Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
- Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
- Perceive and analyze artistic work.
- Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
- Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
- Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Have another standard in mind? Let us know! We can tailor the tour to your class’s needs.
Field Trip Logistics
The class or grade level will be broken into groups of 10 students or less for a one-hour tour of the museum. A docent or museum staff member will lead each group through the galleries. The school must provide at least one teacher or adult chaperone per group to manage museum etiquette and help move students through the galleries.
Coordinate with Other Units on Campus
The Stanley has partnered with Hancher Auditorium, the Pentacrest Museums, and UI Libraries Special Collections to provide a rich, multidisciplinary experience for students visiting the University of Iowa campus. Please indicate on the request form if you would like to coordinate a visit with another campus unit.
In addition to museum visits, we offer teacher resources about the Stanley School Programs Collection for K–12 teachers and students.
Please contact Joshua Siefken, associate curator of education, with questions about K–12 tours.
Please note that all docents have completed a one-year training course and passed a background check to lead tours.