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Spring 2024 School Programs & Summer 2024 Visits

We look forward to greeting you and your students with onsite programs that help students reflect, connect, and contribute to their communities. 

Come explore the many stories of California and its people, learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state, and investigate your own role in both its history and its future.

Whether in OMCA’s Galleries of California Art, History, or Natural Sciences, or one of our special exhibitions, all of our cross-disciplinary programs are rooted in inquiry, dialogue, and creative expression, centering joy and justice.

We’re currently scheduling school programs through May 31, 2024, and summer self-guided visits from June 5 to August 2, 2024.

Interested in field trips for next school year? We’ll post information later this summer. Stay up-to-date through our teacher mailing list.

field trips

Visit OMCA in-person for a guided gallery visit, performance, or self-guided field trip. Please note: if a program is sold out, you are welcome to join our waitlist.

Black History Performance

Grades K–8.
Experience an interactive performance that celebrates the dreams and accomplishments of Black musicians and leaders. Oakland a cappella group SoVoSó will lead students on a musical journey through themes related to the experiences of the African American community.

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Becoming California Guided Gallery Visit

Grades 4–8.
How and why do people come to California? Investigate diverse experiences of immigration and migration.

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Self-Guided Visits

Grades PreK–12.
Create your own experience for students to explore the Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences or special exhibitions in person at OMCA.

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Watersheds & Me Guided Gallery Visit

Grades 3–6.
Explore how healthy watersheds support healthy communities and our role in protecting California’s regional habitats.

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Art Speaks Loud Guided Gallery Visit

Grades 2–5.
How do artists use their voice to speak out about issues on the environment, identity, and community?

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Summer Self-Guided Visits

Grades PreK–12.
Create your own experience for students to explore the Galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences or special exhibitions in person at OMCA.

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Your field trip


Field trips scheduled using our online registration system require a credit card for payment. To pay by invoice, email [email protected] before registering.

Scholarships & Discounts

OMCA offers a 30% discount for Oakland Unified School District groups, and a 50% discount for Title I schools on all programs and self-guided visits during the school year.

A limited number of bus scholarships for Oakland and Richmond schools are available during the school year, which can be requested during registration. Priority is given to OUSD and Title I schools.

OMCA offers a 30% discount for Oakland Unified School District groups during summer visits.

Cancellations & Rescheduling

If you need to reschedule or cancel your field trip, please contact [email protected] at least two weeks before your scheduled visit to receive a refund.

Walk-up Groups

We ask that all groups book in advance. Due to limited same-day availability, we may not be able to accommodate a walk-up group. Walk-up groups are required to pay the standard group rate in order to gain entry to the museum, plus a $25 walk-up fee. No additional discounts are available for walk-up groups.


Join our 2023/24 school year waitlist if the program you are interested in is currently sold out. If a program spot opens up that matches your request, we’ll contact you to make your reservation. Please note there is no waitlist for summer visits.


The Museum requires these chaperone to student ratios through grade 12:

1:10 minimum
1:4 maximum
1:6 in the OMCA Store

A maximum of 10 chaperones are allowed per reservation. Please note, if the ratio of adult chaperones to students exceeds 1:4, there will be a charge of $9.50 per additional adult.

School Group Entrance

The OMCA School Group Entrance is located in the Amphitheater on 10th Street, at the intersection with Fallon Street.

Transportation & Parking

We encourage groups to take public transportation when possible. We are located one block from the Lake Merritt BART Station and a 15 minute walk from 12th Street BART Station. Check out BART’s field trip discounts. Buses may drop off at the School Group Entrance on 10th Street. The Museum parking garage may be full at times. If you drive, please allow extra time for parking. Learn more.

Lunch & Backpack Storage

Please leave student backpacks at school or on the bus. A limited number of first-come, first-served lockers are located outside of the Gallery of California History, and cannot be guaranteed available. Please do not bring valuables to the Museum. Adults with backpacks must hand-carry them at their side or front while in the galleries. Lunches can be stored at OMCA’s School Group Entrance during your visit. Bag lunches can be eaten in the Museum garden or at the picnic tables near the Koi Pond, but are not allowed in the Town Fare cafe or at the tables on the cafe terrace.


OMCA is committed to accessibility for all. Guests using wheelchairs should enter at the Oak Street Plaza entrance, which is accessible by ramp from the sidewalk on Oak Street. A limited number of wheelchairs and assistive listening devices are available for loan onsite. An elevator is available to access the three levels once within the Museum. Please reserve at least three weeks in advance and email [email protected] if you would like a program adapted to the special needs of your group. Learn more.

Museum Guidelines

Please review the Museum’s rules ahead of time with students and chaperones. Learn more.

Explore OMCA

While you’re at OMCA, be sure to check out our Gallery of California Art, Gallery of California History, Gallery of California Natural Sciences, and Garden. Please note that the OMCA Kids: Nature Playspace was designed for children ages 2 to 5. We ask that K–12 school groups refrain from entering this area. Learn more.


Contact us at [email protected].


Whether you’re planning a lesson for your classroom, or a trip to the Oakland Museum of California, our materials provide information and ideas to use with your students. Browse OMCA’s online collection resources, curriculum, and other materials for your classroom or Museum visit.

Andrew J. Russell and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad Curriculum

Uncover the history behind the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and practice visual literacy skills, using the online tool Picture This to closely examine historical photographs from the Oakland Museum of California’s Andrew J. Russell Collection.

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Dorothea Lange Digital Archive

This digital archive showcases the socially conscious work of documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, including notable photographs, personal quotes, and historical context illustrating some of America’s most defining moments.

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Día de los Muertos Curriculum

These Day of the Dead curriculum materials offer teachers and students an opportunity to experience a living and evolving cultural tradition. The materials provide resources for integrating lessons related to history, culture, and art.

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Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing Teacher Resources

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing explores the enduring legacy of her photography through the lens of social and political activism. These teacher resources provide a platform for students to dive deeper into major themes explored in this exhibition, and feature a variety of primary sources pulled from the Oakland Museum of California’s Dorothea Lange Archive.

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Online Collection

OMCA has an extensive collection of objects. Thousands of artifacts and artworks, each with images and descriptions, can be browsed on the Online Collection website. 

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Picture This: California’s Perspectives on American History

Learn about the rich cultural diversity of California using primary source images from the OMCA’s collections.

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Question Bridge: Black Males Student and Teacher Guides

Download a written guide to help students and teachers explore issues of identity through dialogue and connections to other OMCA resources. 

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Gallery of California Art: Student & Teacher Guides

Resources to support your self-guided, teacher-led experience at the Museum. The Student Guide provides printable gallery-based activities for students and teachers to choose from.

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Gallery of California History: Student & Teacher Guides

Resources to support your self-guided, teacher-led experience at the Museum. The Student Guide provides printable gallery-based activities for students and teachers to choose from.

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Into the Brightness Student Conversation Guide

Explore the themes of joy, community, and inspiration, using our Into the Brightness student conversation guide. 

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Por el Pueblo Conversation Guide

Por el Pueblo Conversation Guide explores the impact of Chicano artist, Malaquías Montoya, whose legacy as an artist, activist, and community leader.

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Gallery of California Natural Sciences: Student Guide

Gallery of Natural Sciences: Student Guide is a resource to support your self-guided, teacher-led experience at the Museum.

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Teacher Fellowship

Apply for OMCA’s 2024 Teacher Fellowship! Partner with fellow teachers and OMCA staff to build and prototype new learning experiences for your students. This year’s fellowship will focus on art as a tool for social and political engagement for individuals and communities, for grades 3–5.

The fellowship kicks off with Teacher Summer Camp, when participants spend 5 days on OMCA’s campus. Start the week by exploring and finding inspiration in the exhibits and galleries during special tours and gallery talks. Connect with OMCA curators, gallery and exhibit collaborators, collections staff, and peers on what will resonate with students.

In the second half of the week, partner with peers and OMCA staff to imagine and build inquiry-based curricula that explore important questions and empower student voices.

By the end of the week, teachers will have co-created draft curriculum resources to support a field trip to OMCA, along with lesson plans to prepare students for the field trip, and post-visit activities to help students apply and make sense of what they explored during the field trip, and add their own voice.

To support Teacher Fellows as they plan for and implement the learning experiences with students in the classroom and at OMCA, monthly Zoom check-ins with the cohort will provide support, a creative soundboard, and chance to share what participants are learning.

Dates & times

  • June 24–28, 2024: Teacher Summer Camp, 9 am–4 pm, in person at OMCA
  • Fall and early winter 2024: 3–4 group Zoom check-ins
  • Spring 2025: Present as part of a curriculum slam or share-out during OMCA’s spring Teacher Night

What does OMCA provide?

  • Curriculum development support
  • Free OMCA field trip for fall 2024, including bus transportation for your class
  • Breakfast and lunch are provided during Teacher Summer Camp
  • Teacher fellows will receive a stipend of $1,500 at the end of the program

What’s the commitment for Teacher Fellows?

  • Attend the 5-day Teacher Summer Camp
  • Collaboratively develop curriculum resources to support an inquiry-based field trip to OMCA, along with pre- and post-visit classroom components
  • Attend Zoom check-ins, which serve to provide a creative sounding board for fellows, to keep momentum, and for support around implementing curriculum resources
  • Assist in the evaluation of Teacher Fellowship and OMCA education programs

Who are we looking for?

This year we’re looking for Bay Area teachers in grades 3–5, who are interested in partnering with peers and OMCA staff to build and prototype new learning experiences for their students. All teachers are welcome to apply. OUSD, BIPOC and teachers who can participate with a partner at the same or neighboring school are encouraged to apply. Because a field trip to OMCA is part of the experience, teachers will need to be within “field trip” or short driving distance of OMCA.

How to apply

  • Applications are due by March 31, 2024
  • Participants will be notified by April 19, 2024

Have questions? Contact [email protected].

School programs and tours are made possible in part by generous support from the Oakland Women’s Board, Kaiser Permanente, Koret Foundation, and PG&E.

Additional support is provided by The Barrios Trust, Dodge & Cox, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, The Joseph and Mercedes McMicking Foundation, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Pixar Animation Studios, Port of Oakland, The Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation, Union Bank, and by an Anonymous Foundation.

Womens Board, Kaiser Permanente, Koret and PG& E logos