Education Programs

The Kentucky Derby Museum is proud to offer programming designed to supplement and introduce core curriculum standards taught in the classroom. Every program is engaging, interactive and FUN.

Contact Ronnie Dreistadt, Manager of Education Services, for questions on programming and scheduling a field trip.

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Arts and Humanities

Math

Science/Practical Living

Social Studies

Summer Programming


Horse Tales (PK-2) ARTS AND HUMANITIES

Program Summary: A variety of age appropriate horse related stories, with emphasis on early reading strategies, story structure and interactive fun. 

Program Goals: Students understand the importance and fun of reading while strengthening basic reading skills. They understand some basic elements of Thoroughbred racing.

Core Academic Standards:

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New! Picture This! Art and Photography at the Kentucky Derby (4-12) ARTS AND HUMANITIES

Program Summary: From ancient cave paintings to the modern artists of today, artists and photographers have been fascinated by the beauty and grace of horses. Join us for a look at great historic paintings and photographs, as we see what we can learn from them.

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Racing Colors (PK-K) MATH

Program Summary: Jockeys silks are filled with many shapes and colors, and we’ll identify a variety of them in this engaging look into the riders that compete in the Kentucky Derby.  We’ll also learn about jockey safety equipment before designing our own class jockey silks.

Program Goals: Students understand we commonly use shapes and colors to communicate and identify things around us; that owners design jockey silks as a unique combination of shapes and colors. They will be able to use shapes and colors to design a jockey silk.

Core Academic Standards: K.G 1-3

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Mathin' Around The Track (1-3) MATH

Program Summary: Students solve problems taken from the “Five Big Ideas of Math” (Number Properties and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Probability, and Algebra) as they prepare their horse for the Kentucky Derby in this real-world application of math.

Program Goals: Students understand math is used in day-to-day activities – even while preparing a horse for the Kentucky Derby.

Core Academic Standards: 1.OA 1-2, 4-6, 8; 1. NBT 4-5; 1. MB 2-3; 1. G 1, 3; 2. OA 1-3; 2. NBT 2, 5-8; 2. MD 1-4, 7; 2. G 3; 3. OA 1-4; 3. NF 1, 3; 3. MD 1; 3. G 2

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Odds in Everyday Life (4-8) MATH

Program Summary: RRatios and probability are the focus of this real-world application of math.  Students gather data by observing past history, as well as conduct a scientific experiment to make predications. We conclude the program with a running of our own “Derby”, and utilizing probability to help make predications.

Program Goals: Students understand probabilities can often be used in everyday problem solving. They understand structuring a situation in terms of ratios, and can then apply the use of probabilities in a variety of real-world applications. They understand the process for selecting the post-positions for horses in the Kentucky Derby.

Core Academic Standards: 4. NF 5-6; 6. RP 1-2; 6. SP 1, 5; 7. RP 2; 7. EE 3; 7. SP 1-2, 4-7

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Science on the Track (4-8) SCIENCE

Program Summary: The concept of weathering and the resulting sediment is the focus science on the track. We explore both physical and chemical weathering, as we build our own racetrack using a combination of different sediments. 

Program Goals: Students understand basic differences in silt, sand and clay and how rock is weathered to form these particles. They apply knowledge to building and maintaining a racetrack. They can identify various landforms and determine how they affect the location of a racetrack.

Core Academic Standards: SC-E-2.1.1, SC-E-2.3.1, SS-E-4.1.4, SS-E-4.4.4, SC-M-2.1.2, SC-M-2.1.4, SC-M-2.1.5, SS-M-4.1.2, SS-M-4.4.1, SS-H-4.1.3

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HorsePower: The Making of a Racing Machine (8-12) SCIENCE

Program Summary: There are ten physiological systems at work as each horse competes in a horse race. The role of human responsibility to these animals is emphasized, especially in the realm of genetics and a closed bloodline.

Program Goals: Students understand the Thoroughbred breed began in Great Britain, and were bred from three foundation sires. They will understand the ten physiological systems (skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, muscular, urinary, reproductive, digestive, endocrine, nervous and immune) and how each contributes to a horse competing in a race. Students will also understand the responsibility humans have to the breed as the industry contributes billions to the Kentucky economy.

Core Academic Standards: SC-H-UD-U-4, SC-H-UD-S-2, SC-H-UD-S-7, SC-H-U-S-11, SC-H-BC-U-1, SC-H-ET-U-6, SC-H-I-U-2, SC-8-UD-S-3, SC-08-3.4.5, SC-8-UD-U-4

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Thoroughbred Care (K-3) SCIENCE/PRACTICAL LIVING

Program Summary: Keeping a Thoroughbred happy and healthy is much like taking care of a pet at home. Students learn that teamwork is essential in preparing a horse for the Kentucky Derby, as they perform the many jobs in the stables.

Program Goals: Students understand the importance of daily animal care both in home pet situations as well as professionally in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. They understand the basics of horse care and grooming. They can identify and explain the use of several pieces of grooming equipment.

Core Academic Standards: SC-E-3.1.2, PL-E-4.3.2

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Secretariat, The Shoe and You (4-12) SCIENCE/PRACTICAL LIVING

Program Summary: We use two amazing athletes – Secretariat and jockey Willie Shoemaker to explore the athleticism and physiology of both athletes, as well as other factors that go into the making of a champion. Healthy lifestyle choices will also be covered in this highly interactive program

Program Goals: Students understand Thoroughbred horses and jockeys in athletic terms, including team aspects. They can identify and explain several pieces of basic horse racing equipment. They can relate good nutrition and training habits to their own lifestyles. They understand some basic equine physiology.

Core Academic Standards: SC-E-3.1.2, MA-E-2.1.5, Pl-E-1.3.1, PL-E-1.3.4, PL-E-1.4.1, PL-E-1.5.1, PL-E-1.6.2, PL-E-2.3.2, PL-E-4.1.2, PL-E-4.4.3, SC-M-3.1.1, SC-M-3.2.3, PL-M-1.5.1, PL-M-1.5.2, PL-M-1.6.3, PL-M-2.3.2, PL-M-4.2.2, PL-M-4.4.3, PL-H-1.6.2, PL-H-4.4.3

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New! Mass Media and the Kentucky Derby (8-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: Every year, hundreds of credentials are issued to media outlets all over the world to cover the Kentucky Derby. Learn how media helped make the Derby the biggest horse race in the world, and how media affects American culture.

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New! Kentucky's Derby (4-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: Students will understand the origins and development of the state of Kentucky, especially in regards to its revered Thoroughbred industry and iconic Kentucky Derby horse race. Students will learn of the diverse contributors to Kentucky and its racing history.

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Creating Traditions (2-4) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: The concept and importance of cultural traditions is explored before we attend our very own Kentucky Derby.  We’ll act out the day as we participate in the many Kentucky Derby traditions.

Program Goals: Students understand the concept of traditions and their place in both family and community. They recognize and describe well-known Kentucky Derby traditions. They understand traditions make our lives more full. They can exhibit good role-playing skills.

Core Academic Standards: SS-E-2.1.1, SS-E-2.1.2, SS-E-2.2.1

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Louisville and the Derby (3-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: Historic photographs, paintings and video bring the history of Louisville, as well as its signature event, the Kentucky Derby alive, as we travel through two centuries of history. Topics include transportation, social unrest, equality, natural disasters and communications. 

Program Goals: Students understand the beginnings of the Kentucky Derby and significant developments throughout the history of Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby, as well as developments in local social history. They understand and can identify several significant forms of transportation.

Core Academic Standards: SS-E-2.4.1, SS-E-5.1.3, SS-E-5.2.3, SS-M-5.1.3, SS-H-5.1.3

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Economics and the Derby (4-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: Economic concepts such as wants and needs, opportunity cost, supply and demand and scarcity are introduced and reinforced. The program concludes with a demonstration of the economic impact of the Kentucky Derby on the local and regional economy.

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Race Through Time (4-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: Six centuries of social history is covered in 45 minutes as we see how the roles of horses have changed over time. Students portray historical figures such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. to bring these stories alive. Our history lesson leads to May of 1875, with the running of the first Kentucky Derby.

Program Goals: Students understand the place of Thoroughbred racing in U.S. social history, including key roles played by African Americans. They understand the concept of a "skilled slave". They understand reasons for and the process involved in the beginning of the Derby and Churchill Downs Racetrack. They can incorporate this information with existing knowledge.

Core Academic Standards: SS-E-2.4.1/5.1.3/5.2.3, SS-M-5.1.3/5.2.1/5.3.5, SS-H-5.1.3

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Proud of My Calling: African Americans in Thoroughbred Racing (4-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: African Americans played a key role in the success and popularity of horse racing from pre-colonial America until the Jim Crow era. We introduce some of these amazing horseman as well as challenges they faced. 

Program Goals: Students understand the role that African Americans played and can recognize some of their accomplishments in the sport of Thoroughbred racing from early Colonial times to the present. They are aware of key individuals in this story.

Core Academic Standards: SS-E-2.4.1, SS-E-5.2.3, SS-E-5.1.3, SS-M-2.4.1, SS-M-5.1.3, SS-M-5.3.5, SS-H-2.4.1, SS-H-5.1.3

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Vanishing Bluegrass (4-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: Three historic Thoroughbred farms will be “visited” as students see the effects of suburban sprawl and land development. Students will participate in activities that show that changes are taking place all around them – in their communities, neighborhoods and even schools; and they have a voice in what they want their community to look like.

Program Goals: Students understand the importance of the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky. They learn the origins, as well as some of the great farms that are an integral part of the cultural and economic landscape of the Bluegrass Region. The effects of the Civil War are explored, as well as the current issue of suburban sprawl and land-use issues most communities in Kentucky are dealing with.

Core Academic Standards: SS-06-4.1.2, SS-06-4.3.2, SS-06-4.4.3, SS-05-4.4.3

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Careers in Racing (8-12) SOCIAL STUDIES

Program Summary: What do you want to be when you grow up? Chances are, in Kentucky, you can do it within the equine industry. Learn about the variety of careers available, educational opportunities and the skills needed to land that perfect job. 

Program Goals: The goal is to introduce students to the range of careers available in one industry, and also to stress the importance of training, learning, and gaining related experience.

Core Academic Standards: 2.16, 2.19, 4.5, SS-M-2.4.1, SS-M-5.1.3, SS-M-5.3.5, SS-M-3.4.3, PL-E-4.1.2, PL-E-4.4.3, PL-HS-4.1.3, PL-HS-4.1.7, PL-HS-4.2.1, PL-HS-4.2.2

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Summer Programming:

Aristides' Art Club (K-5) ARTS AND HUMANITIES

Program Summary: This program is a participatory craft experience that engages students while teaching them more about elements of Thoroughbred racing and the Kentucky Derby.

Students receive either:

Program Goals: Depending on the activity selected, students understand (Derby Hats) well-known Derby traditions, or (Horseshoes) the purpose of shoes for both humans and horses. They exhibit artistic skills.

Core Academic Standards: AH-E-4.1.42

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Derby Fun (PK-12)

Program Summary: “Derby Fun” is an age appropriate, and interactive program highlighting Derby stories, traditions and the fun – that is the Kentucky Derby.  Social studies, science, practical living and humanities are all subjects covered in this 30 minutes of Derby Fun.” 

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