Outreach Program

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Bring the Kentucky Derby Museum to your school!

We are pleased to offer FREE outreach programs to schools and school affiliated programs throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

September 1 – December 30

  • All schools located at least 50 miles from Louisville

January 1 – April 30

All schools in the following counties:

  • Kentucky - Jefferson, Oldham, Spencer, Bullitt, Shelby
  • Indiana - Floyd, Clark, Harrison, Scott, Washington

The Kentucky Derby Museum is proud to offer programming designed to supplement and align with core curriculum standards taught in the classroom. Every program is engaging, interactive and FUN. The Kentucky Derby Museum education team will tailor teaching to your student’s grade level. Please be aware that every programs content is static but content is written to align with a variety of grades’ standards and is appropriate for multiple levels. For detailed information on programs and standards connections, select from the current available programs listed below. Each program session lasts 45 minutes unless noted otherwise.

The Kentucky Derby Museum’s education department is supported by the Kentucky Derby Museum Gala.

Contact Mollie Gilin, Outreach Coordinator, at (502) 992-5911 or [email protected] with questions or to schedule an outreach visit.

Chami on Outreach

"The Kentucky Derby Museum presentations captured our students completely! Sharing the Kentucky Derby history with our students allowed them to make real life connections. We were so impressed! The presentations were so age-appropriate and interesting! We can't wait till next year! We love the Kentucky Derby Museum, and their educator, Mollie Gilin, was fantastic. She knew her stuff! She was great with the kids and staff! My rating is 5 STARS!!"

- Amy Bouchard, Physical Education Teacher at Meadow Lands Elementary School

Outreach Programs:

Career Studies | Health | Literacy | MathScienceSocial Studies

Career Studies

Thoroughbred Care (K-3rd)

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

Program Goals:

  • C.P.2 Describe and expose students to different job opportunities that are available in the community (e.g., career day, field trips, virtual field trips, guest speakers).
  • C.P.3 Explain how interests, values and abilities influence career choices.



Horse Pals (PK-2nd)

Program Summary: Horses are herd animals and use their ears and voices to communicate their emotions to other horses and humans. In this interactive program, students will practice recognizing how to know what a horse is feeling and connecting that knowledge to how humans healthily communicate with one another!

Program Goals:

  • PK Benchmark 1.2 Demonstrates knowledge and skills to participate successfully in groups
  • PK Benchmark 1.3: Demonstrates social relationships and positive interactions with peers
  • PK Benchmark 2.2: Expresses and or recognizes a variety of emotions (Responds to emotional cues and social situations.)
  • K.1.4. Describe the importance of respecting the personal space and boundaries of others.
  • K.4.2. Identify how to effectively communicate needs, wants and feelings in healthy ways.
  • 1.1.4. Identify appropriate ways to express and deal with feelings.
  • 1.4.2. Explain how to effectively communicate needs, wants and feelings in healthy ways.
  • 1.4.5. Identify positive behaviors to show concern for others
  • 2.1.3. Identify the benefits of healthy peer and family relationships.
  • 2.4.2. Demonstrate healthy ways to effectively communicate needs, wants and feelings.
  • 2.4.5. Demonstrate how to communicate care and concern for others.



Horse Tales (PK-1)

Program Summary: Horses take center stage as students participate in age-appropriate stories featuring both fictional and nonfictional horses. We will explore the jobs that shape a story, as well as other early reading strategies.

Program Goals:

  • Language and Early Literacy Standard 1: Benchmark 1.1
  • Language and Early Literacy Standard 2: Benchmark 2.2
  • Language and Early Literacy Standard 3: Benchmark 3.1
  • Language and Early Literacy Standard 3: Benchmark 3.2
  • Language and Early Literacy Standard 3: Benchmark 3.5
  • Kindergarten Reading Standards for Literature: RL.K.3, RL.K.6, RL.K.7, RL.K.10
  • Kindergarten Reading Standards for Informational Text: RI.K.6, KI.K.7, KI.K.9, KI.K.10
  • Grade 1 Reading Standards for Literature: RL.1.1, RL.1.3, RL.1.7, RL.1.10
  • Grade 1 Reading Standards for Informational Text: RI.1.1, RI.1.3, RI.1.6, RI.1.9 RI.1.10



Racing Colors (PK-1)

Program Summary: Jockey silks are filled with many shapes and colors. Students will identify a variety of them in this engaging look into the riders who compete in the Kentucky Derby. This highly interactive program culminates in designing a jockey silk for the class.

Program Goals:

  • Benchmark 1.2, P-MATH 9: Child identifies, describes, compares, and composes shapes.
  • KY.K.G.1 Name and describe shapes in the environment. a. Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes.
  • KY.K.G.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of orientations or overall size.
  • KY.1.G.2 Compose shapes. a. Compose two-dimensional shapes to create rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, quarter-circles and composite shapes to compose new shapes from the composite shapes.


Mathin' Around The Track (2-3)

Program Summary: What does it take to win the Kentucky Derby? It takes a fast horse, and a whole lot of MATH, of course! Students will solve math problems as they prepare their horse for the Kentucky Derby in this real-world application of math.

Program Goals:

  • KY.2.OA.2 Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.
  • KY.2.MD.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks and measuring tapes.
  • KY.2.MD.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.
  • KY.3.OA.5 Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide.
  • KY.3.OA.7 Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division or properties of operations.
  • KY.3.NF.1 Understand a fraction 1 bb as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction aa bb as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1 bb.
  • KY.3.MD.1 Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure elapsed time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals within and across the hour in minutes.


What are the Chances? (5-7)

Program Summary: Students will understand factors that contribute to the probability of a horse winning on the racetrack. We will explore different methods to gather data to form outcomes and use rations to structure Derby history. Students experience how a horse’s post position is decided for the Kentucky Derby in this program that will determine exactly what the chances of having yourself a Derby winner would be!

Program Goals:

  • KY.5.MD.2 Identify and gather data for statistical questions focused on both categorical and numerical data. Select an appropriate data display (bar graph, pictograph, dot plot). Make observations from the graph about the questions posed.
  • KY.6.SP.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers.
  • KY.6.RP.1 Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.
  • KY.7.SP.7 Develop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies; if the agreement is not good, explain possible sources of the discrepancy
  • KY.7.SP.8 Find probabilities of compound events using organized lists, tables, tree diagrams and simulation.


Science on the Track (4-8)

Program Summary: What does it take to build a safe athletic surface for horses? It all goes back to the process of weathering a rock, and how it eventually turns to sediment. Students will explore the process of weathering in relation to the process of building and maintaining a racetrack using a combination of different sediments.

Program Goals:

  • 4-ESS2-1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • 06-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
  • 08-ESS3-1. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.


Protecting Bluegrass (5-12)

Program Summary: Kentucky is known as the horse capital of the world. Why? The secret is in the soil! The inner Kentucky Bluegrass region is a unique area of ecology ideally suited for raising the best thoroughbred horses in the world! This interactive program explores how this unique area was formed through a combination of a limestone shelf and bluegrass. Students discuss how we can protect the unique resources of the earth and why it is valuable to Kentucky to do so!

Program Goals:

  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • 07-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • 08-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • 08-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
  • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

Social Studies

Creating Traditions (1-3)

Program Summary: Let’s celebrate! The concept and importance of cultural tradition is explored before we attend our very own Kentucky Derby. We’ll act out the day as students participate in the many Kentucky Derby traditions - maybe even one of your students will win the Derby!

Program Goals:

  • 1.H.KH.2 Identify Kentucky symbols, songs and traditions.
  • 1.G.HI.1 Describe how culture and experience influence the cultural landscape of places and regions within their community and state.
  • 3.H.CE.1 Compare diverse world communities in terms of members, customs and traditions to the local community.


Economics and the Derby (4-12)

Program Summary: The Kentucky Derby is a cultural and historical event, but it also plays a key role in Kentucky’s economy. Students will explore how the Kentucky Derby supports a variety of industries and the impact throughout our region. Through participating in hands-on demonstrations of key economic principles including supply/demand, value, scarcity, and circulation of money, students will gain an appreciation of how the fastest 2 minutes in sports benefits the entire city of Louisville and beyond!

Program Goals:

  • 4.E.IC.1 Describe and evaluate the relationship between resource availability, opportunity costs, migration and settlement.
  • 4.E.MI.2 Investigate the relationship between supply and demand.
  • 4.E.MI.1 Explain the role of producers, consumers, products and labor in economic markets.
  • 5.E.MI.1 Explain the relationship between supply and demand.
  • 5.E.KE.1 Analyze how incentives and opportunity costs impact decision making, using examples from Kentucky history.
  • 5.E.MA.1 Describe why the government collects taxes and what goods and services it provides society.
  • 6.E.MA.1 Describe how civilizations used bartering to establish mediums of exchange to meet their wants.
  • 7.E.MI.1 Analyze the role of consumers and producers in product markets.
  • 8.E.MA.3 Analyze the purpose of taxation and its impact on government spending.
  • 8.E.IC.1 Evaluate economic decisions based on scarcity, opportunity costs and incentives.
  • HS.E.IC.1 Predict the way scarcity causes individuals, organizations and governments to evaluate tradeoffs, make choices and incur opportunity costs.


Black Heritage in Racing Student Program (7th-12th)

Program Summary: Black jockeys and horsemen dominated the sport of Thoroughbred racing, from the first Kentucky Derby in 1875 through 1903, right before the Jim Crow era pushed them out. In fact, 15 of the first 28 Derby winners were ridden by Black jockeys. Students will explore the contributions of these incredible athletes through this discussion and object-based learning program. This highly interactive experience will allow students to connect a museum’s collection to the stories those objects reveal.

Program Goals:

  • 7.H.CH.1 Indicate changes resulting from increased interactions and connections between Afro-Eurasia and the Americas between 1450-1600.
  • 8.H.CE.2 Analyze the cause and effect of Westward Expansion, the Civil War and Reconstruction on the diverse populations of the United States.
  • 8.H.CO.4 Explain how sectionalism and slavery within the United States led to conflicts between 1820-1877.
  • HS.C.KGO.3 Describe how active citizens can affect change in their communities and Kentucky.
  • HS.UH.CH.1 Examine the ways diverse groups viewed themselves and contributed to the identity of the United States in the world from 1877-present.
  • HS.UH.CE.5 Evaluate the ways in which groups facing discrimination worked to achieve expansion of rights and liberties from 1877-present.
  • HS.UH.KH.1 Examine how Kentuckians influence and are influenced by major national developments in U.S. history from 1877-present.
  • HS.WH.CE.3 Assess demographic, social and cultural consequences of forced migration and the expansion of plantation-based slavery into the Americas between 1500-1888.


Kentucky's Derby (3rd-12th)

Program Summary: Take a trip back in time as we meet the men and women – and horses - who shaped the history of the Commonwealth. Told through the lens of stories, students explore how Kentucky became the “Horse Capitol of the World!”

Program Goals:

  • 3.H.KH.1 Explain how world events impact Kentucky, both in the past and today.
  • 4.H.KH.1 Identify and describe the significance of diverse groups of people in Kentucky from European Exploration to the Thirteen Colonies
  • 5.H.CE.3: Describe the social and economic impact of the slave trade on diverse groups
  • 7.H.CH.1 Indicate changes resulting from increased interactions and connections between Afro-Eurasia and the Americas between 1450-1600
  • 8.E.KE.2 Explain how the availability of resources in Kentucky led people to make economic choices from the Colonial Era to Reconstruction from 1600-1877.
  • HS.G.KGE.1 Explain how Kentuckians view sense of place differently based on cultural and environmental characteristics of varying regions of the state.
  • HS.UH.CH.1 Examine the ways diverse groups viewed themselves and contributed to the identity of the United States in the world from 1877-present.
  • HS.UH.KH.1 Examine how Kentuckians influence and are influenced by major national developments in U.S. history from 1877-present.



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