Museum Education & Lessons 

Two students seated at a table while an instructor displays an anatomical model of the human ear
Two students seated at a table while an instructor displays an anatomical model of the human ear

Take part in disturbingly informative, virtual lessons!

Looking for engaging and informative lessons for your child or classroom? The College of Physicians of Philadelphia offers a variety of educational programs catering to all ages and intellectual levels with subjects such as health, science, and history. All our lessons confirm with applicable education standards.

Due to COVID-19, we are currently only offering lessons virtually. An online live lesson with Museum Educator Marcy Engleman offers a unique environment for students to learn about health and medicine. Virtual lessons cost $100 per session. See below for a current list of topics. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us or fill out this lesson form to book your virtual lesson.


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For questions about group visits, scheduling tours, Mütter Lessons, and Mütter on the Road, or for a free teacher’s pass to see if the Museum is right for your class, contact Museum Educator Marcy Engleman at 215.399.2266 or

Learn more about our available Mütter Lessons!

  • Did you know that antibiotics are over-prescribed or misused roughly half the time? When antibiotics are used improperly, bacteria can develop resistances that can potentially put everyone at risk. This lesson introduces how antibiotics work and how bacteria evolve and develop resistances. Through a game-based activity where they assume the role of a bacterium, students learn how antibiotic resistances form and ways they can help reduce the risk.  


    National Health Education Standards:  7.8.1, 7.8.2, 7.8.3, 7.12.1, 7.12.2, 7.12.3

  • For thousands of years, humans have been changing their bodies. This lesson lets students explore body modifications from around the world, from foot binding to body piercing, from corsets to neck coils. Students observe museum objects not normally on display and learn about the health implications of common body modifications.


    PA Standards Met: Health, Safety & Physical Education: 10.1.12B, 10.2.12B, 10.2.6D, 10.2.9D, 10.2.12D

  • What happens when a skeleton is discovered? How do scientists use bones to solve crimes? Students learn about the role of forensic anthropology in criminal investigation, and they find out can be learned from examining skeletal remains.


    PA Standards Met: Science and Technology and Engineering Education: 3.1.10.B4, 3.1.B.B4

  • In this lesson students will create a drawing from images of real human skulls in our famous Hyrtl Skull Collection. Close observation will show students how skulls are shaped differently and can inform a variety of forensic determinations such as age, stature, sex, and racial background of a person. We will discuss these differences in the skulls, as well as learn about Dr. Hyrtl, why he collected the skulls, what his collection accomplished, and how it is still being used today. Recommended for classes of 25 students or less. Drawing supplies are included in the lesson.


    PA Standards Met: Health, Safety and Physical Education: 10.1.3.B; Science and Technology and Engineering Education: 3.1.10B4, 3.1.B.B4

  • Have you ever wondered how conjoined twins happen? In this lesson, students learn about the nature of conjoined twins and their different types, and they discuss some famous conjoined twins. Students find out about the ramifications of separation surgery, and why some twins can't be separated, or don't want to be separated.


    PA Standards Met: Science and Technology and Engineering Education: 3.1.B.A3

  • This lesson offers an overview of the role and practice of medicine in the Civil War and a description of the impact on modern medicine. Examples include the invention of ambulances and the development of specialty medicine.


    PA Standards Met: History: 8.3.3.A, 8.2.12B, 8.2.U.B, 8.2.9B

  • While less than 200 years old, the idea that germs make people sick has revolutionized not only medicine but our daily lives, from getting shots at the doctor to washing our hands before we eat. Students learn about the incredible, astonishing, and sometimes disgusting stories of the men and women who first fought germs and learned how to keep us healthy.


    PA Standards Met: History: 8.1.6A, 8.4.9A, 8.4.12A; Health, Safety and Physical Education: 10.1.3E, 10.2.6A, 10.2.3A, 10.2.3E, 10.2.12.E, 10.2.9E; Science and Technology and Engineering Education: 3.4.10.E1, 3.4.12.E1

  • The 1918-1919 influenza pandemic infected nearly one third of all humans on Earth and resulted in over 50 million deaths. The worst hit city in the United States was Philadelphia, where roughly 17,500 people died from the “Spanish flu.” However, despite its significant impact on human history, many people have never heard of what some have called the “forgotten pandemic.” This lesson will help students understand the history of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, the virus that caused it, the impact of World War I on spreading the disease, the scientific and public health response to the outbreak, and the ways the pandemic influenced present-day medical knowledge and responses to infectious disease. Students will also have the chance to develop a response plan to a simulated epidemic and compare their findings to the ways Philadelphia officials responded to influenza in 1918.


    PA Standards met: 8.1.9.A-D, 8.1.12.A-D, 8.2.12.A-D

    National Health Standards met: 7.12.1-3

  • Did you ever wonder why you need to get a flu shot every year? Or why you can’t take antibiotics to cure the common cold? In this lesson, students will gain a greater understanding of colds and flus, learning about the viruses that cause them, how colds and flus spread, signs someone has a cold or flu, how doctors treated them (past and present), and how they can help reduce their risk of infection. This lesson will help expand their knowledge of infectious diseases and help give them the tools to help reduce the risk of catching colds and flus for themselves, their families, and their communities.


    National Health Education Standards: 7.5.1, 7.5.2, 7.5.3, 7.8.1, 7.8.2, 7.8.3

  • Information about the COVID-19 pandemic changes constantly. Scientists, health professionals, lawmakers, and public health officials have to constantly be aware of new information so they can make informed policy choices to help treat the sick and keep the public safe. 

    However, the global pandemic has also become fertile ground for misinformation, hoaxes, and other forms of false information related to the pandemic. It is important to be able to discern facts from fake news. This lesson is designed to help students identify common signs of online misinformation related to the pandemic and give them the tools to critically assess online information. 



  • Uncover what it means to be human by exploring disturbingly informative items from the Mütter collection at home or on the road with our digital Memento Mütterexhibit. Enhance your classroom with primary sources and lesson plans. All lessons are designed to fulfill state educational standards.