Discovery Trunks

All materials free of charge

Many Thanks to the Oxford Community Foundation

Thank you for financial support to augment our Discovery Trunks (educational kits offered free of charge for classroom use) with materials to supplement our newly created math lessons. Through their generosity, we purchased class sets of rulers and tape measures. We also purchased an infrared thermometer, laser distance meter, beakers, spring scales, and compasses. Please show your support of the Oxford Community Foundation by visiting their website and considering a contribution. Many area school children will benefit from the generous support of the Foundation through the use of our Discovery Trunks.

Discovery Trunks bring science alive for students! Carry a Discovery Trunk into your classroom and intrigue learners with hands-on materials and inquiry-based lessons. Each trunk contains quality museum specimens and/or supplies, a Teacher's Manual that includes background information and relevant lesson plans, children's literature, animal natural histories (for select trunks), and an evaluation form.

Discovery Trunks are available for loan to educators, whether in a formal classroom, informal setting or the home, in the Ohio-Indiana-Kentucky area.

Discovery Trunks may be borrowed for one week and must be picked up and returned to the Hefner Museum. The museum is open from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. weekdays (year-round).

Use of the Discovery Trunks is FREE. In return, we ask that you take the time to complete the evaluation form and return it to the museum.

Discovery Trunks for loan

The following Discovery Trunks are currently available for loan:


Eleven mammal skulls: badger, bobcat, bulldog, coyote, gray fox, groundhog, opossum, domestic pig, raccoon, red fox, and whitetail deer; dichotomous key; diagrams of a skull


Twelve mammal sets: eastern fox squirrel, red fox, opossum, whitetail deer, raccoon, meadow vole, short-tailed shrew, big brown bat, striped skunk, eastern cottontail rabbit, groundhog, and deer mouse. Each set includes some or all of the following items: track replica, scat replica, skull, fur sample, habitat photo, and food photo.


Fifteen sets of Ordovician fossils, each with 50 small specimens including brachiopods, bryozoans, gastropods, cephalopods, crinoid stems, petrified wood, and leaves

The Call of the Wild

Eleven Canid Skulls: gray wolf, red wolf, coyote, African hunting dog, black-backed jackal, hole, arctic fox, gray fox, red fox, St. Bernard, and Siberian husky; dichotomous key; The Call of the Wild by Jack London


Six sets of gastropod and bivalve shells, mollusk anatomy diagram, identification keys, animal natural histories

Freshwater Mussels

Seven mussel shells, button-drilled mussel shells, shell buttons, dichotomous key, PowerPoint presentation

Real Eggs

Real bird eggs from puffins, geese, ducks and penguins

Model Eggs

Wooden model bird eggs representing 10 species (small to large)

Food Chains (Vernal Pool or Forest/Meadow)

Laminated photos of producers and consumers used to create food chains or webs

Turtle Shells

Shells or shell fragments from Blanding’s turtle, red-eared slider, common snapping turtle, and common map turtle

Materials for loan

The following materials are also available for loan:

Museum Specimens—specimens of preserved fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals

Plastic Lizards—for sorting (includes dichotomous key and lesson plan)

Plastic Insects—for sorting (includes dichotomous key and lesson plan)

African Survival Game—set of large game tiles and photographs (includes lesson plan)

Puppets—rabbit, box turtle, sea turtle, skunk, black bear, brown bear, beaver, raccoon, squirrel, and fox (2)

Beetle Bark—elm bark with evidence of elm bark beetle infestation

Oranges in Various States of Decomposition