Extreme Environments

How would you survive in a temperature of -30 °C? Could you kill your own food?

We are all seeing the effects of climate and ecological crisis, but often the communities living in environmental extremes are those who experience the worst and most devastating impact.

Exploring and handling Museum objects, students will explore the Arctic tundra and tropical rainforest biomes in this session. They will uncover the stories behind objects that show how people have traditionally used natural resources to survive.

Students will learn about indigenous groups living in the Arctic and Amazon Rainforest, both their traditional ways of life and how things are changing.

After considering how the climate crisis is impacting these communities, students will share and present their ideas for positive actions we can all take to lower carbon emissions, and reduce deforestation.

Explore the topic further in the Horniman’s World Gallery, Gardens and living collections (including our free Animal Walk). You can use our Arctic Learning Resources and Rainforest People Learning Resource to guide your group.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will develop an understanding of daily life in extreme environments.
  • Students will explore traditional objects used by the Inuit and Wai-Wai peoples.
  • Students will understand some of the impacts of the climate and ecological crisis on people living in the Arctic and Amazon Rainforest.
  • Students will understand some of the positive actions they can take to reduce the effects of climate change.

Please note that our Natural History Gallery  is now closed as part of a major 2 year redevelopment, Nature + Love. The rest of our Galleries, displays and Gardens will be open as usual, with plenty across the site to support your topic (from our free Animal Walk, to our World Gallery). Our schools workshops are unaffected.

We will be opening a new, free temporary exhibition about the natural world, animals and their habitats, in September 2024.


Workshop information

How to book

Booking a taught session includes a welcome briefing on arrival, timed access to a lunch space, cloakroom facilities and access to toilets for the exclusive use of school groups.

Contact us to make a booking:
020 8291 8686

When you contact us please have ready:

– the name of the taught session you would like to book or topic you are studying,

-1st/2nd/3rd choice of date and preferred session time,

– the number of pupils and adults attending.


Entrance to the Horniman Museum and Gardens is free of charge. Taught sessions and access to some exhibitions are charged for. We invoice after your visit.

The following charges apply:

Mainstream State schools: £90 including VAT, £75 excluding VAT

Private/independent schools: £129.60 including VAT, £108 excluding VAT

SEND schools and groups: £45 including VAT, £37.25 excluding VAT

We offer a bursary scheme for schools that meet a set criteria.

Planning your visit

See the School Trips page for other essential information including our risk assessment.

We are open from 10am-5.30pm, 7 days a week. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge but must be booked in advance by emailing schools@horniman.ac.uk.

We offer reduced educational rates for our Aquarium, Butterfly House, and Temporary exhibition. See the School Trips page for further information.

Charges apply to all children aged 3 years and over, and all accompanying teachers and adults, unless they are specific 1:1 carers.