virtual field trips

The Russell Museum is pleased to offer a virtual program for educational and community groups (eighth grade through adult) beginning in July 2020. The free 45-minute program can be scheduled any time between 9 and 6 pm on weekdays, subject to staff availability, with at least two weeks’ notice. A staff member will present using photos and polls in a video meeting. The program will include information on Mass General history, the ether anesthesia story, some history of Mass General’s responses to other crises in the past, and information on Mass General’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At this time, we do not know when we will be resuming in-person field trips; we expect that when we do resume them, there will be a period of time when we’ll be offering both a virtual and an in-person option. It is likely that in-person field trips will not be before the spring semester 2021. We hope to add virtual versions of our Health Careers Q&A and simulation programs, and will make an announcement if and when they are available.

If you’re looking for resources to share with your students about what working in a hospital is like during a crisis, we recommend the Behind the Badge series on the Mass General news site. While written for a Mass General audience to help employees feel more connected to one another and to the hospital during this challenging time, they are short articles that introduce a variety of health-care-related careers, most of them nonclinical.

 More details on the virtual field trip:

     The program is designed to be 45 minutes with time for discussion built in, but if you would like more time for discussion, it can also be scheduled for 60 minutes.

     By default, we will do the presentation in the web conference platform Zoom, and we will send you a link and password beforehand to distribute to your students so that everyone can access it. The Zoom meeting will be password-protected so that only your students (and guests you invite, if applicable) can participate.

     If your school or program uses another platform and you would prefer that we use that, please let us know during the scheduling process, and we will very likely be able to do so. Also, if you have a standing online meeting and you would prefer that our staff member joins that meeting rather than sending a separate link, let us know; this will work as long as the staff member is granted permission to share their screen.

     The program is designed to be done as a virtual meeting in which all participants are in separate locations, but if you and your group will be in the same location as one another and only the presenter is remote, it will still work.

     The bulk of the presentation will involve a Russell Museum staff member presenting with a slide deck of images in screen-share mode. We will ask that students turn off their microphones except when speaking; if you have a standard policy for whether their web cameras should be on or off, that same policy applies.

     The presentation includes three open-ended polls using the polling platform Poll Everywhere, which is FERPA-compliant and doesn’t collect personal data. Students can go to the poll in a web browser or respond to it by text message. There’s no setup required beforehand; the polls are integrated into the presentation. If a student isn’t able to access the poll for any reason, they can share their response in the Zoom chat.

     Although students will be welcome to ask questions during the presentation, the last portion of the virtual field trip will be devoted to questions, and students asking questions will be encouraged to turn on their microphone and webcam, although they are welcome to ask via chat if they prefer.

     If anyone in your group has accessibility needs we should know about, please let us know.

 For questions or to schedule a virtual field trip, contact Tegan Kehoe at or 617-726-4548.


The Russell Museum does not yet have an estimated reopening date, and in-person group visits are not being scheduled at this time.

The Russell Museum has several offerings for groups. The museum itself is available for visitors to explore at their own pace; groups of 10 or more are required to make a reservation. We recommend 45 minutes for a group visit, which includes an introduction by a docent and time for self-guided exploration. The museum also provides 45-minute group tours of the Ether Dome, which can be extended into a history tour of the hospital with several additional stops.

Group visits are available on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm with advance reservation. If your group is larger than 20 people, they can be split into smaller groups to do the visit back-to-back. We recommend the museum and Ether Dome for 8th grade and up.

The museum is partnering with the medical simulation group at MGH to provide interactive experiences with medical simulation for interested visiting groups. These demonstrations can include either hands-on simulated arthroscopic knee surgery or a demonstration of a medical simulation mannequin. If your school or community group of between 5 and 15 people is interested in this opportunity, please contact the museum with as much advance notice as possible. Simulation demonstrations are limited by the availability of the clinicians and the equipment. Please plan to spend an hour and a half in the museum for the demonstration and museum visit.

Please feel free to download our group visit policies.

For questions or to reserve a group visit, contact Tegan Kehoe at or 617-726-4548.

If you are interested in a hospital history tour but are not coming with a group, you can attend one of our public MGH history tours. For more information, visit the museum’s Facebook or Eventbrite pages, or email to join the mailing list.