Denali Science School

Denali Science School students learn about and explore the park with classroom activities and outdoor experiments.

NPS Photos


What is Denali Science School?

Denali Science School is an immersive program serving Alaskan students in Grades 5 and 6. During these three-day, two-night programs, students and their teachers and chaperones learn through hands-on activities, science research, and outdoor immersion in the best classroom of all: Denali National Park and Preserve! By conducting investigations, participating in discussions and collaborative activities, observing and learning while hiking, and visiting the park sled dog kennels, students learn how park managers use science to protect and showcase this special place.
The three primary goals of Denali Science School are:
  • Learn about and experience the four primary habitats found in Denali – taiga, tundra, riparian, and rocky alpine. Through classroom and field-based activities, students explore how these habitats are connected and impacted by change.
  • Use tools and scientific methods to understand the natural world.
  • Grapple with the National Park Service’s paradoxical mission of simultaneously protecting and providing access to protected lands and resources.

Where does Denali Science School take place?

Denali Science School takes place at the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) at the entrance of Denali National Park and Preserve. The MSLC is located at Mile 1.2 of the Denali Park Road at Mile 237 of the George Parks Highway (Alaska Highway 3). All DSS activities take place in the first 15 miles of the Denali Park Road.

How do I register for Denali Science School?

Teachers for students in grades 5-6 may make a registration request for their class. Registration requests may be submitted anytime and will be processed on the follow schedule:
  • May sessions: Requests are processed starting October 1st of the prior year.
  • August and September sessions: We process requests starting March 15 annually. In 2024, we will process requests starting April 1.
Later requests will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Confirmations will be sent to teachers within two weeks of receiving requests.

When is Denali Science School offered?

We offer spring and fall sessions. In 2024, the following session dates will be available:
  • May 13 – 15
  • May 15 – 17
  • August 19 – 21
  • August 21 – 23
  • August 26 – 28
  • August 28 – 30
  • September 4 – 6
  • September 9 – 11
  • September 11 – 13
  • September 16 – 18
  • September 18 – 20
  • September 23 – 25
  • September 25 – 27


How many students and adults can attend?

The optimal group size is 20-30 students with an adult-to-student ratio of 1:6. The maximum group size is 30 students and 6 adults unless an exception is granted. We encourage teachers to work together to combine or divide classes as necessary to meet this requirement before registering.

What does Denali National Park and Preserve provide?

  • Instruction and learning supplies and equipment: Park educators provide content, leadership, and logistical support for all lessons, while teachers and chaperones focus on supervision, behavior management, and learning support.
  • Lodging: Students, teachers and chaperones bring sleeping bags and mats to sleep in the MSLC classrooms.
  • Food: In 2024, school groups are not responsible for on-site food service costs thanks to donations by park partners Doyon-Aramark Joint Venture and Alaska Geographic. It is important to us that on-site food service costs are not a barrier to attending Denali Science School, and we are grateful to both organizations for supporting students.

What is the teacher and sending school responsible for providing?

  • Transportation: School groups are responsible for the costs of transportation to, from, and within the park. This requires getting to the park on day 1, transportation within the park on day 2, and getting home on day 3. Before registering, please consider how you will secure funding and make reservations for transportation.
  • Group and behavior management: For many of the activities, students work in groups of 5 or 6, each with a teacher or chaperone helping with guidance and behavior management. The lead teacher is responsible for recruiting enough chaperones for an adult-to-student-ratio of 1:6
  • Permission slips: Use your school’s field trip requirements to ensure liability coverage.

How much does Science School Cost?

Denali Science School is offered for free by the National Park Service in partnership with Doyon-Aramark Joint Venture and non-profit partners.

More Information

The Program Details page provides in-depth information for registered participants. If you have any additional questions, you can email the Denali Education Team anytime.

Last updated: March 12, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


907 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am to 4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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