Burke Boxes include museum-quality objects and artifacts, as well as activities that can be tailored to many different ages and interests.
Six backpacks each including:
- Parent Guide
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
- The Looking Book, by P.K. Hallinan
- Magnifying Lens
- Specimen Viewer
- 2 Collection Boxes
- Bug Net
- 4 Specimens: feather, rock, shell, insect
Questions & Answers
We've compiled answers to some of the most common questions we receive. Have another question that you need help with? Contact us. Please also refer to the Burke Box Terms & Conditions (PDF) for more information.
Is a Burke Box safe to use during COVID-19?
Yes. Based on research from the CDC, NHS, WHO and other major institutions guiding the global and national novel coronavirus response, we have updated our cleaning protocols for Burke Boxes to ensure a safe experience for both clients and Burke staff. These new cleaning protocols combine processes like isolation, alcohol sanitization, and UV sterilization, all proven methods for eliminating the novel coronavirus, to ensure that Burke Boxes and their contents are safe for handling before they are released to a new client.
Updates to our rental policies ensure that there is a standardized time period between each box rental that allows ample time for both isolation and disinfection. We encourage facilitators (and learners, if you’re doing in-person learning experiences) to help us further increase the safety of Burke Box use by following recommended best practices—wear face protection and gloves when handling Burke Box collection items and follow proper hand washing procedures before and after engaging with your Burke Box.
Why does my Burke Box rental have to start and end on a Friday?
This new rental schedule assures all boxes and their contents are thoroughly and consistently sanitized, making them safe for both Burke staff and Burke clients to utilize. Staffing patterns at the Burke have been adjusted to meet the health and safety needs of Burke employees and visitors. Having all box reservations start and end on the same day of the week allows us to streamline our sanitization procedures in between rentals and maximize staff’s onsite time.
How can I use a Burke Box in a distance learning situation?
School looks different for most learners during this pandemic. Luckily, Burke Boxes are very adaptable resources that can be used easily in distance learning situations.
Check out our new tips for teaching remotely with Burke Boxes.
I'm not a teaching professional. Can I use a Burke Box outside of a standard classroom?
Absolutely! In addition to classrooms around the state, Burke Boxes have been used by homeschooling parents, after school groups, community groups, early learning facilities, and libraries! Each Burke Box includes lesson plans to give you quick start guidelines and ideas for how to use your box.
Where do I go to pick up and return my Burke Box?
Burke Boxes can be picked up on the start date of your rental from the Burke Museum Business Entrance during business hours (8 AM – 4 PM). Because of our updated sanitization procedures, your rental should always begin on a Friday.
When you arrive at the Burke Museum, use the call button outside the Burke Museum Business Entrance door to tell staff you are picking up or returning a Burke Box. If you are picking up a box, provide the name of the reservation holder and the Burke Box title. A Burke staff member will deliver or retrieve your Burke Box outside the Business Entrance door shortly. To minimize the spread of illness and germs, clients will no longer enter the Burke Business Entrance to pick up or return their Burke Boxes.
The new Burke Museum address is 4300 15th Ave NE, Seattle (get directions to the Burke). If driving, you may pull into the N1 parking lot off of Memorial Way NE (the main entrance to UW campus off of NE 45th St). Please use the loading and unloading zone when picking up your Burke Box and not the adjacent parking lot or the main visitor entrance. The N1 parking lot is a paid lot managed by the University of Washington Transportation Services.
If you have questions or concerns about your ability to retrieve or drop off your Burke Box, please call us at 206.543.5591.
When does my Burke Box need to be returned?
Your Burke Boxes should be returned to the new Burke Museum loading dock by 4 PM on the last day of your rental period. Because of our updated sanitization procedures, your rental should always end on a Friday. For shipped boxes, your Burke Box should be placed in the mail for return no later than the last day of your rental period. Please check that all materials are in the box and packaged properly before returning; you are responsible for any lost or damaged items.
Give us a call at 206.543.5591 or email email@example.com if you are unable to return your box on time for any reason. Please note that we have a late fee of $10 per day per Burke Box.
How much do Burke Boxes cost?
A Burke Box rental costs*:
$50 for 1 week
$60 for 2 weeks
$20 for each additional week
Please note: Pricing for Backyard Scientist Backpacks is structured differently from other Burke Boxes. Please see the Backpacks page for pricing.
Payment can be made online through our webform or in person via credit card, check, or purchase order no later than the last date of the rental period.
*Does not include shipping costs.
Do you offer cost assistance or scholarships?
Can Burke Boxes be shipped?
Yes, Burke Boxes can be mailed to recipients outside of King County* for an additional $30 per box (Please note: Cost assistance and scholarships cannot be applied to shipping costs.). This fee does not include return shipping; mailing all Burke Boxes back to the Burke Museum is the responsibility of the renter. Burke Boxes should be mailed for return no later than the last day of the rental period. All return Burke Boxes should be shipped to:
The Burke Museum
4300 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98195
*Due to proximity to the museum and an increasing number of rentals, we aren't able to offer shipping within King County. We're sorry for any inconvenience!
Can I change or cancel my reservation?
Yes, if you are unable to pick-up or return a Burke Box on the scheduled date, or need to change or cancel a reservation, please call the Education office at 206.543.5591 as soon as possible.
Cancellations must be made a minimum of two weeks before the scheduled ship or pick-up date for a refund. Cancellations made with less than two weeks’ notice will be charged the full rental fee.
More Burke Boxes
With 18 Burke Box titles ranging from culture to earth and life sciences, there's something for everyone!