Geologic Time

How old is the Earth? How has it changed over time and how do we know? 

Take a look back in time with a 9 ½ foot long geologic timeline and learn about some key events in the history of life on Earth. Real fossils, casts and rock specimens will help you take a closer look at the dynamic processes that have shaped our planet and the life that inhabits it.

Burke Box reservations
will resume this fall!

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we'll notify you as soon as
reservations are open again.

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1 week rental: $50
2 week rental: $60
Each additional week: $20

Cost Assistance Application

What's Inside?

Burke Boxes include museum-quality objects and artifacts, as well as activities that can be tailored to many different ages and interests.

  • Ammonite
  • Brachiopod Fossils
  • Coelacanth Fossil Cast
  • Crinoid Fossil Cast
  • Dimetrodon Fossil Footprint Cast
  • Mammoth Tooth Cast
  • Mastodon Tooth Cast
  • Megalonyx Claw Cast
  • Pterosaur Fossil Cast
  • Placoderm Fossil Cast
  • Plant Fossi: Florissantia
  • Plant Fossil: Fern
  • Smilodon Tooth Cast
  • Suciasaurus rex Femur Cast
  • Tree-Like Lycopod Fossil Cast
  • Trilobite Fossil Cast
  • Sedimentary Rocks
  • Igneous Rocks
  • Metamorphic Rocks
  • Granite
  • Earth: My First 4.54 Billion Years, by Stacy McAnulty
  • How Much is a Million?, by David M Schwartz and Steven Kellogg

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Burke Boxes can be picked up on the start date of your rental from the Burke Museum Business Entrance during business hours (8 am – 5 pm), Monday through Friday. 

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.

Your Burke Boxes should be returned to the new Burke Museum loading dock by 4 PM on the last day of your rental period. 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 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.

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.

Yes! Our generous donors make it possible for us to offer cost assistance to schools and programs across the state. To apply, please fill out our Burke Box Cost Assistance Request form.

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
Box 353010
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!

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!

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Program Supporters

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