Outreach Programs

Experience history through programs in your classroom led by History Center educators, virtual field trips, and in-depth project based learning. 

Classroom Sessions

Eyewitness to History

Meet people who have seen history first hand, from the veteran experience of World War II to a Vietnam War protestor. These sessions include analysis of primary and secondary sources, student facilitated interviews, and group discussions. Educators can select from two themes: Military Veterans: Trials and Tribulations of War (from World War II to the Gulf War) or The 1960s: The Decade that Rocked America. 

Grade Levels: 6th – 12th
Time: 2 hours
Maximum: One class of up to 30 students
Cost: $250 plus mileage, with $50 for each additional classroom visit


Forging Freedom

Examine the many ways that the Second World War transformed Pittsburgh, from the personal stories of the home front to the role and cost of wartime industrial production.

Grade Levels: 3rd – 8th

This hands-on program features a gallery tour, an investigation of a soldier’s footlocker with period objects for handling, and an exploration of archival sources that reveal the experiences of a local military pilot during World War II.

Grade Levels: 9th – 12th

This interactive session features oral histories from local individuals involved in the war effort, a gallery tour with period objects for handling, and an investigation of one local family’s experience of the Holocaust.

Time: 1.5 hours
Maximum: One class of up to 30 students
Cost: $250 plus mileage, with $50 for each additional classroom visit


Shaping Modern Pittsburgh – A Deliberative Forum

The past is filled with key points at which different decisions might have changed the course of history. Using the format of a deliberative forum and thinking from the perspective of a citizen in post-war Pittsburgh, students will discuss three options for how the modern city should be shaped. A History Center educator will facilitate this innovative deliberative forum session in your class, and can also provide preparation sessions with your students in advance of the forum. Alternatively, teacher-led preparation materials for the deliberative forum can be found on our resources website.

Grade Levels: 9th – 12th
Time: 2 hours
Maximum: One class of up to 30 students
Cost: $250 plus mileage, with $50 for each additional classroom visit

History Near You: Project-based Outreach Programs

Capture your students’ imagination and promote historical thinking skills by making connections to local history.  Students will embrace authentic learning in this project-based experience that positions them as historians, exploring primary source materials, conducting oral histories, and designing a product that documents an aspect of local history. Leveraging community museums and resources, this program relies heavily on the partnering efforts of one or more History Center Affiliates Program (HCAP) sites, which include historical societies, historic homes, and museums throughout Western Pennsylvania.  Students will be immersed in the collections of these local repositories to study the history nearest to them. This program has proven to be successful at engaging and empowering students.

Contact History Center Affiliate Program Coordinator Robert Stakeley at rostakeley@heinzhistorycenter.org with your interest and ideas to collaboratively develop a personalized experience that will bring history to life for your community.

Virtual Field Trips

First Peoples

Join Meadowcroft staff remotely in interactive explorations of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, a National Historic Landmark, located near Avella, Pa. Using primary resource material from the intensive study of the Rockshelter, high-resolution GigaPan images, and multi-media content, students will investigate the secrets of the “First Peoples” and the multi-disciplinary approach of the experts who continue to study the Rockshelter. Inquiry-based explorations focus on the natural world, archaeological methodology, or cultural significance of the site.

Availability: November – April
Program Length: 45 – 60 minutes
Program Cost: $150

Meadowcroft Rockshelter Overview: Explore the secrets of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and the significance of the site in North American archaeology.

Archaeology at Meadowcroft Rockshelter: Investigate the methodologies used by the experts who excavated the Rockshelter and explore the evidence left by the First Peoples.

Cross Creek Ecology: Explore the geography and ecology of the Cross Creek watershed to determine how the natural world impacted the lives of the First Peoples.

A Geologic History of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter: Discover the geologic forces that shaped the Cross Creek watershed, created the Rockshelter, and impacted the subsequent stratigraphy of the site.

The Cultural Significance of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter: Uncover cultural evidence from Meadowcroft Rockshelter to understand the cultural progression of First Peoples in North America.

For more information on the programs or educational materials for a self-guided virtual tour contact Andrew Donovan, Program Coordinator, at ardonovan@heinzhistorycenter.org or -724-587-3412.