School Tours

Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Fort Pitt Museum
Fort Pitt Museum
Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village
Meadowcroft

Heinz History Center

The History Center offers multi-disciplinary and interactive guided tours for students of all ages that are both educational and fun. Guided tours follow thematic routes through the History Center’s five floors of exhibits, showcasing the region’s history in a way that supports standards-aligned learning.

Grade Levels: K – 12th grade
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Maximum: 125 students

Beyond Adversity

Explore the struggles and successes of African Americans in Western Pennsylvania throughout 250 years of history.  Learn about the African American experience through Pittsburgh’s role in the abolition movement, the Underground Railroad, the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper, and sports teams, including the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords. Exhibits explored include From Slavery to Freedom, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, Special Collections, and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

Made Here, Shipped There: Transportation and Innovation

Pittsburgh’s history has been shaped by transportation routes, industry, and innovation.  Learn about Pittsburgh-created innovations, like George Westinghouse’s airbrake, plate glass, and Heinz ketchup, which have been used throughout the world.  Exhibits explored include Glass: Shattering Notions, Heinz, Special Collections, and Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation.

Pittsburgh People: Immigration and Migration

Western Pennsylvania has long been a region of many cultures and traditions.  Who has lived here?  Why did they come here?  When did they come here?  Explore some of the groups that have lived in Western Pennsylvania, including American Indians, Europeans, and African Americans, and the contributions that they have made to the Pittsburgh area.  Exhibits explored include From Slavery to Freedom, Special Collections, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, and Clash of Empires.

Pittsburgh’s Pastimes: Sports, Entertainment, and Leisure

Explore Pittsburgh’s pastimes by examining the history of the sports, entertainment, and leisure activities in Western Pennsylvania.  Learn how Pittsburgh became the birthplace of professional football and a leading jazz city.  Exhibits explored include the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation, and Special Collections.

History Highlights

Your tour will visit some of the most popular exhibits in the museum where you will encounter interesting stories about Pittsburghers.  Any of the History Center’s current exhibits can be included in a History Highlights tour.

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Heinz History Center

Self-guided tours are an option for educators who would like to facilitate their own museum experience. We encourage educators to tour the museum in order to prepare for your visit, and free admission is provided. Gallery worksheets that direct students’ time in the exhibits are recommended. These can be produced by educators or adapted from materials available at on our website. Self-guided groups are welcomed by a museum educator and given an overview of the museum.

Time: 1 – 2 hours, plus 1/2 hour for lunch
Grade Level: Pre-k – 12th grade
Group Size: Maximum of 150 students.
Tour Availability:  Please note that due to high visitation during the spring field trip season, availability may be limited. Self-guided visits will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Fort Pitt Museum

Outposts of Empire

Learn how Pittsburgh began by exploring the conflict over the forks of the Ohio River between the British, French, and Indians during the 18th century. Students will explore the timeline of the French & Indian War and participate in hands-on activities related to life at Fort Pitt, which may include a cannon, musket, or marching drill. Students will also learn about the fur trade that made Fort Pitt, and the Point, a major trading post between Europeans and Indians in a recreated fur trading cabin.

Grade Levels: All
Program Length: 1.5 – 2 hours
Maximum: 250 students
Availability: February – December. Please note that due to high visitation during the spring field trip season, availability may be limited. Please book your tour as soon as possible.

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Heinz History Center

Fort Pitt Museum

Experience over 250 years of Western Pa. history by visiting both the History Center and Fort Pitt Museum, located just one mile apart, in one day! You will enjoy a tour at one museum, then board your bus for transportation to the other site all for a combination group tour price. Lunch space may be reserved at the Heinz History Center, or students are welcome to eat outside in Point State Park. For more information, see the Partnership Experiences section of this guide.

Grade Levels: All
Program Length: 1.5 – 2 hours
Maximum: 150 students
Cost: $7.50
Availability: Please note that due to high visitation during the spring field trip season, availability may be limited. Self-guided visits will be accommodated on a first-come, first served basis.

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Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village

Add on a guided tour of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter to any of our other programs. Discover why prehistoric people picked this site and how they lived here over the last 16,000 years as you explore the archaeological excavation that uncovered this National Historic Landmark.

Grade Levels: All
Program Length: 1 hour
Availability: April – November

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