Green Community Teaching Kit. Photo by Kevin Allen.Be a Green Builder School Program. Photo by Anne McDonough.Patterns School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.Drawing on History School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.Patterns School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.Builder School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.Drawing on History School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.Green by Design School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.Geodesic Dome School Program. Photo by Kevin Allen.

Click on photos above for caption and crediting information.

School Programs

"Great program!!! Thank you so much. My teammate said it was the best field trip she's been on in 13 years!"
–MCPS teacher, on City by Design

During the 2011–12 school year, the Museum welcomed 22,000 students, teachers, and chaperones from the Washington, D.C. metro area to 803 individual school programs held at the Museum. 4,700 of these students were from D.C. public and public charter schools. 368 school programs were provided free of charge to D.C. Public Schools and Title I schools—46% of all programs (Title I refers to schools where at least 40% of the students are from low-income families).

Students investigated sustainable building practices, planned hundreds of cities, and discovered patterns all around them, using the historic building as their classroom. The Museum introduced a new school program, My House, My Home, which connects to the exhibition House & Home. During its first year, 92 programs of My House, My Home were offered.

The National Building Museum’s school programs are generously supported by the United Engineering Foundation, The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Bloomberg, Clark Charitable Foundation, The Tower Companies, and an anonymous donor.

Homeschool Days

The Museum hosted two homeschool days where individual students could register for the Museum’s school programs. 233 children and 114 adults participated in homeschool days.


"Bravo! There was no weak part of the program. The students were 'hooked' into the lesson, the concept was introduced, they got to practice it independently, and then [the Museum teacher} brought everything to a close. Honestly, I wish my lessons could be this good!"
–DCPS teacher, on Patterns: Here, There, and Everywhere

The National Building Museum Teacher Advisory Board (TAB) assists the Museum in developing program ideas, provide feedback on new initiatives, and give insight regarding school policy and education trends. The 2011-2012 Teacher Advisory Board comprised eight educators from area school districts, both public and private, representing elementary, middle, and secondary schools, as well as a range of disciplines, including: science, visual arts, social studies, and math. During the course of the year, four additional educators were invited to join the group. TAB members participated in several Museum projects, including redesigning the Museum’s Educator Resource Packets and providing feedback on a new school program tied to the Museum’s interactive exhibition, PLAY WORK BUILD.

The Museum also offered the following programs for teachers and educators:

  • Teaching American History: The Power of Place: During this June session, teachers learned how to use buildings and places to teach history. Teachers participated in a tour of the Museum’s historic building and investigated how they could use close observation to reveal more about the building’s construction.
  • National Art Education Association—SummerVision: As a part of the National Art Education Association SummerVision program in July, a half-day workshop was held at Museum to introduce art teachers and educators to techniques used by Museum staff to teach the design process.
  • Teacher Orientation Sessions: Two teacher orientation days were held in August to introduce teachers unfamiliar with the Museum’s programs to our educational offerings and how to register for them.

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