Educator Resources

We invite you to take advantage of programs aimed at expanding your knowledge and enhancing your teaching skills. Use our resources to supplement your classroom curriculum, enhance a field trip experience, or bring Indiana to life for your students. Learn about these opportunities below or in our downloadable PreK-12 Education Program Guide. 

Discover Our Exhibits

We’re always searching for ways to integrate our teachers into our featured experiences. Here, you’ll find additional resources to complement a visit to an exhibit at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

How People Make Things

This exhibit (Jan. 22 through May 15, 2022) brings the manufacturing experience to life, taking students onto the factory floor through hands-on activities. They can cut wax using different sculpting tools, deform a wire by taking a straight wire into a spring shape by winding it around the metal shaft, and assemble a trolley and test their skills on the testing track. Take a look at the Gallery Guide to help provide additional information and ideas.

Download Guide

Major Taylor: Fastest Cyclist in the World

Guide coming spring 2022! This exhibit (March 5 through Oct. 23, 2022) explores Taylor’s legacy, the sport of cycling, bicycle design and technology, and the roles bicycles play in our lives today. Here students can assemble bicycles to test their engineering skills and race against one another on stationary bikes. They can get up close to personal items like Taylor’s original scrapbooks inside a 1900s-era training room, and see one of his bikes on loan from the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame! Inside the Bicycle Shop, students can inspect an “exploded” bike to see how each part functions and how it affects the overall bike design, plus much more.

Fix Exhibit at ISM

FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis (past exhibit)

This exhibit was open Feb. 1, 2020 through Aug. 1, 2021. The United States is in the middle of a crisis that is destroying families and communities. A perfect storm of prescription drugs, powerful illegal narcotics, the science of brain chemistry and socio-economic pressures, among other factors, has fueled a spike in opioid abuse at all levels of society. Indiana is no exception.

In this exhibit you’ll discover personal stories of recovery, explore the science behind opioid addition, and learn how to affect positive change in this crisis.

Learn more

Explore Unique Workshops and Videos

The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is committed to helping our state’s educators provide the most dynamic classroom and at-home learning experiences possible through engaging workshops and videos.

Indiana Women''s Suffrage Centennial Logo

Indiana Women’s Suffrage Centennial Educator Workshop

In celebration of the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920, recognizing women’s right to vote, this curriculum will assist educators in introducing students to key Indiana women and events that helped our state make strides for women’s rights. Included are biographies of women who have made both local and national impact. Activities are also provided for students of all ages to learn more about the meaning of the right to vote, events that championed a woman’s voice in our electorate and how voting today continues to impact our nation.

Download the curriculum

ART, HISTORY, CULTURE AND STEAM EDUCATOR VIDEOS

Are you interested in introducing the museum or a topic to your students before your field trip? Is it too far to visit the museum? Bring the museum to your classroom with these short videos that cover a wide range of art, history, culture and STEAM topics for grades K-12. These videos highlight some of our most popular artifacts and experiences in the museum. The videos are free to incorporate in your classroom whenever you need and are tied to Indiana Academic Standards.

You can watch these videos in the adjacent YouTube playlist or you can directly download the videos here.

Grades K - 2

A Day in the Life of Kids: Then and Now
What did Hoosier children do years ago to pass the time? What games did they play? What did their toys look like? Take a peek into the past at different toys and items and compare them to what we see today.

Animal Adaptations
Explore what animals need to survive and how they adapt to their environment from Ice Age to modern day.

Get to Work: Jobs and Inventors of Indiana
Every community is made of citizens who have a wide variety of jobs. Indiana is home to some amazing entrepreneurs – people who started their own business or created something new. Join us as we check out Hoosiers who had interesting jobs and helped the people of Indiana.

Grades 3 - 5

Native Americans
What role have Native Americans played in shaping Indiana? What did these earliest residents leave behind and what can we learn about how they lived, worked and played?

Rocks and Minerals
Rocks and minerals are all around us. Did you know they can tell us stories about the past? Learn more of these stories and how a rock can change over time.

Simple Machines
Simple Machines make the work we do so much easier! Check out some cool ways that we’ve used simple machines from the 1800s through today.

Vincennes & 19th State
How did one of the oldest Indiana settlements come to be? How did the Native Americans and Europeans live and work together to create a community there? Learn how Vincennes became the capital of the Indiana Territory and help guide us to statehood.

Lincoln’s Impact on Indiana
While Abraham Lincoln lived in Indiana during his formative years, he is most remembered for his lasting impact as a president on Indiana and the United States.

Grades 6 - 8

Telling the American Story through Art
Art can tell a story, evoke emotion, and even help us better understand someone’s culture. How do artists convey the Hoosier spirit and tell the American story? Come along with us as we dive into our collection to see how different pieces of art reflect our society and culture.

Opioid Epidemic Educator Videos

Continue important conversations with your students and hear from community organizations and experienced professionals who are helping fight our community’s opioid epidemic.

 These videos are recommended for grades 6 – 12.

You can watch these videos in the adjacent YouTube playlist or you can directly download the videos here.

Social Justice

MRCI – Community Organization Perspective
Iisha Wesley, Greg Smith and Keith Baker Jr. from Minority Recovery Collective Inc. share their perspective and experience on how the opioid crisis is perceived and handled based on race.

Wendy Noe – Community Organization Perspective
Wendy Noe, Executive Director of Dove Recovery House for Women, discusses how gender impacts women seeking help during the opioid epidemic. This is a companion video for the Social Justice school program and the FIX: Heartbreak and

Susannah Koerber – Historical Perspective
Susannah Koerber, chief curator and research officer at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, speaks to how race, class and gender impact societal response to the opioid crisis from the 19th century to today.

What Good Is Pain

Amy Williams – Expert Perspective
Dr. Amy Williams is a pediatric psychologist for youth who experience chronic or recurrent pain. Learn about the gate control theory for pain and three strategies to control pain. Dr. Williams is also an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Emily Israel – Expert Perspective
Emily Israel, Pharm.D., shares how and when opioids are used and how healthcare providers seek the right treatment to help with pain management. Dr. Israel is a clinical associate professor at Purdue University College of Pharmacy.

Nate Moellering – Expert Perspective
Nate Moellering is a community outreach coordinator with Fort Wayne Recovery and Allendale Treatment. He was injured as a high school and college athlete and shares his journey through opioid use disorder, overdoses and recovery. With help from his family and a police officer who encouraged him, Nate entered recovery. He urges others to reach out because there are always people in the recovery community that care and want to help.

Stress

Lade Akande
Lade Akande is a yoga instructor and director of college counseling at University High School. To help high school students deal with stress, there is success in integrating wellness in the education setting. Akande shares her thoughts on how yoga helps, and why understanding how it works helps her students feel empowered to take care of themselves.

John Lee
John Lee is a peer recovery coach and in long-term recovery. Lee shares how being consistent with self-care keeps his mind, body and spirit healthy.

Zach Adams
Zach Adams is a psychologist who explains that stress is a normal part of life. He shares strategies and advice for when stress becomes overwhelming and the importance of staying connected to others.

Justin and Georgeanna
Justin Wade is the executive director for React by Young Actors’ Theatre, and Georgeanna Smith-Wade is the artistic director for React by Young Actors’ Theatre. They share how they use personal stories and theater arts to help teens feel self-empowered to face stress and challenges.

Stigma

Manon Voice
Spoken word poet Manon Voice shares her experience with the power of words and stigma. Are the words we use about others the words they want to be used? Voice performs a poem about stigma in its entirety at the end of the video.

Madison Weintraut
Madison Weintraut is a program manager for the Safe Syringe Program in Marion County. How does language and word choice create stigma? Weintraut explains that we shouldn’t define an individual by one aspect of their life.

John Lee
John Lee is a peer recovery coach and an individual in long-term recovery. Lee shares the stigma and negative bias of some recovery language and the impact on individuals trying to get help.

Brain Chemistry

Sarah Gopman
Family Physician Sarah Gopman works with women and families and has a sub-specialty in addictions medicine. Dr. Gopman explains how understanding the brain’s biological process and the role of neuroreceptors helps doctors treat individuals with substance use disorder.  

Melisa and Rebekah
Rebekah Gorrell, manager of Indiana Recovery Network, and Melisa Cole, evening coordinator for Community Fairbanks Recovery Center, are both individuals in recovery. Understanding brain chemistry is helpful to support people in recovery and they explain how opioids interact with receptors in our brain and share their experiences.

Brain Chemistry
How do opioids affect brain chemistry? Learn what happens with opioid use disorder that makes it so hard for people to stop taking opioids.

Guides and Newsletters

Our guides make it easy to help you plan for a visit to the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.

Kids standing with mastodons

Learning Resource Guides

These guides will help you bring Indiana art, science and culture right to your students. Learning Resource Guides include lesson plans, activities, online resources and a book list. Each guide fulfills select Indiana Academic Standards.

Indiana in Lincoln’s Time (Grades 4-6)

Native Americans in Indiana (Grades 3-5)

PreK-12 Education Program Guide

Download your copy of our PreK-12 Education Program Guide. This handy tool includes everything you need to know about our field trips, school and outreach programs, galleries and special exhibitions.

T.C. Steele Book List

Download our free book list provided by our T.C. Steele State Historic Site.

Click here

Levi and Catharine Coffin Guide

Download our curriculum guide provided by Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site.

Click here

Community Resources

Explore our FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis community resources here. Throughout the state, there are numerous organizations that offer a wide range of services to help navigate the path most helpful to you.

Scholarship Opportunities

Schools or educational organizations may qualify for one of Indiana State Museum’s many school, outreach or virtual programs for free.

This is made possible with funding provided by the Indiana Academy of Science and the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Those who qualify for a free science program may also receive transportation reimbursement.

Applications will be available August 3 and are accepted on a rolling basis. Schools will be notified whether their application is approved or placed on a wait list.

Click here to submit application. Please contact Krystle Mangan, program and schedule manager, at 317.509.7679 or kmangan@indianamuseum.org with questions.

Child with Clifford the Big Red Dog

Educator Newsletter

Our educator newsletter offers the latest learning opportunities, experiences, educational programs and events at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. Sign up in our subscription center by selecting the “School/Education Programs” topic. There, you also can sign up to receive news about other upcoming programs through our Monthly Lineup newsletter.

Chaperone Guides

Guides coming soon!

Do you want to provide more guidance and support for your chaperones? These guides are a great tool! They include a map of the museum and questions to ask students to encourage curiosity and critical thinking. Guides are separated by grade level to focus on academic standards.

Child with Chaperone
Fieldtrip at ISM

Field Trip Guides

Student Field Trip and Fourth-Grade Field Trip guides coming soon!

Are you looking for a way to capture your students’ thoughts during their field trip? Don’t want your students to be focused on answering a list of questions instead of exploring? Our field trip guide is a great way to track what they found interesting and fascinating. Students can write or draw the things that made them curious to learn more. This guide is appropriate for all grade levels.

Our Fourth-Grade Field Trip Guide will give you a variety of ways to connect your museum field trip experience to your classroom. It’s also a great resource if you can’t get here on a field trip. Activities can be used before your visit to prepare students or used after to review content they learned. Activities meet various cross curricula Indiana Academic Standards.