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Bring Your Class

Our unique programs connect local events with broad themes in U.S. history and STEM subjects.

We look forward to hosting you and your class. Please browse our program offerings below.

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Field trips are offered at five locations:

  • Our main location, on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights
  • BHS DUMBO, our satellite location
  • BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • The Brooklyn Bridge
  • Your classroom

Visit our FAQ page for commonly asked questions about field trip programs.

two students hold audio listening devices to their ears in the Waterfront exhibition

BHS DUMBO Programs

In the Waterfront exhibition, students discover the challenges, hidden stories, and commodities that helped Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront thrive for centuries, and learn about the nineteenth- and twentieth-century communities that powered it all. Browse the complete BHS DUMBO tour options below.

Brooklyn's Waterfront Communities (grades 1–4)

Students learn about the nineteenth- and twentieth-century communities of Brooklyn’s working waterfront through object-based inquiry on this interactive field trip program to our brand-new exhibition, Waterfront. Students will have an opportunity to interact with the exhibition and tour educator as they work toward drawing their own conclusions about how the waterfront has evolved over time. Optimized for grades 1–4. Program duration: 60 minutes.

Brooklyn's Industrial Waterfront (grades 3–12)

Discover the challenges, hidden stories, and commodities that helped Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront thrive for centuries. In this highly differentiated program, students inquire into the construction of the working waterfront using the objects and exhibition. Optimized for grades 3–12. Program duration: 60 minutes.

BHS DUMBO Program Fees

First 100 Title I school classes: Free
Public school classes after the first 100: $100
Private, parochial, and independent school classes: $175

Brooklyn Navy Yard Programs

At BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, students explore centuries of technological innovation and historical change, “green” building practices, and oral histories from the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s busiest times—the World War II era and today. Browse the complete BLDG 92 tour options below.

Ingenious Innovations (grades 2–12)

Explore centuries of technological innovation and historical change at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Learn about the transformation of shipbuilding from the age of sail to the age of iron and steam. Includes a visit to one of the yard’s historic dry docks where students will get a chance to see a ship under repair. View pre- and post-visit activities in the Teaching Resources section of our website. Optimized for grades 2–12. Program duration: 90 minutes.

Seeing Green: Adaptive Reuse and Bee Hotels (grades 2–5)

Explore the “green” features of BLDG 92, including a green roof. See how today’s yard reuses aging infrastructure left behind by the U.S. Navy — in some cases entire buildings! Then students get to roll up their sleeves and reuse art materials to construct habitat-generating “bee hotels” in this hands-on STEAM program. Learn how designers use brainstorming, creativity and an ethos of adaptive reuse to generate sustainable solutions to urban problems. Optimized for grades 2–5. Program duration: 90 minutes.

Women, Work and World War II (grades 5–12)

Examine oral histories, photographs, and objects from the Brooklyn Navy Yard during its two busiest times—the World War II era and today. Discuss how gender, sexuality, race, and class have affected workers’ experiences at the yard over time. Optimized for grades 5–12. Program duration: 90 minutes.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Program Fees

First 100 Title I school classes: Free
Public school classes after the first 100: Free
Private, parochial, and independent school classes: $175

Five students gather around a fire insurance atlas in the BHS library

BHS Pierrepont and Othmer Library Programs

At our magnificent landmark building in Brooklyn Heights, programs invite students grades 2 and up to explore our historic and contemporary map collections, and investigate activists who fought for the abolition of slavery and the expansion of civil rights in nineteenth century Brooklyn. Eleventh- and twelfth-graders and undergraduate and graduate students can participate in customized library seminars. Browse the complete Pierrepont Street options below.

Maps (grades 2–12)

Hone geography and map-reading skills using historical and contemporary maps. Easily differentiated, this program exposes students to maps as a valuable historical resource, whether as an introduction to a map’s components — compass rose, cardinal directions, keys, and scale — or for content-rich investigation of New York’s topography using the Revolutionary-era Ratzer Map. Supplement learning with our free curricula on the Ratzer Map.

Colonial Brooklyn (Grades 2-5)

Students practice making observations and interpret a variety of primary sources to draw conclusions about life in colonial Brooklyn. Through artwork, maps, and objects, students understand both how historians study the past and  explore what life was like for Brooklyn’s colonial communities, including Native Americans, enslaved Africans, free Africans and African Americans, and European colonists.

Library Seminars (grades 11+, undergraduate, graduate)

In our Library & Archives seminars, we offer collaborative programs with faculty that integrate BHS’s primary source material into curriculum. Seminars for grades 11+, undergraduate, and graduate students may vary in complexity, from an introductory tour of our resources and catalogs to a customized archives exploration.

In these customized seminars participants will investigate topics such as civil rights, the Civil War, building history and architecture, politics and religion. Source materials include photographs, maps, genealogies, oral histories and personal papers. To plan a seminar with our special collections for your undergraduate or graduate students, email [email protected] with the subject line Library Seminar.

Library Reserve Program (undergraduate, graduate)

Our Library & Archives department offers a free Library Reserve Program that supports research beyond the classroom. In addition to access to materials during research hours, students will receive care and handling instruction from BHS Reference Staff. To reserve materials from our special collections for your undergraduate or graduate students, email [email protected] with the subject line Library Reserve.

BHS Pierrepont Program Fees

Public, private, parochial and independent school classes: $175
Library Reserve: free
Library Seminars: $250-$500

 

Brooklyn Bridge Case Study

Join us for an in-depth look at the evolution of transportation in Brooklyn as we study the Brooklyn Bridge. This two-part program will enable students to discover how and why people moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and the many ways this modern marvel changed the lives of New Yorkers.

In-Class Workshop (grades 2–5)

A BHS educator visits your classroom to lead a hands-on study of primary source images documenting Brooklyn before the Bridge, the Bridge’s engineering and construction, and its impact on New York City. These content-rich activities will form a springboard for continued learning during session two: a walk onto the Brooklyn Bridge. Or, you may choose to only do the in-class program.

Walking Tour (grades 2–5)

During a multi-sensory walking tour through historic Brooklyn Heights and onto the Brooklyn Bridge, students will examine the built environment and learn the stories of John, Washington, and Emily Roebling along with that of the workers who built the bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge Case Study Program Fees

Two-part program: $350
In-class program only: $175

Financial assistance provided by request on a limited basis for Title 1 NYC public schools. Email educ[email protected] to learn more.

Planning your visit
Please visit our FAQ page for more information about fees, group size, and directions for your bus.

Thanks to Our Partners and Sponsors

Funding for Brooklyn Bridge Case Study is generously provided in part by the National Grid Foundation.

Special Thanks

Education programs at Brooklyn Historical Society are also generously supported by Con Edison, the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, and the Kinder Morgan Foundation. Additional funding provided by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; New York State Assembly Members James Brennan and Jo Ann Simon; New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; and New York City Council members Laurie Cumbo, Brad Lander, and Stephen Levin.

Programs are also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York state Legislature, and are supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

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