Bring Your Class
Our unique programs connect local events with broad themes in U.S. history and STEM subjects.
Due to COVID-19, all education offerings are suspended until further notice. These include programs and workshops at our Pierrepont Street and DUMBO locations, and for our partners at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; special afterschool programs for rising curators and historians; and educator workshops.
We offer school programs 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 school programs.
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.
NEW Self-Guide Tour! Discovering Hidden History on the Waterfront (grades 2-5)
Use our exhibition scavenger hunt to structure your exploration of our Waterfront exhibition. Our staff will provide your group with the supplies needed to guide them on an inquiry into Brooklyn’s past.
Students will learn about the nineteenth- and twentieth-century communities of Brooklyn’s working waterfront and will have an opportunity to touch, see, and smell commodities once stored along the Brooklyn waterfront. They will leave understanding more about the relationship between Brooklyn and national history and the relationship of geography and history. Self-guided experience optimized for grades 2–5. Program duration: 45-60 minutes.
BHS DUMBO Program Fees
All classes: $50
Includes all materials.
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.
NEW! All Aboard! (grades Special)
New for 2019-2020
This accessible, interdisciplinary program connects the past to the present through a study of ships built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Designed with the needs of special education classrooms in mind, this multi-modal program accommodates diverse learning styles, including a custom bus trip into the modern yard to see present-day ships and a hands-on art-making workshop where students design their own ships. All Aboard! programs take place while the museum is closed to the public for audiences who are sensitive to noise and crowds.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] with any questions you have about how this program can benefit your special education classroom.
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
Public School Classes: Free
Private, parochial, and independent school classes: $175
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 the exhibition by artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s An Opening, which was inspired by Brooklyn Historical Society’s Muslims in Brooklyn project. Eleventh- and twelfth-graders and undergraduate and graduate students can participate in customized library seminars. Browse the complete Pierrepont Street options below.
Our Brooklyn Communities (grades 2-12)
Using our current exhibitions, Taking Care of Brooklyn and An Opening, students use social history to study the people who populate Brooklyn’s communities, both past and present, and consider some of the ways Brooklyn defines a community. This program will leverage our Muslims in Brooklyn oral history excerpts with students of all ages.
Mapping Brooklyn (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.
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. Availabilities are for Spring 2020.
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 [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.
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.