An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Museum Education

Idaho State Historical Museum Education Programs

Summer Camp Fun

Photo Credit: ISHS


School Groups

We might be closed for renovations, but the Museum can still visit you! 
For the school year 2014 – 2015, one free outreach visit will be provided per school/grade level within a 60 miles radius of the museum.  Outreach programs are only available on Mondays and Thursdays.  Visits can be scheduled beginning Monday, August 18, 2014.  The following programs will be ready to visit your classroom:

  • Native Americans – Hunting and Gathering
  • Lewis and Clark and the Indians of Idaho
  • Fur Trappers
  • The Oregon Trail – What Is It?
  • Mining in Idaho
  • The History of Boise

Additional visits can be scheduled with a fee of $25 per classroom.  For example, if there are three classes in the 4th grade a fee of $75 will be charged. Payment will be expected the day of the visit.

We have very limited dates remaining in Feb., March, and April. To schedule a program to visit your classroom, please send an email to with the following information:

  • Your name and phone number
  • School name and address
  • Grade, number of classes, number of students
  • Desired program
  • Three dates to visit and a breakdown of class rotation times.

Reminder - Outreach only available on Mondays and Thursdays.
Our Outreach Coordinator will send you a confirmation email with time and program preference. We would advise that schools and teachers schedule early, as our outreach program fills quickly. We have two programs that we will be testing and developing over the next year:  The Chinese in Idaho – geared toward 4th graders and Minidoka: Internment Camp in our Backyard  - geared toward students in 6th – 12th grades.  Please send an email if you would like to be considered to be a testing classroom.  This will involve several visits to the classroom setting from an educator.


Education Programs

The museum programs are not lectures. They are participatory learning experiences for students. These programs use a combination of hands-on demonstrations, close-up examination of artifacts, and thought-provoking explanations by our docent staff to bring history alive for your students.

Native Americans

Explore the history of the Idaho tribes through hunting and gathering tools, talking about the differences between the tribes and similarities.  Students will get hands on experience with grinding corn by using a mortar and pestle.    (30 – 45 minutes, Grades 1 – 12)

Fur Trappers

In the early 1800s, the only Europeans in the Idaho region were fur trappers, Learn about the lives of these brave mountain men though an examination of museum artifacts.  (30 – 45 minutes, Grades 4 – 5)

Lewis and Clark and the Indians

As the Corps of Discovery made their epic journey across the west, they crossed land occupied by 50 different Native American tribes.  Learn how Lewis and Clark communicated with the people they encountered and play a short game that illustrates the difficulty of conversing without spoken language. (30 – 45 minutes, Grades 4 – 5)

The Oregon Trail

In the mid-1800s thousands of pioneers passed through Idaho on the Oregon Trail.  In this program we will discuss the hardships of the pioneer lifestyle and closely examine some of the artifacts they might have brought with them on the trail by playing a challenging game of “What Is It?” (30 – 45 minutes, Grades 4 – 5)

Mining in Idaho

Learn how the discovery of gold was important to Idaho’s statehood and examine artifacts used for mining in Idaho’s past.  Try your hand at panning for “gold”.  (30 – 45 minutes, Grades 4 – 5)

The History of Boise

Take a quick tour of Treasure Valley history with a kid-friendly program slide show and a few museum artifacts to illustrate what life was like in Old Boise.  (30 – 45 minutes, Grades 3 – 12)

The Chinese in Idaho – IN DEVELOPMENT

In the late 1800s many Chinese settlers came to Idaho to try their luck during the gold rush.  Yet little remains to tell the story of their lives.  This program combines a slide show with an examination of primary source documents, and cultural items from the museum collection.

Minidoka Internment Camp – IN DEVELOPMENT

Through a slide show and primary source documents, students explore the conditions that led up to the creation of the Japanese Internment Camp in Hunt, Idaho.