Visiting the History Lab
Where can you place your face in the Decameter, replay the past with a push of a button, or play a round of Postcard Place? The answer: In the History Lab learning center.
Get 360-degree Quicktime views and photos of the Learning Center.
Now open on the 5th floor of the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, the History Lab learning center engages visitors with interactive exhibits featuring such historical concepts as time, Place, Viewpoint, Exploration, and Precedent. In the learning center, visitors of all ages are encouraged to use the Tools of the History Trade (artifacts, ephemera, books & periodicals, people, maps, and images) to think like detectives in search of evidence. Because, as History Lab virtual curator Inspecta Detecta points out, "every time we turn around, we're faced with a History Mystery that needs to be solved." You just need to know how. And discovering how to "do history" is what the History Lab is all about.
Class Visits to the Learning Center
Specially facilitated class programs are offered in the History Lab learning center Tuesday through Friday at 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30, and 2:00pm. The History Mystery programs run for an hour and a half and can accommodate up to 30 students. Visit the Class Tour page for more information and to make a reservation.
The Making of the History Lab Learning Center
Taking years to design and months to fabricate, the History Lab Learning Center opened to the public on June 10th, 2001. The construction began in April, and we have lots of pictures showing the process of installing the History Lab exhibits.
Want to know more? Here are some specifics:
The History Lab Website
Launched in 1999, the History Lab web site is home to online activities for students, curriculum and professional development notices for teachers, and our "Electronic Donor Wall" featuring the multitude of project donors who have helped make History Lab real.
The History Lab Outreach Kit
Due to premiere during the 2001-2002 school year, the History Lab Outreach Kit is essentially the traveling version of the learning center. It will include both a CD-ROM or DVD of specially designed History Lab learning software and a student- and teacher-friendly book that highlights different areas of the exhibit while explaining each historical thinking concept and tool.
Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers and School Administrators
The History Lab Summer Institutes are designed to help teachers learn to integrate historical thinking concepts and tools with many different study areas, including science, art, math, and literacy. Each institute concentrates on a different concept or tool while workshops provide a general hands-on overview. Curriculum units are being developed to support each concept as well as the use of various tools.
History Lab Workshops
Offered through school districts, ESDs, and the Historical Society, these 1-2 day workshops introduce teachers to History Lab methodology using the seven historical thinking concepts and seven "tools of the history trade." Workshops can be full day or half-day, an in-service presentation or optional day hands-on methods course.
History Lab Summer Institutes
Focusing on a different concept or set of tools each year, History Lab Summer Institutes run four intensive days during the month of August. Credit and clock hours are offered to all participants. Curriculum from all past Institutes is available here.