Educational Resources

Museum Educator Joe Horvath presenting a lecture on World War I

Visiting Educator Program

Can't make a visit to the museum for a school group tour? Let the museum come to the classroom.  Some lecture presentations are accented by objects from the museum's for-use collections, specifically designated for educational purposes. Schools will be informed of the items for their approval. The Visiting Educator opportunities are available year round. For additional information, please contact Joe Horvath at 814-466-6263, Wednesday - Friday, 8:30 am-3:30 pm.

Available Presentations: 

  • The King of Battle: Civil War Artillery - The American Civil War was a turning point in history. Military tactics used were based on the 18th-century Napoleonic method. Battles were fought at close range. The only long-range weapon was artillery. Cannons and mortars were used to bombard fortifications, terrorize cities, and disrupt troop movements.  This presentation discusses the different types of artillery used throughout the war by each side and how they were implemented in battle.
  • Of Men, Mules & Machines: How America Entered World War One - World War I was the dawn of modern warfare, yet despite the invention of the automobile, tank, and aeroplane, horses and mules were used on the battlefields of France. Archival film footage of the Pennsylvania National Guard in France highlights this discussion on the mechanization of war. 
  • The Rise of the Beast: How the Nation Changed for Our Entry into World War One - Americans were evenly divided or unconcerned about the combatants on the killing fields of France in 1914. This presentation discusses America's slide into war on the decks of sinking merchantmen.  
  •  GAS! GAS! GAS! The Terrible Weapon of the Great War - This presentation discusses the use of chemical warfare in World War One, when your lungs and skin were your own worst enemy.
  • The World at War Part Two - Twenty-one years after the First World War, the world went to war once again. This presentation discusses Japan and Germany's rise of militarism and nationalism through the early 21st century, ending with the attacks against Poland and Pearl Harbor.

Education modules

Military conflict has drastically changed the face of this nation. In 2001, the collaboration between a middle school social studies teacher and museum educator resulted in the development of age-appropriate education modules on the Spanish/American War, World War One, and World War Two, that places Pennsylvania history within the context of U.S. and world history. While these modules are not an exhaustive study of a conflict, they do orient the reader to the events of a particular time period and the roles that Commonwealth citizens and industry played in the conflict.  Subsequent modules designed for junior and senior high on the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War are also available. 

The PDF modules are approximately thirty pages in length, divided into seven sections. Each section is illustrated by a time line, factoid boxes, and photos.