Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, is a place where memories and stories are preserved. And through a full lineup of unique experience offerings, new memories are created as well.
Student groups immerse themselves in “America’s game” through a series of interactive experiences designed to engage and educate fans and fanatics alike.
Stephanie Hazzard is the director of education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Teachers can select one of 16 education modules for students to focus on, from statistics and geometry to physical science and geography,” she said. “These thematic modules help students access particular exhibits and artifacts during their visit.”
One of the most popular modules zeroes in on Jackie Robinson. Through a 30-minute classroom lesson, students are introduced to the impact of racial segregation on baseball and how baseball, in turn, was a precursor of the modern civil rights movement.
Museum educators then tour student groups through three floors of exhibits and view some of the 40,000 artifacts in the collection connected to the sport and its stories. Here, students come face-to-face with artifacts like uniforms, gloves and photographs that add further dimension to their learning module.
Self-directed scavenger hunts, including a themed “Starting Nine Experience” highlighting the nine must-see artifacts from each Major League Baseball team, further immerse visitors in the collection.
The Shoebox Treasures exhibit gives student visitors a fun, interactive way to explore the stories of teams and Hall of Farmers through baseball cards. “Before they leave, students can make their own digital baseball card on a touch screen,” Hazzard said.
Each year the “Autumn Glory” exhibit changes to tell the story of the World Series. Students can explore artifacts from the players and the series. “Students are always in awe of the dazzling World Series rings,” Hazzard said. The museum’s collection includes a display of all the previous series rings.
Baseball is woven into the fabric of America; its story is that of the nation. “Through the story of sport, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum provides a tool for students to think about the major themes of American history,” Hazzard said.
For more information on the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum call 607-547-7200 or go to baseballhall.org.
Article by Michael McLaughlin