Cleveland History Center Education

Cleveland History Center Education

With over one million items in the WRHS collection, the Cleveland History Center has no shortage of stories to tell. Our programs for school and youth audiences share essential knowledge about Cleveland history, focusing on local stories that illuminate central themes in American history, and empower students through skill-based explorations of history, social studies, and entrepreneurship.

These programs may be booked individually or as a multi-grade continuum experience.

During the school year, education programs are generally available Tuesdays-Fridays, even if the museum is closed to the general public. Special arrangements may be made for Mondays and weekends with at least a month’s notice.

To discuss what programs may be the best fit for your students, continue reading, or contact or 216-721-5722 ext. 1503.

Program Fees

View General Admission rates and Membership options.

Facilitated Educational Experiences

  • $8/person.
  • 1 complimentary chaperone admission per 10 students.
  • Roundtrip mileage charge if the program is an outreach to your location.
  • Facilitated experiences include:
    • Educator-led program or tour in the museum galleries.
    • Lunch space, pending availability on the day of your visit.
    • A ride on the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, pending availability on the day of your visit.
  • Custom educational experiences, meaning programs or tours conducted by arrangement rather than selected from the list below, are available at the rate of $10/person, with 1 chaperone admission free per 10 students.

Self-Guided Educational Experiences

    • $6/student
    • 1 complimentary chaperone admission per 10 students.
    • Self-guided education experiences include:
      • Exploring all available galleries and exhibits at your own pace.
      • Lunch space, pending availability on the day of your visit.
      • A ride on the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, pending availability on the day of your visit.

Program Descriptions

Cleveland History Essentials

History on the Move
Grade Level: Pre-K to K
Estimated Program Length: 1 hour
In the early 1920s, a Clevelander named Garrett Morgan saw a problem in his city: the rising popularity of automobiles caused traffic snarls that put pedestrians in danger. Surrounded by the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum collection, students will learn the problem-solving skills that Morgan used to make a safer world for travelers. Then, students will explore how transportation has evolved through stories of Cleveland’s first female flight instructor and a daring adventurer who sailed the seas in a tiny sailboat named Tinkerbelle.

Getting Around
Grade Level: 1-2
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
Bikes, cars, airplanes, and boats – there are many ways of getting around, but how did travelers ensure they got to their destination in the days long before GPS? And just how did the term “Western Reserve” come about? In this program, students are invited to learn basic mapping skills by creating an oversize map of the Western Reserve and will then put their map keys and compass skills to use to develop a visitor map of the museum.

Into the Woods
Grade Level: 3-5
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
*Also available as an 90-minute outreach to your classroom!*
Long before our city was founded, early settlers arrived in the Western Reserve and found themselves sharing the land with the Eastern Woodland American Indians of the area. Using artifacts and immersive games, students will explore the relationship between land use and daily life while making comparisons between the two cultures to discover how people have met their basic needs over time.

From There to Here
Grade Level: 3-5
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
*Also available as an 90-minute outreach to your classroom!*
Unfold the story of an immigrant, migrant, or refugee family’s journey to Northeast Ohio from overseas and other regions of the United States. Students use kits of age-appropriate primary documents and artifacts to examine when and from where each family came, why they left their home country, and what their hopes meant for a future in Cleveland. Stories range from the 1840s to the 1980s and include European, Asian, Latinx, African-American, and Appalachian groups.

Cleveland Starts Here® Discovery Experience
Grade Level: 4-6
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
Experience the benefits of object-based learning within Cleveland Starts Here®, sponsored by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation, a multimedia experience that tells the stories of Cleveland through the people, families, communities, and cultures that made the city what it is today. Students will be immersed in this space in order to practice skills that historians use. At the end of their visit, students will be able to describe how Cleveland has changed over time, and what factors caused that change.

Carl & Louis Stokes Making History
Grade Level: 6-12
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
Through our Carl & Louis Stokes | Making History permanent exhibit at the Cleveland History Center, students will learn about the lives and legacies of two of Cleveland’s beloved sons. Through unique hands-on and kinesthetic activities, students explore the struggle for voting rights, wrestle with gerrymandering, and consider the importance of your political voice.

Cleveland Underground: Resistance and Compliance
Grade Level: 6-12
Estimated Program Length: 3.5 hours
This program was developed in partnership with University Circle, Inc., Restore Cleveland Hope, and the Cozad-Bates House Community Advisory Committee.
In this special experience, students visit both the Cozad-Bates House Interpretive Center and the Cleveland History Center. Students will investigate Cleveland’s Underground Railroad, exploring issues of personal choice and the alliances that enabled the area’s most active abolitionists. Through examining legal documents like the Northwest Ordinance and a historic local court case, students will discover how American slavery affected Northeast Ohioans, discuss concepts such as decision-making and consequences, and draw connections about the lasting impact of slavery, racism, and injustice.

Youth Entrepreneurship Education 

The Youth Entrepreneurship Education (YEE) continuum of programs was developed in collaboration with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District through the generous support of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. For more information on this program, visit the YEE page on our website. Participating 4th graders visit Hale Farm & Village, while participating 5th, 6th, and 7th graders visit the Cleveland History Center through the programs detailed below. These programs are available to all schools at our regular program rates.

If you are a teacher at a CMSD school or at select inner ring school districts, you and your students may be eligible to participate in the YEE continuum at no cost to your school. Please email for more information.

Setting the World in Motion
Grade Level: 5
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
Surrounded by the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum collection and examples of Cleveland’s most innovative minds of the 20th century, students identify the characteristics of an entrepreneur. Then, they imagine themselves as entrepreneurs and creatively use primary source documents to learn about productive resources and regional specialization. Scholars then use their gained knowledge as a class to complete an onsite business plan.

Grade Level: 6
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
Utilizing the Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection, the Chisholm Halle Costume Wing and Cleveland Starts Here®, students explore how Cleveland entrepreneurs shape and continue to influence the American and global experience through the fundamental questions of economics. They explore how supply and demand affect a marketplace, and then imagine ways to improve or update a museum artifact to meet the needs of a new target market.

Entrepreneurs in Communities
Grade Level: 7
Estimated Program Length: 2 hours
This program examines the essential question of how the entrepreneurial spirit supports a healthy community. Students will learn how entrepreneurs impact neighborhoods as both business owners and residents, and then use these observations to practice decision-making processes that entrepreneurs use to weigh their options. Then, students will examine a current Cleveland neighborhood as a case study to track available resources and determine how the health of a neighborhood might be restored through the engagement of entrepreneurs.

Guided Tour Experiences

Explore the Cleveland History Center galleries with our knowledgeable staff who are prepared to adjust tour content to fit the age level and interests of your group. For guided tours, your options are determined by what’s currently on display at the museum and the availability of our staff. We often plan tours to last between 45 minutes and and 1.5 hours, allowing some time afterward for your group to explore the museum on your own.

  • Cleveland History Center Overview Tour – focusing on how Cleveland has changed changed over time, this tour takes students through the core exhibits of the Cleveland History Center. From our Cleveland Starts Here® core exhibit through the Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection and other exhibits highlighting our areas unique history, students gain knowledge of the people, places, and ideas that made Cleveland what it is today.
  • Exhibit Tour – this tour will immerse students in 1-3 specific exhibits, permanent or temporary, for an in-depth exploration of the subject. Explore our current and upcoming exhibits here, and CHC Education Staff can confirm availability during the booking process.
  • Custom Tour – exploring something specific in your classroom? Hoping to make a text come alive for your students? Seeking local ties to national events? A custom tour may be the best option! CHC Education Staff will work with you to determine goals for the tour and map out a route/selection of artifacts through the museum.  Please note: this option may be charged at the $10/person custom program rate, and may require a month’s notice for planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book a program?
The easiest way is to fill out the online inquiry form at this link. It will give us all the information we need to complete your reservation, so we can contact you immediately with our availability. If you prefer to speak to the CHC Education Department directly, you are welcome to email or call 216-721-5722 ext. 1503.

How many chaperones should I bring?
We recommend 1 chaperone for every 10 students (that’s why those chaperones are admitted free!), but you are welcome to bring more at your discretion. Additional chaperones will be charged the $8 per person trip admission fee. Please contact us in advance to discuss special needs for additional chaperones.

I need to reschedule my program. What do we do now?
We understand plans change. Please try to notify us within 2 weeks of your program date. We do not issue refunds, but we are happy to work with you to reschedule a cancelled trip. To report a cancellation after hours, please call 216-721-5722 x1503 and leave your name, your school, and the date and time of your program.

A program I’ve booked in the past is not listed in this guide. Is it still available to my students?
As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and some exciting changes in our exhibit schedule, we have removed some programs from our list of connect you with local resources that may be able to help. We encourage you to reach out to our team at in order to find the program that best meets your classroom needs.

Do you offer financial assistance?
Although we cannot offer financial assistance, our staff will gladly work to connect you with local resources that may be able to help. Through our Youth Entrepreneurship Education (YEE) program, we are able to provide funded field experiences to teachers and students in grades 4-7 in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and in select inner ring school districts. Email for details.