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Youth Education

The History Center’s Education Department is committed to making history “real” and meaningful by underscoring how past events shape present realities. While the focus of our programs is the history of Tompkins County, we strive to tie local developments to the nation’s history. To this end, our programs are student-centered, use primary sources and original artifacts where appropriate, and seek to strengthen the general public’s knowledge of the issues which define our times, as well as fostering an appreciation for the past.

As The History Center is currently closed, we will be postponing all youth and family programs. In the meantime, check out these fun "History at Home" activities!

Explore "The Tommy Plane" - make your own planes and more! - 4 attached activities and crafting projects


 Coming soon:

The Ithaca Kitty - write your own stories 

Be a Youth Historian - what are the stories of your community?


When we're back in person:

Youth & Family Programs:

Join us for our series of youth & family programs, "From Seeds to Wisdom: Exploring Haudenosaunee Cycles," in partnership with members of the Haudenosaunee community. Each month will explore a different aspect of Haudenosaunee culture & history. FREE to all!

Youth Comic Book Workshop
Saturday, March 28, 10:30am-12:00pm - POSTPONED
Learn how to make your own comic books, with Author Michael Watson, whose comic "Ithaqa" features local history including the silent film industry in Ithaca!
comic book flyer

School-based programs:

The Eight Square Schoolhouse Living History program is designed for fourth grades and home school groups. Step back in time to 1892 and experience a school-day in this one-room school building built in 1892. Questions students will explore: What was it like for children to attend a rural one room school in the late 19th century? What is the purpose of education? How does this history impact who I am today?

Loan Kits, including photos, maps, and artifacts are designed for multiple ages and bring local history to your classroom. 

Field trips: Visit The History Center with your class! Explore local history and make connections to your classroom curriculum. Open to grades pre-K through 12. Field trips connect with our exhibits and can include: Haudenosaunee history & culture, The Tommy Plane, The People of Tompkins County, Maps throughout Tompkins County history, and more. We can also design a program with you to meet your classroom needs.


Teen Programs

The History Center is a site and organization that welcomes young people and respects the ideas and interests of youth in this community. Out of school programs for teens include:

  • Generation to Generation: Collecting and Sharing Stories - an intergernational oral history project
  • Youth Ambassador Program - a youth leadership council

 Teens: Want volunteer or community service hours? Get involved with The History Center!

  • Volunteer for History Forge - HistoryForge is an innovative digital history project from The History Center in Tompkins County which combines historic maps and photos, as well as census records about the people who lived in Ithaca, creating a new way to visualize the history of Ithaca in the early 1900s.

    No experience is necessary! Please contact Eve at for more information

  • Volunteer at Youth programs or other History Center events. Contact Julia (info below) for more details.

For more information on any of these programs, or to schedule a program, contact Julia Taylor, Director of Youth Education, for more information: or 607-273-8284 x229

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