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School Visits

Note: This program is currently under development; for more information please contact Marcia Eymann at (916) 808-5960 or

Students and teachers are invited to explore the Center’s collections with staff and volunteers, through discussions and exercises designed to encourage critical thinking. The visit provides hands-on learning with original museum artifacts and historical records and includes a tour of the Center’s vault (the climate-controlled storage area), normally closed to the public. Tours are appropriate for 4th grade students studying California history.

School Visit On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, fourth grade students from Empire Oaks Elementary School in Folsom, California visited the Center as part of their study of California history. Thirty-two students and their chaperones spent a few hours at the Center touring the vault, working with staff to create their own “exhibits,” and discovering artifacts through a historical treasure hunt. The students were later asked to compose essays on their visit.

CSH staff read, evaluated, and chose the winning essays according to the following criteria:

  1. Describing how history can be learned through historical objects and documents
  2. Doing this in a creative way using an artifact you learned about during your visit

The winning essays are:

1st Place: Alyssa Wang for her essay, “The Doll of 1920” (pdf)
2nd Place: Rayna Basa for her essay, “The Sewing Machine from 1910” (pdf)
3rd Place: Sebastian Sendrowski, for his essay, “Very Long Rifle” (pdf)
3rd Place: Jenna Winger, for her essay, “Emmit” (pdf)
3rd Place: Sarah Manhart, for her essay, “The Lucky Deck of Cards” (pdf)

Many thanks go out to all the students of Empire Oaks Elementary School for participating in the essay contest, and for thinking about history in wonderfully creative ways! Truly good essays are inspired by truly good teachers and Mrs. Clemmer obviously inspired her students and we appreciate her bringing them to the Center. Last but not least we thank the parent chaperones Mrs. Fruit and Mrs. Manhart for being a part of the field trip and helping to keep all of the students focused.