Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

Schools & Educators

School Programs

Give your students a museum experience unlike any other!​

METC Education programs inspire learners of all ages to ask questions about the world around us. Using the history of the early New Jerseyans as our backdrop, our programs emphasize the intersection of history and cultural heritage in New Jersey and support the NJ State educational curriculum. Each one of our specialized programs incorporates authentic materials and objects. We offer programs from ages Pre-K to Grade 12. From the first steps inside our historic building to the active learning sessions to the exciting exhibits, our educational programs encourage imagination, critical thinking, student inquiry and project-based learning while supporting a lifelong love of learning.

COVID-19 Policy

In accordance with Executive Order 251, beginning March 7, 2022 the following applies to fully vaccinated individuals: Mask wearing in our museum building and Education Annex is optional for all fully vaccinated individuals, including staff.  For individuals that are not fully vaccinated, it is strongly recommended to wear a mask when in the museum or Annex, to protect those who remain at risk. While this is our current policy, individuals including parents and guardians need to make masking decisions based on their specific situation.   

This policy may be subject to change.

Spanish Language Programs

Most programs can be presented in Spanish. Please contact the Education Department at education@metc.org or 973-377-2982 ext. 12 to discuss this further.

Scholarship Funding

METC does have limited scholarship funds to cover the cost of programs for school groups. Please contact the Education Department at education@metc.org or 973-377-2982 ext. 12 to find out if your school is eligible.

Available Formats

METC can tailor any of our programs to any format to  address your specific needs. We offer our programs in person at the museum or your school, hybrid, or  virtually.

Duration: 45 minutes*

Number of Students:Up to 25-30*

Cost: $100 base charge + any optional craft add-on noted in program description**

These live, interactive programs can be conducted either via the Museum’s Zoom or via whatever platform your school uses. Regardless of which platform is used, a test call with the teacher must be scheduled prior to the program.

*Modifications or accommodations may be possible for all aspects of the program, please contact the Education Department at education@metc.org or 973-377-2982 ext. 12 to discuss options.

**Supplies for optional craft add-ons can either be shipped to a single location for an additional shipping fee or may be picked up at the museum. Any program that includes supplies must be booked at least 6 weeks in advance.

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

Number of Students: 50 max per session

Cost: $10 per student; minimum 10 students

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

Number of Students: 50 – 60 max per session

Cost: $250 for the first class; $200 for each additional class on the same day. Plus travel.

Planning Your Program

  • Programs are available Tuesday through Friday, Monday by special arrangement.
  • Classroom teachers and chaperones must remain with their students during the sessions;
    one adult for every 10 children is recommended.
  • If you plan to let your students visit our Museum shop, please confirm when making your reservation.
  • An indoor space may be available for your students to eat lunch. If you are interested in this option, please inquire at time of booking. All arrangements to eat lunch indoors must be made prior to the day of the program. There is ample outdoor space to eat.
  • The Museum will make every effort to reschedule programs canceled due to inclement weather or technical issues
  • A deposit of 50% of the total program cost is required to secure your reservation.
  • No refunds will be made for programs canceled less than 2 weeks prior to the confirmed date.
  • Final confirmation of the number of participants must be made 5 days in advance.

The Museum building is accessible in compliance with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  A ground-level entrance with an elevator allows barrier-free access to all public levels of the museum building.

  • Supplies sent to you as part of an optional Craft Add-on for Interactive Virtual Experiences are yours to keep. Your students will each get a physical take away to complement their virtual learning experience.**
  • METC does not provide basic supplies such as markers, glue sticks, scissors for any Interactive Virtual Experiences or Craft Add-on.
  • Any Craft Add-On activity is available as stand alone activity or paired in conjunction with our Digital Lesson Plans. Contact the Education Department to discuss this option further.

** Supplies for optional craft add-ons can either be shipped to a single location for an additional shipping fee or may be picked up at the museum. Any program that includes supplies must be booked at least 6 weeks in advance.

Available Programs

Pre-K to 1st Grade

✔ At METC

Learn about griffins, gargoyles and other mythological creatures. Hear the legend of St. George & the Dragon and enjoy our Griffin Garden. Role-play the part of the dragon, hear other dragon stories, and make a dragon to take home.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ At METC ✔ Outreach ✔ Live Virtual

Let’s Play! Experience how Early American children played, discover how early toys were made, and learn how “free time” has changed and stayed the same.

In-person Field Trips & Outreach Programs: Includes playing with replicas of toys from early America and decorating a spinning top.

Interactive Virtual Experiences: Includes comparison of toys and play time then and now, demonstration of reproduction historic toys, a color mixing lesson and decorating a spinning top.

Cost: $2 / per child in addition to program fee to cover supplies costs (1 wooden top and 1 paint brush). Plus shipping if applicable. Paint/markers/other medium for decorating the top not included.

** Supplies can either be shipped to a single location for an additional shipping fee or may be picked up at the museum. Any program that includes supplies must be booked at least 6 weeks in advance.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

1st to 2nd Grade

✔ At METC ✔ Outreach ✔ Live Virtual ✔ Digital Written Lesson Plan ✔ Digital Video Lesson Plan

Early Americans developed tools to save time and energy using simple machines. Explore the functions of the inclined plane, screw, lever, wedge, wheel & axle, and pulley through close-up examination of the Museum’s artifacts. In cooperative learning groups, present findings to the class.

In-person Field Trips & Outreach Programs: Includes hands-on examination of objects from the Museum’s Education Collection and decorating a simple machine to take home.

Interactive Virtual Experiences, Optional Craft add-on: Make and decorate a pinwheel, an example of a simple machine.

Cost: $2 / child for a pinwheel kit, plus shipping if applicable. Markers to decorate not included.

This craft can be done on your own with your class (written and video instructions included).

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ At METC ✔ Live Virtual ✔ Digital Video Lesson Plan

What was it like to be a child living in Early American times? Was it very different from how children live today, or are there similarities? Participants will act out a day-in-the-life of a child living on an early 1800s farm, problem-solving the challenges they faced.

In-person Field Trips: Includes making clay marbles

Interactive Virtual Experiences: Optional Craft add-on: Making clay marbles

Cost: $2 / child for supplies to make a set of marbles, plus shipping if applicable.

This craft can be done on your own with your class (written and video instructions included).

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ At METC ✔ Outreach ✔ Live Virtual ✔ Digital Written Lesson Plan ✔ Digital Video Lesson Plan

Students compare 21st and 19th century learning and school life, while examining reproduction 19th century school supplies to experience being a student in a one-room schoolhouse.

In-person Field Trips & Outreach Programs: Students will try their hand at writing with a quill or dip pen on a “hornbook” to take home.

Interactive Virtual Experiences: Optional Craft add-on: Ink writing

Cost: $5 / child for a dip pen and ink, plus shipping if applicable

This craft can be done on your own with your class (written and video instructions included).

📥 Teacher’s Packet

3rd to 5th Grade

✔ At METC ✔ Live Virtual ✔ Digital Written Lesson Plan ✔ Digital Video Lesson Plan

Explore the difficult challenges immigrants encountered in the mid-1800s and the factors that drove so many to make this choice. Students will experience what it meant to travel from far away countries to settle in New Jersey by taking on the roles of real 19th century New Jersey immigrants. The museum’s exhibits and artifacts will provide context to help students understand the ways in which these diverse groups worked together to solve the challenges their communities faced, and to relate these individual stories to the present.

In-person Field Trips: Includes examining and “packing” actual 19th century objects.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ At METC ✔ Outreach ✔ Live Virtual

Become a citizen in an early 19th century community. Who did you depend on and interact with? What was your role in the community? Learn about the blacksmith, the miller, the cabinetmaker, the farmer and more, while exploring their interconnectivity and interdependence within their communities.

In-person Field Trips & Outreach Programs: Become a Tinsmith Apprentice and make a tin-punching craft.

Interactive Virtual Experiences: Optional Craft add-on: Tin-punching

Cost: $5/ child for a tin to punch and nail for punching, plus shipping if applicable. Hammer not included.

This craft can be done on your own with your class (written and video instructions included).

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ At METC ✔ Live Virtual ✔ Digital Written Lesson Plan

What was this object used for? What problem did it solve for its user? What does it tell us about life in the past? Students will examine objects from the Museum’s collection, and have fun trying to figure out how it would have been used in the 1800s.

In-person Field Trips: Includes exploring the museum’s exhibits to discover more objects and how they bring the past to life.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ Live Virtual

Be inspired to change the world around you! This program examines social justice through the lens of the ways in which several NJ activists achieved change and the role ordinary individuals play in improving the world around them.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ Live Virtual

Experience the drastic changes in the labor force that occurred in the early to mid-19th century and the early strikes and collective action in New Jersey that helped lay the groundwork for broader union development later in the century.

6th to 12 Grade

✔ At METC ✔ Outreach ✔ Live Virtual ✔ Digital Written Lesson Plan ✔ Digital Video Lesson Plan

Explore the impact of the American Revolution on New Jersey civilians with varied perspectives on the conflict, including Tories, enslaved people, iron workers and farmers. METC’s historic artifacts enhance and contextualize the program and a creative writing activity completes the program.

In-person Field Trips & Outreach Programs: Includes completing the creative writing activity with a quill pen and ink.

Interactive Virtual Experiences: Optional Craft add-on: Completing the creative writing with a quill pen and ink.

Cost: $5 / child for a quill pen and ink, plus shipping if applicable

The activity will be introduced at the end of your program, but can be completed on your own with your class, with or without quill and ink (written and video instructions included).

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ At METC

Use METC’s beautiful building to explore how architecture combines form and function in a unique way. Discover different architectural techniques and terms, then design a stained-glass window inspired by the ones in the METC building. “Take home” parts of the METC building by creating rubbings from the building itself.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

✔ Live Virtual

Find out what made New Jersey uniquely forward-thinking in terms of voting rights following the American Revolution and explore what changed, and why, in the early 19th century.

📥 Teacher’s Packet

“The enthusiasm of the instructors was contagious! Hands-on project made the learning authentic. After the program the kids could not stop talking about how much they enjoyed the program.”
James Caldwell School, Springfield
“Children were engaged and enthusiastic and were excited to have something to bring home with them.”
Mendham Township Elementary School

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