INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES
The Museum can be an exciting classroom to learn about history, language arts, design and more. Teachers and group leaders have used the Museum to create their own lesson plans, reading lists, tours, art projects and scavenger hunts. Programs seem best suited for students ages 10 and up.
The American Sign Museum hosts field trips for classes, with options for different types of classes and ages.
For many younger classes, field trips include a brief guided tour of the museum (20 minutes) followed by a scavenger hunt of the museum (30 minutes).
For older students, including high school and college classes, a full guided tour of the Museum (1 hour+) would be the focus of the field trip.
Educational tours can be tailored to a particular lesson plan or point of emphasis.
American History – This tour puts historical events in context with signs from the same time period: the discovery of electricity, the rise of the automobile, the world wars, the development of plastics, the space race, and more are all covered in this tour. Students can become immersed in the sights and sounds of the eras -- walking around Times Square on V-J Day or experiencing the Space Race.
Design – As much as the Museum documents American signage, it is also a beautifully restored collection of the evolution of design. Typeface design alone has changed tremendously, as shown in the American Sign Museum's century of signs. The evolution of color schemes, material choices, and trends are similarly brought to life by the bright and beautiful exhibit.
Science – A walk through the American Sign Museum is a walk through the Periodic Table of Elements. Many of these signs would be completely useless without an understanding of the noble gases or the strength of tin or stainless steel. This tour is a bit shorter than the others; however, it ends with a element scavenger hunt. Not so obvious choices like uranium, tungsten, and cobalt can be found hiding in plain sight!
PLANNING A VISIT
A visit to the Museum typically lasts approximately an hour.
The Museum requires one chaperone for every five students, because many of the objects are easily accessible. The Museum is only able to provide one staff person for each school group, so parents/volunteers/teachers/staff are needed to ensure a smooth visit.
School groups are priced per student, with chaperones/staff being complimentary. These visits are arranged at times when the Museum is closed to the public, typically a Monday or a Tuesday.
Buses should not pull into the parking lot, as turning around can be difficult. It is recommend parking buses on Monmouth Avenue, and walking the children into the parking lot and then into the Museum’s entrance. Please note: The Museum’s parking lot is also a thoroughfare for residents of a nearby apartment complex; cars may be moving through the parking lot.
Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry
The Foundation for the Advancement of the Sign Industry (FASI) was founded in 2016 by Wade Swormstedt, former editor of Signs of the Times, to support the on-premise sign industry and serve as a liaison for united efforts by other industry-related organizations and publications. Upon Mr. Wade Swormstedt’s retirement in December 2018, Bill Dundas succeeded Mr. Wade Swormstedt as Executive Director. Mr. Dundas has an extensive sign-industry background, in addition to serving as the former Technical Editor of Signs of the Times magazine and, more recently, as Director of Technical & Regulatory Affairs for the International Sign Association (ISA). The FASI website www.fasi.org provides the latest industry-related news and maintains an online archive of relevant, out-of-print publications. FASI also supports the efforts of academic institutions and other groups conducting sign-related research. Additionally, the Foundation has developed a scholarship program to support students pursuing research in disciplines related to signage. Most importantly, FASI provides educational resources, technical knowledge and advocacy support for sign professionals.