INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES
The Museum can be an exciting classroom in which to learn about history, language arts, design and more. Through the education program at the American Sign Museum, teachers and group leaders have access to lesson plans, reading lists, customizable tour options, art projects and even scavenger hunts. Programs are available for students of all ages, and several are designed to be incorporated into the standard classroom curriculum. We’ll work with you to develop an innovative educational experience for your students.
The American Sign Museum is happy to host field trips for classes, with different 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). The museum also has a space where classes can eat lunch.
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. These tours typically last one hour. Here are a few examples of focused tours:
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. Eating a packed lunch at the museum can be arranged in advance.
The Museum requires 1 chaperone for every 5 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 our parking lot, as turning around can be difficult. We 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 developed in 2016 by Wade Swormstedt to serve as a liaison and strive for united efforts between such sign-related organizations as The American Sign Museum, the International Sign Association, University of Cincinnati, The Signage Research Foundation, the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research & Education, the United States Sign Council, and the three sign-industry publications: Signs of the Times, Signs & Digital Graphics, and Sign Builder Illustrated. FASI currently operates out of the American Sign Museum. FASI collects relevant news from all sign organizations, has developed a scholarship program for degrees related to signage, assists the American Sign Museum with communications and, most importantly, provides education about all things sign related.