Plan a Field Trip
Vulcan Park and Museum is your student's gateway to learning our region's history. Vulcan excites a love for learning through programs and exhibits designed for students of all ages and learning styles. At the end of each tour, students ascend Vulcan's Observation Tower for an unforgettable view of the region.
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Guided Tours allow students to explore the city of Birmingham and beyond through grade-appropriate instruction, interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits and an optional take-away project that students can complete back in the classroom. Content is across the curriculum, with an emphasis on social studies. Thanks to a partnership with the Birmingham-Southern College Department of Education, content in our Guided Tours is carefully aligned with the Alabama Course of Study. Detailed grids of ACOS outcomes by grade are available below.
Guided Tours now begin as early as 9 am!
Cost: $4 per student; $5 per chaperone. Teachers admitted free. Includes entrance to park grounds, Vulcan Center Museum, Observation Tower, and Gift Shop. Tour can accommodate up to 60 visitors in an hour. Offered year-round.
Grade-appropriate Options for Guided Tours:
[ Grades K5-2 ] Birmingham Families, Then and Now
Explore how families lived in various times in Birmingham's history. Students learn how children played and went to school in company towns, what their parents did for work, how families of all backgrounds celebrated the heritage they brought with them from other parts of the world and how children changed Birmingham forever.
Click here for ACOS outcomes for Birmingham Families, Then and Now.
[ Grades 3-5 ] My Story, Our Story
Imagine how people in Birmingham responded to and transformed their city. Students explore how individuals and groups lived through pivotal events and times in Alabama and American history, which include Westward Expansion, Reconstruction, Industrialization, the Great Depression and the Civil Rights era.
Click here for ACOS outcomes for My Story, Our Story.
[ Grades 6-8 ] Birmingham and Social Justice
Challenge your students to consider the experiences of Birmingham's social and cultural groups and how these groups have interacted with one another at various stages of the city's history. Students explore such factors as immigration, rural migration to the city and legal and social challenges to equality and fairness Birmingham has faced throughout various stages of the city's history.
Click here for ACOS outcomes for Birmingham and Social Justice.
[ Grades 9-12 ] Impacting Birmingham and the World
Examine the challenges Birmingham has faced during various chapters in the city's history and determine lessons that can help students positively impact their world as young adults. Students look at the city's founding and early growth in the late 1800s; Birmingham during the Great Depression and World War II; postwar Birmingham and the Civil Rights era; the city's transition from an industrial to a technology-based economy; and Birmingham as the hub of an expansive metropolitan area.
Click here for ACOS outcomes for Impacting Birmingham and the World.
Explore Birmingham history through a unique one-hour field trip to Vulcan Park and Museum using our Teachers' Guide, a resource for understanding Vulcan Park and Museum's indoor and outdoor exhibits. Self-Guided tours leave the planning to the teacher and require the ongoing guidance of teachers and chaperones to ensure that students move through the museum as a group; however, our experienced education staff is happy to assist you.
Cost: $4 per student; $5 per chaperone. Teachers admitted free. Includes entrance to park grounds, Vulcan Center Museum and Vulcan's Observation Tower. Tour can accommodate up to 90 visitors in an hour. Offered year-round.
Tours with a Twist
Anything is Possible
[ Grades 3-12 ]
See our museum exhibits come to life through a live theatrical performance inside the galleries of Vulcan Center Museum. Professional actors weave the story of the people, materials and ideas that transformed Birmingham from a sleepy cornfield in Jones Valley to a dynamic industrial city and the cradle of the modern civil rights era. Students encounter a host of Birmingham visionaries including John Milner, James MacKnight, Giuseppe Moretti and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over 140 years of Birmingham and American history are covered in this engaging work written by playwright Lee Shackleford and commissioned by Vulcan Park and Museum. After the performance, students can extend learning through activities in Vulcan Center Museum and a trip to Vulcan's Observation Tower.
Video clip of Anything is Possible.
Cost: $5 per student and chaperone. Teachers admitted free. Performance lasts approximately 30 minutes and can accommodate up to 30 students at a time. Times and dates are limited.
Click here for Anything is Possible ACOS outcomes for grades 3-5.
Click here for Anything is Possible ACOS outcomes for grades 6-12.
Class on the Grass
[ Grades 3-8 ]
Enjoy a half day of outdoor fun and interdisciplinary learning with Vulcan! Class on the Grass features our Guided Tour and a performance of Vulcanalia, an outdoor children's dance piece performed by Alabama Ballet dancers, choreographed by Roger Van Fleteren and commissioned by Vulcan Park and Museum. With the city skyline as a backdrop, Vulcanalia tells the story of the Roman god of the forge and, when combined with activities from our Teachers' Guide, offers lessons in language arts, science, history and fine arts.
Video clips of Vulcanalia Ballet (Part 1) and Vulcanalia Ballet (Part 2).
Field Trip Add-Ons
Electra Event Room
Teachers looking to extend learning after their school group's tour can schedule use of the Electra Event Room. Offering incredible views of downtown Birmingham, this spacious room is conveniently located inside Vulcan Center and can be reserved for up to two hours for a pre- or post-vist project or talk led by a member of Vulcan Park and Museum's education staff.
Cost: $200 for two hours. $250 with educational staff member leading a post-visit project. Includes event room, tables, chairs and AV equipment. Accomodates up to 100 students.
Collaborative Field Trips
To help streamline paperwork and travel costs, Vulcan Park and Museum recommends a piggy-back tour with Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute or Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, among other cultural institutions. Take a look at some suggested itineraries that will help maximize the educational value of your field trip!
Vulcan's Traveling Trunk
Prepare your students for their visit to Vulcan Park and Museum with Vulcan's Traveling Trunk, a collection of hands-on objects from our educational collection. This collection of books, minerals, worksheets and materials is suited to elementary and middle school exploration and connects to Alabama Course of Study outcomes. With help from Vulcan's Traveling Trunk Activity Guide, students will study history from the perspective of those who lived it.
Vulcan Face to Face
[ Grades 2-5 ]
Vulcan Face to Face is a fun way to prepare students for their upcoming visit to Vulcan Park and Museum. Performed by Vulcan's plush mascot “V” with support from a Vulcan Park and Museum education staff member, this interactive 20-minute classroom performance provides entertaining lessons on history, science and art; excites students about future exploration of Vulcan and our region; and raises teacher awareness of how to effectively use Vulcan Park and Museum's educational content to advance the Alabama Course of Study. Cost and availability vary.
Vulcan Park and Museum has partnered with Chick-fil-A Five Points South to offer an affordable, healthy and convenient lunch option for our school groups. For more information, please contact Rosslyn Singleton at 205.420.3636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.