History Lab Field Trips

Following health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19, as issued by the Washington State Department of Health and the Governor's Office, and the resulting school closures, Washington State Historical Society has canceled History Lab through the remainder of the school year.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as our region works to limit the impacts of the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming students in the 2020-21 school year. 

If you have questions, please email Lead Programs Manager Molly Wilmoth at

Grades 3-8
The History Lab facilitated program is available during the academic year on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with sessions from 9:30-11am or 11am-12:30pm.
We strongly recommend at least one chaperone for every five students. 

In the History Lab, students employ critical thinking and apply their own perspectives, led by a museum facilitator. Students become historians in this engaging, one-and-a-half hour facilitated field trip where they work in small groups to learn about historical evidence by interacting directly with objects. Artifacts and ephemera are used as primary sources to explore Washington State’s history through object analysis and deep artifact-based inquiry. 
Our new format offers more hands-on opportunities, interdisciplinary practices and concepts, and engaging questions. 
Is a History Lab Field Trip right for your class? Check these requirements:
  • Your class is Third Grade or above. (The Labs are written at 4th grade and Middle School levels). 
  • You have only one or two adjacent grade levels. (Ex: A 4th/5th grade group is fine, a 4th – 8th grade group is not). 
  • You have a minimum of 15 students. 
  • This program is offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. 
  • Your group can stay the entire time slot (9:30-11am or 11am-12:30pm). 
  • The Lab can accommodate up to two classes per time slot – four classes total for the day. 
If you can meet these requirements, feel free to book a History Lab Field Trip. If not, we welcome you to book a Self-Guided Field Trip, which has more flexibility with times and numbers. 
If you plan on a History Lab field trip, prepare by placing students in chaperone groups based on their complementary strengths, as these groups will work together in the Lab. Also, explore our pre-visit lesson activitie sto help you adapt materials for your students.

Next Steps
Once you have selected which type of field trip is best for your group:
1. Explore funding options for your group on our Field Trip Costs and Scholarships webpage.
2. Please review our Know Before You Go webpage for guidelines about the logistics of your visit. 
For more information, contact the Education Department

History Lab Pre-Visit

Click here for a brief pre-visit lesson on primary sources and interacting with objects.

Ready for artifact and ephemera analysis? Check out the pre-visit photo gallery as part of your pre-visit lesson.

History Lab Extension Lessons

You can also explore the artifact and ephemera you experienced in the History Lab lesson through this photo gallery.

History Lab Chaperones

Download a schedule and map for your school's visit.
Check out these guiding questions for chaperones they can use in the History Lab with their group.