Place-Based School Programs

With its abundant resources, Stan Hywet is the perfect place to make history and science come alive! In close collaboration with public and private school districts, Stan Hywet’s Education Department is leveraging our one-of-a-kind collection and archives, as well as our expert staff and volunteers to engage students and their teachers in standards-based, multi-disciplinary, hands-on, real-world learning experiences, all aligned with Common Core and the New Ohio Learning Standards.



Two programs, Meet the Staff and Preserving the Past developed in partnership with Akron Public Schools continue to grow. 

Meet the Staff is a program focused on immigration where students investigate primary sources including photos, letters and census records, and then visit with first person interpreters to uncover the real-life stories of Stan Hywet’s mostly foreign-born domestic staff.  

Preserving the Past is a problem-based learning STEM program where students investigate historic photos and blueprints, and collect, analyze and interpret soil testing data in order to solve a real-life problem: historic preservation of a 100-year-old landscape design.

​This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Old Trail School Project-Based Learning Curriculum

Each spring, sixth grade students from Old Trail School (OTS) participate in a week-long project-based learning curriculum here at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.  OTS teachers, in consultation with Stan Hywet education department staff, use the Estate and its collection of archival resource materials to develop and facilitate lessons covering a wide range of topics from geology and Latin, to world history and photography. The project culminates with a presentation day during which students (through a variety of projects and demonstrations) present why Stan Hywet is an important part of the community.

Our shared goal is that this program will enhance both Stan Hywet and Old Trail, providing each with meaningful outcomes that fulfill mission, add value, and offer sustainable, tangible results for many years to come.


Teacher Feedback

Akron history never quite comes alive [in the classroom]. ..this did.

“The students were engaging in a real life situation where they were making a difference.”

“I think this is a brilliant engaging program. I noticed with all of the wonderful sources the students were making many inferences [which]…connects with the standard skill they need to master.  Excellent.”

“The students were allowed to move, to talk, to touch things, to ask questions and interact.  Usually a field trip is a “be quiet and listen to a docent describe something” with no chance of interaction.”

“Students had a chance to walk into the past and feel what it was like to live in another time.”
 

Stan Hywet’s focused partnership with Akron Public Schools and Old Trail School demonstrates our stewardship of an ongoing environment of learning that reaches beyond the classroom, draws connections with lessons and resources in the outside world, and links students with learning resources within their community. These programs will continue to serve as a model for future expansion.
 

Funding for educational programs has been graciously provided by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, the Dominion Foundation and the OMNOVA Foundation.