After School and Collaborative Programs

CASA: Young Curators | Teen Innovators | Exhibition Laboratory

Cultural After School Adventures: Young Curators

“Young Curators” turns classes of students into curators through 10-week in-school residencies with a BHS educator.  Students become the historians as they explore primary sources from BHS’s collections in order to uncover the history of their school and neighborhood.  Since launching this program in 2006, BHS has worked in collaboration with over ten different schools on more than a dozen projects. Each “Young Curators” program culminates in professionally designed, historian-vetted exhibit panels that can be displayed prominently in schools for continued learning. BHS “Young Curators” residencies are typically funded by Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) grants from New York City Council Members, though some schools have chosen to self-fund this program as well. BHS applies for funding in partnership with NYC public school administrators starting each spring. Want to hear more? Call 718.222.4111 ext. 241 or write to

During the spring 2013 semester, the CASA Young Curators of P.S. 312 in Bergen Beach conducted research focusing on the year 1863 in Brooklyn history. For the winter 2015 semester, P.S. 312 is taking all of their research and creating a book about Bergen Beach and Brooklyn’s Waterfront. Copies of the book will live in their library as well as the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Institutional Archives. To find out more about the program, check out past blog posts written by Young Curators educators: P.S. 32 and P.S. 276.

Teen Innovators

Teen Innovators is a teen afterschool program offered in collaboration between a community-based entity—the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92—and a cultural institution—Brooklyn Historical Society. Through the course of the program, teens explore the Brooklyn Navy Yard's history and its economic and cultural impact on the surrounding community throughout the years in order to understand the trajectory of this part of Brooklyn’s evolution, devolution and recent rebirth.

Students use BLDG 92 as a jumping off point to explore its historical and contemporary exhibitions, and visit businesses inside the Yard today. They synthesize their findings in final presentations and a group blog through photography, video and interviews with key players.

Click here to follow their progress!

Teen Innovators

Exhibition Laboratory

Exhibition Laboratory, or Ex Lab, as it is known by its participants, is an after-school program in which high school students learn the process of curating an exhibit from start to finish. With the help of Brooklyn Historical Society staff, students mine the collection for art and artifacts, conduct extensive background research, write the explanatory text which will illuminate this history, and choose specific graphic design elements to complete the look and feel of their exhibit.

The students in Ex Lab 2014 worked together to curate Sweet Industries: Refining What We Know, currently on display at Brooklyn Historical Society through May, 2015. See more here.

On February 24, 2015, we began the latest installment of Exhibition Laboratory (Ex Lab). This year, students are creating an exhibition about the Brooklyn Sewers. How did the sewers begin? Where were they originally? What were the original pipes made of? Click here to follow their progress, and then visit Brooklyn Historical Society to view the final exhibition, Brooklyn Sewers: What's Up Down There?

ExLab Sweet Industries