Teen and Afterschool Programs
In-school Residencies: Young Scholars/ Young Curators
Brooklyn Historical Society offers in-school and afterschool residencies to support literacy, Social Studies curricula, and critical-thinking.
- Young Curators: Students collaboratively research and curate an exhibit about their school’s neighborhood. Professionally designed exhibit panels can be hung at the school to showcase their work for years to come.
- Young Scholars: Students work collaboratively to research and write a book about the history of their school or neighborhood. Copies of their professionally designed and printed book will be available to them and also archived at BHS for generations to come.
More info: Both Young Scholars and Young Curators programs are offered in partnership with individual elementary or middle schools. Each program introduces a group of students in grades 4 to 7 to the dynamic process of historical research about their neighborhood. Over the course of 4 – 6 months, a cohort of 15 – 30 students collaboratively research a topic in their neighborhood’s history, analyze primary and secondary sources, and communicate their findings in a book or in exhibit panels that become the property of the school. Past book titles include:
- What does it mean to be free? Examining the history of the Lenni Lenape, European, and African people in Brooklyn (PS 312K, 2016).
- The Waterways of Bergen Beach (PS 312K, 2015)
BHS partners with NYC public schools to seek Cultural After School Adventure (CASA) grants from local City Council Members in order to offer the Young Curators program at no cost to the participating school or students. BHS has successfully implemented our Young Curators CASA program in over a dozen Brooklyn elementary schools since 2006. Young Curators programs may also be funded through school budgets. For inquiries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Young Scholars or Young Curators.
The Teen Innovators at BLDG 92 is a nine-month afterschool internship program for 11th and 12th grade teens focused on the creation and expansion of work-readiness skills and critical thinking. In the fall, students are engaged in intensive study and inquiry into the role the Yard as a workplace over time. They visit businesses in the yard and conduct informational interviews with professionals throughout the city. The fall course culminates in a symposium in which students present a debate about a topic related to the past, present, and future of the Yard. In the spring semester, teens are placed in paid internships in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Employment Center. During these placements, the teens gain hands on experience working with one of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s tenant companies. Since 2012, 12 participants have been offered continuing employment as a result of their internships.
Click here to follow their progress!
Teen Thursdays is a NYC DOE initiative that partners BHS with a middle school to bring 20 teens in grades 7 and 8 to BHS and BLDG 92 for 7 sessions each in the fall and spring semesters. At BHS, teens explore the photographic collections and exhibitions to inspire creation of original art and documentary projects. At BLDG 92, teens explore women and industrial work at the yard during WWII and create a play inspired by BHS’s Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collections.
Exhibition Laboratory (Ex Lab)
From 2007 to 2015, Brooklyn Historical Society dynamically responded to its mission to connect past and present for Brooklyn’s diverse communities and for generations to come through a unique, high-impact teen afterschool program called Exhibition Laboratory, or “Ex Lab.” In Ex Lab, groups of up to 20 teens joined BHS’s education staff in researching, curating, and mounting a history-themed exhibition in their spring semester. The finished exhibitions have filled BHS’s gallery with teen perspectives, been a source of pride to its young curators, and served as a tangible reminder of BHS’s commitment to education, youth voices, and community engagement. Past exhibitions have explored the secret lives of streets, the Brooklyn Bridge, Jasper Danckaerts’s seventeenth-century Dutch journal, memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, portraiture and photography, Brooklyn’s sugar and sweet industries, and most recently, the history of sewers in Brooklyn (still on view in the 3rd floor hallway).