Field Trips, & Teachers' Resources

Information about school field trip programs, Digital Interpretive Programs, and resources for teachers.



In response to the COVID-19 and Museum closure, we have created digital editions of our popular school programs and exhibits that will release over the next few months. We have made some changes to the programs, so don’t miss this new experience for you and your students.

For more information, contact the California State Railroad Museum Group Desk at [email protected] with the email subject line: “Live Programs Registration Request” or (916) 323-9274.

Horses to Horsepower Pilot Digital Program

Our first digital program launches October 1st. Hop on board one of our virtual Horses to Horsepower programs to experience what it was like to build the nation’s first Transcontinental Railroad more than 150 years ago! Your conductor will escort you to five different stations located throughout the California State Railroad Museum. Discover how Transcontinental Railroad reduced travel time, inspired innovation, encouraged western settlement, and enabled California’s agriculture industry to grow. The Transcontinental Railroad changed life in America forever!

Program Registration Request

CSRM Digital Interpretive Programs and materials meet California Curriculum and Common Core educational standards.

CSRM CLASSROOM LIVE: HORSES TO HORSEPOWER

Join a CSRM Guide and Q&A Chat Moderator for a live, interactive, and personalized Zoom program of our popular Horses to Horsepower program for 4th grade.

CSRM Classroom Live sessions include a more personalized virtual program with a CSRM Guide and Parks Staff Moderator to encourage interactive engagement with Q&A.

Recommended Grades: 4th & 5th Grade
Includes:
CSRM Guide & Live Parks Staff Moderator
Format:
Zoom
Program Limit:
2 – 4 Classrooms
Dates:
Every Thursday in October
Time:
10 am

To register please fill out the following form https://forms.gle/SvDKSUwyZHRWrrr88. If you have any questions contact the California State Railroad Museum Group Desk at [email protected] or call (916) 323-9274

CSRM WEBINAR PROGRAMS LIVE: HORSES TO HORSEPOWER

Join a CSRM Guide on Zoom for a Webinar style interpretive program of our popular Horses to Horsepower program for 4th grade.

CSRM Webinar Programs provide an opportunity for up to 500 participants and includes a CSRM Guide. Webinar format does not provide a live moderator.

Recommended Grades: 4th & 5th Grade
Includes:
CSRM Guide, No Live Moderator.
Format:
Zoom Webinar
Program Limit:

Dates:
Every Wednesday in October
Time:
10 am

To register please fill out the following form https://forms.gle/SvDKSUwyZHRWrrr88. If you have any questions contact the California State Railroad Museum Group Desk at [email protected] or call (916) 323-9274

ALL ABOARD FOR STORYTIME

Stories of trains and railroads have delighted children for generations. Whether its toy trains, big locomotives, or even little engines that can deliver the goods, we love these stories too!

Visit our Facebook Page

Tune in Monday with CSRM Guide and Wednesday with Telemundo at 11 am on Facebook Live for story time. Staff, volunteers, and an occasional special guest read different railroad-related books. Who knows what kind of fun and adventure we will discover together as we help foster the love of reading for our little ones! All Aboard!

DIGITAL EXHIBITS

Visit our digital exhibits page for an online exhibit experience.

Digital Exhibits

ACTIVITY CENTER

Visit our activity center for program related, interactive and pdf downloadable activities including: Math problems, Oral history prompts, word searches, coloring book pages, and more!

Activity Center

FIELD TRIPS

Due to museum closure we are not currently booking in-person educational programs field trips at this time.

HORSES TO HORSEPOWER: BUILDING THE TRANSCONTINENTIAL RAILROAD

4TH & 5TH Grade

CSRM Digital Interpretive Program Available. Limited Availability.

Hop on board the Horses to Horsepower program to experience what it was like to build the nation’s first Transcontinental Railroad more than 150 years ago! Your conductor will escort you to five different stations located throughout the California State Railroad Museum. Discover how Transcontinental Railroad reduced travel time, inspired innovation, encouraged western settlement, and enabled California’s agriculture industry to grow. The Transcontinental Railroad changed life in America forever!

  1. Achieving the Impossible: Theodore Judah and the Big Four plan a Transcontinental Railroad.
  2. Overcoming Obstacles: Chinese workers made up 90% of the Central Pacific Railroad’s workforce. Who were the workers that built a railroad by hand?
  3. Done! The Gold Spike Ceremony: What was it like to attend the Gold Spike Ceremony at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869?
  4. Safety and Comfort on the Railroad: Mexican railroad workers (traqueros) built and maintained railroad tracks in the Western and Southwestern United States, and African American inventors designed ways to make train travel more efficient.
  5. Feeding a Growing Nation: People were not the only ones riding the rails. Railroads transported agricultural items, creating a huge new industry in California.

EAGLE THEATER MELODRAMA: GONE WITH THE WIND AND THE RAIN AND THE FLOOD

Eagle Theatre

4th & 5th Grade

CSRM Digital Interpretive Program

COMING SPRING 2021

What better way to learn about the history of the Eagle Theatre and the California Gold Rush than through melodrama? Gone With the Wind and the Rain and the Flood has an emotion-filled plot set in 1849 with good guys, villains, disaster—and finally—a hero to save the day!

Student volunteers play key roles in this interactive experience while the audience cheers for the hero and boos the villainous “River” who plots to flood and destroy California’s first theatre.

The Eagle Theatre interpretive program runs approximately one hour. Students enter the theatre at the 925 Front Street entrance in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, where a staff member checks in the group.

Inside the theatre, we choose 15 student-volunteers to participate in our production. The student-actors must be able to read their parts on props we give them. Outgoing students who can speak loudly are preferred. Docents help student actors learn their parts, while the remaining class members practice the audience-response portions of the melodrama.

WESTWARD BOUND: TRAVELING ON THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD (FORMERLY THE EMIGRANT TRAIN PROGRAM)

School Programs Current Programs Emigrant Train

4TH & 5TH Grade

CSRM Digital Interpretive Program

COMING SPRING 2021

The nation’s first transcontinental railroad made travel to California easier and safer than ever before. The railroad encouraged western settlement and travel for pleasure.

Students meet in the Eagle Theatre and participate in five different interactive stations.

Station 1: Introduction

Station 2: Travelers tell why they are moving to California.

Station 3: A Pullman Porter explains how he made travel more comfortable for the passengers on his car.

Station 4: Students listen to the travel experiences of a first-class traveler (American author, Sarah Chauncey Woolsey) and a third-class traveler (Novelist, Robert Louis Stevenson).

Station 5: Tour the Central Pacific Passenger Station and ride the train!

Interpretive Handcar Program

Handcar

4TH - 6TH Grade

The humble handcar is one of the oldest types of railroad vehicles still running on the tracks today, but it is vital to maintaining the safety of the rails. Students participating in this program learn about railroad history and safety and enjoy the experience of pumping a handcar 100-yards down the Museum’s tracks.

This program meets outside at the railroad tracks near the Museum’s roundhouses and turntable. Students participate in five stations:

  1. Rules and regulations for safe operation of railroad equipment.
  2. History of the railroad handcar, motorcar, and other Maintenance of Way equipment.
  3. Hands-on experience of pumping the Museum’s Interpretive Handcar.
  4. Roundhouse track and turntable interpretation.
  5. Experience a 1/8-mile ride down the rails, pulled by a vintage motorcar and return trip.

SELF-GUIDED SCHOOL TOURS



Every year, the California State Railroad Museum welcomes hundreds of classes to the Museum. To allow more school groups to visit the Museum, we are unable to offer guided tours. All school groups are self-guided. Docents located throughout the Museum provide interpretation and stories about our collection.

We hope you and your students will enjoy a fun, educational visit. To enhance your time in the Museum, please review the following guidelines.

  • We suggest one adult chaperone for every 10 students. Chaperones are responsible for the care, safety and actions of group members while visiting the Museum. Please remember, chaperones must remain with their groups for their entire visit to the Museum.
  • A brief, mandatory orientation by staff will help students and chaperones remember museum guidelines and enhance your students’ learning experience.
  • Plan a time and place for your group to meet after the visit.
  • Your time in the Museum is unlimited until we close at 5:00 p.m. Keep in mind that once you enter the Museum Store or exit through any of the doors in the lobby, there is no re-entry.
  • Upon request, we are happy to present our twenty-minute introductory film, Evidence of a Dream, to your group.

Teachers' Resources

Our specially designed Teachers’ Guides provide a one-stop resource for teachers based on CSRM exhibits. Guides include: Comprehensive historical background information, bibliographic resource list, and plug-and-play writing, art, oral history, primary resource, and math activities geared toward CSRM exhibits.

2020 Teachers Guide Chinese Railroad Workers

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