Vulcan Park and Museum is committed to carrying its educational mission beyond the boundaries of the park and to offering assistance to resource-challenged schools.
Vulcan's Traveling Trunk Series
Grades 3 – 6
Vulcan Park and Museum’s Traveling Trunks are filled with artifacts and supplies that teachers can check out, at no cost, for the purpose of enhancing lessons. Hands-on historical materials, some of which are actual artifacts for students to interact with, contribute to the learning experience. This outreach program helps students understand Birmingham’s history and the science behind its industries from the convenience of the classroom. Activities are primarily designed for students in grades 3-6 but can be applied to any grades K-12. Trunk themes are:
Industrial Birmingham: This trunk is perfect for students studying local history or the Industrial Revolution! Packed with items used in mining and iron factories, your students will love trying on hats and clothing from Birmingham’s early industrial history and analyzing artifacts used during that period.
The World Wars: This trunk is filled with artifacts, a soldier and nurse costume, photos, and books all dedicated to WWI and WWII. Students will learn how Alabama contributed to the war effort.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to reserve a trunk for your classroom!
Grades 6 – 12
Four plays from our History on the Road collection professionally recorded and supplemented by curriculum guides for grades 6-12.
Complete the Book a Program form today to receive links and teacher resources.
This project has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, Birmingham Bar Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, and Protective Life Corporation
- Too Many Questions: An Evening With Virginia Durr
Virginia Foster Durr defied her family, friends, and culture to become one of the South’s most active and vocal champions of civil rights. Her remarkable life comes to life in this monodrama performed by Ellise Mayor.
- Washington & DuBois: Two Opinions, One Goal
Playwright Lee Shackelford’s dramatic dialogue recounts the philosophies of the two early civil rights activists, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. Disagreements between the two civil rights leaders were profound. But they sought a common outcome: securing a place for Black Americans in US society. Performed by David Parker and Brandon McCray.
- Pattie and Josephine: Waiting in Alabama
Written by Lee Shackleford, this one-act, two-person play shares the story of the women’s suffrage movement in Alabama from the perspectives of women of different races. Pattie is a white suffragist. Josephine is a Black suffragist facing added challenges. Join them as they compare their experiences fighting for equal rights. Performed by Ellise Mayor and Cheryl Hall.
- Alvin Vogtle Escapes!
The one-act drama highlights the adventurous life of Birmingham resident and former Southern Company CEO, Alvin Vogtle. Alvin was a pilot during WWII who was taken prisoner when his plane crashed. He attempted escape numerous times and his story influenced the 1963 film “The Great Escape” starring Steve McQueen. Written by Lee Shackleford and starring James Ward.
Grades K – 6
Use our Virtual Vulcan series to prepare your class for an upcoming visit or to review content from your previous trip. Our hosts, Casey Gamble and Nefertari Yancie, dig deep into the big themes of a Vulcan Park and Museum field trip.
Targeted for grades 3-6, straight through, or when presented in smaller segments, for K-2.
Complete the Book a Program form to receive links and teacher resources!
This program made possible by support from Alabama Association of RC&D Councils
- Inside Lone Pine Mine: Workers and Their Tools
In its earliest days, extracting iron ore Vulcan Park and Museum’s Lone Pine Mine meant digging out the ore with picks and dynamite. Later, steam drills, tipples, and rail cars made their work faster and easier.
In this 20-minute video, we take a rare inside look at Lone Pine Mine — to unearth lessons in science, technology, and social studies. We’ll talk about workers and their methods, and look at industrial artifacts along Kiwanis Vulcan Trail.
- Birmingham’s Vulcan: Art and Engineering Meet Commerce
Vulcan is a work of art, designed by sculptor Giuseppe Moretti and built by expert foundrymen in record time. Cast in 21 pieces and erected at the St Louis World’s Fair, Vulcan is also an engineering marvel.
In this video, we look at Vulcan from a STEAM perspective, integrating the stories of the people who helped build Alabama’s entry for the St Louis World’s Fair. We’ll discuss Moretti’s techniques and artistic legacy and look at Vulcan’s 2004 restoration, as well.
- Company Towns: Migration and Immigration in Alabama
Built from scratch by iron and textile manufacturers, company towns are located throughout Alabama. Living in those communities were workers and their families hailing from rural Alabama and all over the world.
In this video, we’ll start at Vulcan Park’s base map to survey Birmingham’s industrial communities. We’ll then hit the road, stopping off at some of the region’s industrial communities to discuss the diverse people who populated these towns.
- The Red Mountain Formation: Alabama’s Natural History
The Big Seam is, well, huge. It is 250 feet thick in Birmingham. Between l840 and 1975, approximately 375 million tons of iron ore were extracted from Alabama mines and worked into objects like pipes, pans, gears, and gates. Who knew that a rock could do all of that?
In this video, we start at the Big Seam outcropping beneath Vulcan Park. We’ll talk about the qualities of iron ore, limestone, and coal, as well as the processes that deposited these minerals throughout the Birmingham District.
- Foundries, Furnaces, and Factories: Making Iron in Alabama
As far back as the 1830s, Alabamians were using iron ore, limestone, and coal to produce iron and iron products. Founded some forty years later, Birmingham became one of the nation’s centers of iron production, exporting pipe and other products and arming US troops in two world wars.
In this video, we start at Vulcan Park’s base map to survey the furnaces and foundries around town. We’ll then visit the remains of two twentieth-century operations, Sloss and TCI Ensley Works, as well as Tannehill, a nineteenth-century furnace run by enslaved workers.
Birmingham History on the Road
Grades 6 – 12
The history of Birmingham extends far beyond Vulcan’s educational complex atop Red Mountain! Let us help you delve deeper into Birmingham’s colorful past through Birmingham History on the Road, Vulcan Park and Museum’s repertory of traveling theatrical productions. In an effort to preserve some of Birmingham’s fascinating stories, we have commissioned plays showcasing individuals who have made significant contributions and highlighting pivotal events from Birmingham’s past. Factual, entertaining and loaded with standards-aligned content, these dynamic productions are an ideal way to inspire middle and high school age students with the message that they, too, can impact the world.
Birmingham History on the Road productions last 45-60 minutes and can be presented in an auditorium or gym setting for large assemblies. Productions are offered in a limited number of performances on a first-come, first-served basis.
Presented by Birmingham Bar Foundation
Costs and availability vary with each play.
- Washington and DuBois: Two Opinions, One Goal
Playwright Lee Shackelford’s dramatic dialogue recounts the philosophies of the two early civil rights activists, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. Disagreements between the two civil rights leaders were profound. But they sought a common outcome: securing a place for Black Americans in US society.
- Pattie and Josephine: Waiting in Alabama
Written by Lee Shackleford, this one-act, two-person play shares the story of the women’s suffrage movement in Alabama from the perspectives of women of different races. Pattie is a white suffragist. Josephine is a Black suffragist facing added challenges. Join them as they compare their experiences fighting for equal rights.
- Alvin Vogtle Escapes!
The one-act drama highlights the adventurous life of Birmingham resident and former Southern Company CEO, Alvin Vogtle. Alvin was a pilot during WWII who was taken prisoner when his plane crashed. He attempted escape numerous times and his story influenced the 1963 film “The Great Escape” starring Steve McQueen. Written by Lee Shackleford.
Right here in Birmingham - In School Story Time with V!
Grades Pre-K – 2
Have Vulcan visit your classroom! Our outreach program, Right Here in Birmingham, has been designed just for the youngest students! This interactive story time includes an appearance by our very own mascot, V, and a special gift for both students and teachers! The book, Right Here in Birmingham, discusses early Birmingham mining and industrial history from the perspective of a child living in a company town.
Additional Educational Resources
Activity packets, coloring pages, and videos! From hands on STEM, to history and reading, and beyond, we are sure there will be something for everyone.
Post pics of your projects on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #LearningWithVulcan!
- Virtual Museum Tour Series
Click below for a virtual museum tour broken down into short episodes. Check back for more to be added soon!
- Birmingham History at Home Activity Packet
Check out this packet of activities all about Birmingham and Vulcan!
- Birmingham Themed STEM Activity Packet
Create your own city with 3D cubes, connect the city with bridges using toothpicks and candy, create your own monument using diy clay or playdoh, plus more!
- Scavenger Hunt for Kiwanis-Vulcan Trail
While many places in the city are currently closed, Vulcan Park, Kiwanis-Vulcan Trail, and other outdoor spaces are still available for when you need some fresh air. When visiting the trail with your kids, we hope you all enjoy using this fun scavenger hunt!
- Coloring pages from our book "Right Here in Birmingham"
If you haven’t already, check out this online story time with V and author Ashley Chestnut of our brand new children’s book about life in early Birmingham.
Here are some coloring pages of illustrations from the book. We hope you enjoy!
Thanks to the generosity of our funding partners, we can sometimes waive or reduce field trip costs for classrooms, primarily from under-served school districts. Funding may also be available for our outreach programs. Opportunities for grant-supported field trips and outreach programs are limited.
Additionally, corporate donors and other funding agencies may have funds that can be used for educational field trips at Vulcan Park and Museum. Such sources require the school or teacher to apply.
To apply for grant support, complete the grant application here