Educational Resources at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum

The Alexandria Archaeology Museum offers programs for schools and other groups, a summer camp for teenagers, and internships for college students.

Page updated on Aug 2, 2021 at 10:48 AM

Educational Resources at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum

Arranging a Field Trip

To arrange a field trip, contact the Alexandria Archaeology education coordinator through Alex311 or call the museum at 703.746.4399.

If you would like to combine your visit with lessons at other Alexandria museums, please look over our list of sites offering educational programs before calling. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum can accommodate up to 20 students at a time for an Adventure Lesson. Large groups may be accommodated by dividing them into smaller groups and rotating site visits, as many of the historic properties are within easy walking distance of each other.

The Alexandria Archaeology Museum and other City-owned museums offer free admission to groups from the Alexandria City Public Schools. Some also offer free programs to other public school groups. When making reservations, inquire about the fee structure.

Archaeology Adventure LessonArchaeology Adventure Lessons

Each program introduces the process of archaeology and then asks students to apply those new skills and knowledge to a specific archaeology site in the city. Participants use real tools, research, and artifacts from the Alexandria Archaeology collection to better understand Alexandria’s past.

The Adventure Lessons, held at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, are suitable for school groups, scouts, camps, adult and senior groups. Contact the museum at least two weeks in advance to schedule a lesson.

Lessons are free to Alexandria City Public School groups, and $3 per person ($40 minimum) for all other groups. Group leaders can also arrange combined tours with other Alexandria museums and historic properties.

Elementary Age Lessons 

  • The Potter’s Art: Alexandria Stoneware Pottery Designs – Recommended K – 2nd
    Who made this pot? Learn to identify Alexandria’s potters by their designs on salt-glazed stoneware pottery. Activity Sheet 
  • The Sugar Trade in Alexandria – Recommended grades 2nd – 5th
    What is a Sugar House? Examine artifacts from a site in Alexandria to learn how sugar was made in the 19th century. Learn how archaeologists identify and classify artifacts.Activity Sheet 
  • Archaeologists Set the Tavern Table – Recommended grades 4th – 6th
    How do archaeologists relate artifacts to historic documents? Use tavern keeper Mary Hawkins' 1777 inventory and artifacts excavated from Gadsby’s Tavern courtyard to bring an 18th century tavern to life. Activity Sheet  Visit Gadsby's Tavern Museum on a combined tour.
  • Ship Science – Recommended grades 4th and up.   
    Why would a ship be found underground?  Use dendrochronology and other scientific methods to uncover the mystery behind Alexandria’s 18th century ship discovered along the waterfront.
  • Hayti: Uncovering an African American Neighborhood – Recommended grades 6th and up; limited to 12 students per program.    
    Who lived in Hayti in the 19th century? Weave together maps, census records and artifacts from a free black site to understand the people who lived there. Visit the Alexandria Black History Museum and Freedom House Museum on a combined tour.  Activity Sheet

Summer CampAlexandria Archaeology Summer Camp

More information

The 2021 Alexandria Archaeology Summer Camp has been cancelled.

Summer Camp provides an opportunity for 12-15 year-olds to work on a real archaeological dig. Each July, campers spend a week helping Alexandria’s City archaeologists excavate a real site. Learn professional excavating, recording, and artifact processing methods. Uncover Alexandria’s buried past while protecting the City’s valuable historic resources.

Read our 2019 Summer Camp Newsletter.

Internship Opportunities

Internship opportunities (unpaid) are available on a limited basis to students who will receive credit through their colleges or universities, or students who have graduated no more than twelve months before the application deadline. It is the responsibility of each student to make the arrangements to meet their program requirements to receive this credit. Students usually come from departments of Anthropology, American Studies, Historic Preservation, History, Museum Studies and Museum Education.

Interns are selected based on the availability of projects and staff supervisors. If your interests and experience meet current Alexandria Archaeology needs, we will reach out to you for an in-person or virtual interview.

Summer Internships
Application deadline: April 1
Decision notification: May 1

Fall Internships
Application deadline: July 1
Decision notification: August 1

Spring Internships
Application deadline: November 15
Decision notification: December 15

To apply, please submit an Internship Application along with your current resume. Applications can be mailed to the address at the top of the application, or emailed to:

Some internship opportunities that may be available include:

  • Conducting documentary research using primary and secondary sources on specific properties or on specific aspects of the City’s historic development
  • Assisting in museum education programs, designing exhibitions, or developing new programming or activities that interpret archaeological and historical information to the public
  • Conducting archaeological laboratory work
  • Assisting in collections management of artifact collections and their documentation, including field notes, records and photographs