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USA Archaeology Museum

Educational Programming

About our School Programs

Educational Programming at the Archaeology Museum
  • School Tour Programs
  • Planning and Scheduling Your Trip
  • Fees
Other Details
  • Before Your Visit
  • Restrooms
  • Museum Etiquette
  • Where To Find Us
  • Busses and Parking
  • When You Arrive
  • Cancellations and Late Arrivals
  • Capacity
  • Gift Shop
  • Lunch and Snacks
Other Opportunities
  • Teacher Nights
  • Rent the Archaeology Travelling Trunk

Educational Programming at Archaeology Museum
The staff and exhibits of the Archaeology Museum bring history to life! Our programs draw from the Alabama State Curriculum and emphasize historical awareness and critical thinking. Tours aim to inspire awe and generatecuriosity about archaeology and the region’s past, and make prehistory and history meaningful to students today.

We offer teachers several tour options and will tailor your visit to best fit your needs.

School Tour Programs

1. General Tour – Alabama Prehistory & History
Visit the museum’s diverse collections and life-sized scenic representations of over 12,000 years of Alabama’sprehistory and history. Students plunge back in time as they explore the ways of life of ancient Woodland cultures, mound-building Mississippian peoples, early French settlers, and an African-American family after the Civil War. Critical-thinking skills are triggered as students investigate archaeological methods for uncovering the past. The tour also features the native plant garden located on Museum grounds.

2. Life In Colonial America
Be transported back to the communities of early European settlers and Native Americans, with a focus on early French settlements in the Mobile area. The lesson delves into interactions between new settlers and Native Americans, examining the impacts on trade, health, natural resources, and cultures of the Gulf Coast.

3. Art and Archaeology
SPECIAL OFFER! Joint Tour with Mobile Museum of Art! Students tour The Archaeology Museum and Mobile Museum of Art to experience a gallery tour and a studio art class with either an archaeology or art-based theme. This program is appropriate for all age groups. Please note there is an additional cost of $5.00 per student for a total of $10/student for this combination tour.

4. Storytelling Through Time
This lesson examines the importance of storytelling in all cultures in human history with examples drawn from cultures represented in the Museum: Woodland, Mississippian, French, and African-American. Students will explore the galleries to draw inspiration for their own stories.

5. Archaeology 101
Archaeologists use many approaches to uncover the past and decipher how people lived. Throughout the visit, students learn about the archaeological discipline, the many techniques used to reconstruct the past, and what it takes to become an archaeologist. Topics include radiocarbon dating, ground-penetrating radar, and experimental archaeology. The various cultures that have inhabited the Gulf Coast are the portal for students to learn how we know about the past.

6. Add a Campus Tour
Combine one of the above tours with a tour of the University’s campus. Students experience campus life and learn about the array of subject areas that the University has to offer.

Planning and Scheduling Your Trip

  • Choose a tour from the Guided Tour Options (COMING SOON). Indicate at least two possible tour dates and times. Please note that we only offer tours Tuesday through Friday.
  • You can schedule tours by either filling out the School Tours On-Line Form (COMING SOON) or contacting Barbara Filion at (251) 460-6106. Education staff will contact you promptly to confirm your request and visit.

Program fees support staff and resources that make these programs possible, as well as the continued development of the Archaeology Museum.

  • Guided programs are $5.00 per student.
  • A Taste of the Campus – For $5.00 per student, The Fresh Food Company features 10 delicious all-you-can-eat stations. This option is available only for entire classes.

Before Your Visit

  • Please review Museum Etiquette with students and chaperones.
  • Divide students into groups of four or five and assign a chaperone to be responsible for a group. This makes it easy to ensure that all students are present and is helpful when having to focus everyone’s attention.
  • Leave a trip itinerary with your school office that includes a mobile phone number where you can be reached.


  • Our restroom capacities are limited. If possible, please plan a restroom break before leaving the school. If you would like a washroom break before or after the tour, we ask that you visit the restrooms in small groups accompanied by chaperones.

Museum Etiquette

  • Before your visit, please remind students that they are representing their entire school and that their behavior impacts their school’s reputation and character.
  • Museum staff will review rules and safety procedures, but teachers and chaperones are accountable for students’ behavior. Teachers and chaperones must remain with students at all times.
  • For student safety, visitor enjoyment, and preservation of our exhibits, we ask visitors to:
    • walk (i.e. no pushing, shoving, or running)
    • whisper in the galleries (i.e. no yelling)
    • put cell phones in silent mode
    • not touch the exhibits
    • not chew gum
    • leave all food, drink, and backpacks at the reception area.
  • An easy way to summarize the rules for younger students is to emphasize the 3 W’s: Walk, Whisper, and Watch.
  • Cameras are permitted but please do not take pictures while the guide is talking as it is very distracting. The guide will allow a few minutes for pictures after each stop.
  • Possible consequences for inappropriate behavior include:
    • a student being asked not to participate.
    • a group being asked to leave.
    • a phone call to the principal.
    • revocation of future visiting privileges.
  • Exceptionally well-behaved groups are also recognized with phone calls to principals.

Where To Find Us
University of South Alabama (Via Google Maps)

Map to Archaeology Museum
6052 USA Drive South
Mobile, AL 36688

Busses and Parking
Bus passengers are to unload and load at the Bus Drop-off area marked P1 (see map).
Buses cannot park here during the tour. Bus parking is available in P2 (see map) located across USA South Drive. Cars can also park in P2, the museum parking lot.

When You Arrive
Take the walkway to the building’s entrance and have students wait outside as the teacher signs in.

  • Large groups will be split into groups of approximately fifteen students

Cancellations and Late Arrivals

  • If you must cancel your field trip, please call (251)-460-6106 as soon as possible. Cancellations within 48 hours cannot be reimbursed.
  • If your group is running late, please call and let us know. Although we will do our best to accommodate late arrivals, if you arrive much later than your scheduled time, your tour time may be shortened or you may not have a guide for your visit.

Depending on the tour option, tours can accommodate up to 70 students However, capacity is determined by tour programs, please see specific tour options to determine the capacity.

Gift Shop

  • Please determine ahead of time whether or not you will allow students to visit the gift shop.
• The gift shop sells items that have educational value; many of which cost less than $10.
  • We offer a $5 ‘souvenir bag’.
  • Our gift shop is small so we ask that, if you are to visit, please do so in small groups accompanied by a chaperone.

Lunch and Snacks

  Food and drink are not allowed in the Museum. Weather-permitting, groups can eat in our outside Native Garden amphitheatre area. Please properly dispose of trash; garbage and recycling bins are located at the Museum’s entrance.
  • A Taste of the Campus – For $5.00 per student, The Fresh Food Company features 10 delicious all-you-can-eat stations. This option is available only for entire classes.

Teacher Nights
We invite teachers to come and enjoy an evening with our Museum staff and fellow teachers. The evening will include an exclusive tour with a professional archaeologist and an overview of all of our educational offerings. Come and assess the educational benefits of our programs for your classes and staff! Consult the Teacher Night Calendar to see when the next event is scheduled.

Coming soon: Rent the Archaeology Travelling Trunk!

Copyright the University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum
Last Edited February 3, 2015 12:01 PM