Planning a visit July 1–4? Click here for information on road closures and parking in and around Forest Park during Fair St. Louis.

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Gallery + Classroom Program: Legacy of the Fair

Dates Available: All school year

Grade Level: This program is available for 6th–12th grades only.

Minimum Number of Students: 25 students

Maximum Number of Students: 60 students

Gallery Visited:   The 1904 World's Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward

Program Duration: 2 hours

The World’s Fair wasn’t all ice cream cones and Ferris wheel rides. Fair makers, workers, visitors, and displays also faced many challenges. Students will investigate issues of race, gender, economics, and environmental impact as they critically assess the challenging legacy of the 1904 World’s Fair.

More about this Gallery + Classroom Program
This program challenges the nostalgic view of the 1904 World’s Fair and asks students to uncover the WHOLE story of the Fair. Students will analyze museum choices and consider how adding new voices and artifacts provides a broader and deeper perspective of this historic event and its legacy in St. Louis.

In the Galleries

  • At stop 1 students consider the perspective of St. Louisans right before and after the Fair. Using headlines from contemporaneous newspapers students discover that not all St. Louisans wanted the World’s Fair in Forest Park. Students will evaluate the different pro and con arguments, then they will analyze the long term impact of the Fair on Forest Park and St. Louis.
  • At stop 2 students will step back in time to experience the exhibits and messaging of the Fair from the 1904 visitors’ perspective. They will examine what and how visitors learned when they came to the fair. Specifically, students will critically analyze the problematic practice of displaying living people from other nations and cultures around the world.

In the Classroom
Students become curators and exhibit designers and are challenged to add a new section to the World’s Fair exhibit. Students will analyze additional primary sources and artifacts (not on view in the gallery) to learn about seldom told stories and diverse perspectives at the Fair. Then they will select a theme and objects that will best broaden the story of the 1904 World’s Fair and create their own new exhibit!

  Please read our K-12 Policies before booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field trip experience you choose, all of our programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use in museums, the classroom, and as lifelong learners. These big goals drive our program creation, our staff training, and our program evaluation for a holistic and outcome-driven approach.

For all K–12 programs we strive to create and facilitate experiences in which learners will individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their personal experience
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their own perspectives on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that there are many factors that may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our Museum Educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time. If you arrive late, we'll do our best to still deliver the program you reserved; however, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. For groups that are excessively late, significant changes to your program will be necessary.

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