The Visitor Center contact station is functioning out of the park auditorium. This is because the official Visitor Center is closed while it undergoes major rehabilitation. Completion date; summer 2014. Everything else is open, as usual, at the park.
On-site Educational Programs
Grades 3-6 & Grades 6-12
Footsteps Through the Fort (2 hrs) Students in small groups with sponsors experience an interdisciplinary Social Studies - Math - Science adventure. Emphasizes map reading skills. At each stop, students answer color-coded questions. Can help improve TAKS/STAAR scores in a fun, hands-on, real-world way! Program for Grades 6-12 has Algebra & more involved Math, and it includes a "Mystery Photo" that requires clues and deductive reasoning to identify.
Tech Trek (2 hours) Students explore the fort using technology from the past and present. Basic map-reading skills are reinforced as students navigate with the use of both compass and GPS unit. A pre-visit CD is available to introduce students to the fort and provide pre/post-visit activities for the classroom. The park provides 20 compasses and 20 GPS units (or bring your own). Divide students into small groups, with an adult in each group. Bring batteries (2-AA's for each GPS) and a camera for each small group. For advanced high school science students, Tech Trek Advanced uses GPS receivers only (no compasses).
Touch the Past! (1½ hours) An Apache cradleboard…a pen to dip in an inkwell…a button hook for shoes? This bag is just full of the strangest things! They must be leftovers from olden days at Fort Davis. Handle an object. Imagine it's yours. But who did it really belong to? Students are challenged to locate similar objects in the refurbished buildings as they explore the Fort with a sponsor who carries objects in a haversack like the soldiers used. This multi-disciplinary program is hands-on learning at its best.
Tell Me More-Photo Activity (1½ hours) Don't you love old family photos? Kids do too! Let their imagination run wild as they carry photos around the Fort in this challenging & fun social studies / language arts program. Students make believe the photos are from their own family history and invent stories of imaginary ancestors to later share with the class. Students "step back in time" and imagine what life was like without electricity, running water, or an indoor toilet. Each student should bring notebook & pen.
The Fort Davis Bugle: Tell it Like it Was-Publish an Old-Time Newspaper (2 hours) Here's a program for your college-bound students. The Bugle "publishes" story features and advertisements for folks stationed at Fort Davis back when it was an active frontier army post. Students create a newspaper about people and events at the Fort in the 1880s. Stories can be shared back at school. This program has a strong emphasis on creative thinking, English writing & grammar skills, and History in a vibrant context. Each student should bring a notebook and pen.
All Ages Park Video
15-minute video shows in the auditorium every ½ hour or upon special request. A short history of Fort Davis. Teachers who prefer to maximize their time at the park can purchase this video at 20% discount (approx. $20 total) and show it ahead of time to students or on the bus.
All Ages Retreat Parade Sound Program
Plays outdoors on loudspeakers at 11:00, 2:00, and 4:00; length 18 minutes. This audio program is based on a historic ceremony performed at Fort Davis in 1875 to honor former U.S. President, Andrew Johnson, who died that year.
Did You Know?
Lieutenant Colonel Washington Seawell, with six companies of the 8th Infantry, built Fort Davis in 1854. Seawell commanded the post until July of 1860.