Saving the Past, Shaping the Future: A Preservation Education Program

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Embark on a virtual field trip to discover how Delaware’s natural and cultural resources reflect the past, and recognize how our actions today will impact future preservation. You will complete 8 activities that will connect you to your community, elevate the stories of people who lived there before you, and spark new understandings of how history shapes the present. First State National Historical Park has partnered with 8 Delaware organizations to explore the topics of architecture, art, archaeology, nature, curiosity, and heritage. You’ll learn about local waterways, investigate a bunch of artifacts, and learn how you can take action towards a brighter tomorrow.

Getting Started

This program has 8 different activities. We encourage you to explore them all! You can always return to this homepage to decide which of the activities you would like to do next by clicking the button at the bottom of each activity page.

Some activities may have you study photographs, or watch a video, analyze historical documents, or create something fun and imaginative. Then we’ll ask you to reflect on what you’ve learned. Paper and pencil are the only materials that you will definitely need for the activities, however, colored pencils and markers could also be useful if you have them.

Note For Students:
If you’re doing this as a class assignment from your teacher, be sure to check-in with your teacher for instructions on doing the activities in a particular order, especially if your teacher wants you to submit your responses and activity creations.


The Activities

  • Standing over four feet tall, this industrial-looking object is made entirely of glazed ceramics.
    Art of the Everyday

    Uncover the histories and stories behind objects in the decorative arts collection. Then create wall panels for your own mini exhibit.

  • Toys on a desk.
    Artifact Detective

    Become part of an archaeology team to investigate artifacts and make connections between objects and their time period.

  • A drawing of three students looking at a map.
    Exploring the Nanticoke

    Through a chapter book story about children visiting the Nanticoke River, you will discover the many connections we have to local waterways.

  • A drawing of Samuel Burris.
    The Price of Liberty

    Review documents to gain new perspectives on justice and punishment. Then use your own voice to write a letter proposing future change.

  • An old metal railroad lamp.
    The Progress of Light

    Compare sources of light that people have used throughout history. Based on what you've learned, you will design a lamp of the future.

  • A old map of the Delaware Bay.
    Secrets From A Shipwreck

    Sail on an adventure to learn about historical global trade routes using the clues that a shipwreck left behind.

  • A person tries to identify the type of soil they are holding.
    Uncovering the Past

    Explore how archaeologists learn about the past. Then take on the role of an archaeologist by observing an object in your own neighborhood.

  • Schools at War Scrapbook – Child collecting scrap metal and old car tires
    We are All in This Together

    Go back in time to discover how children’s recycling efforts supported their communities during World War II.


Thank you to our partners!

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation. However, this program would not have been possible without the amazing partnering organizations, listed below, who have donated their time and expertise to this virtual program. Big thanks to everyone who helped create this fun experience for us all.

Last updated: September 20, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


If you need to speak to a park ranger call our ranger station at (302-478-2769) and someone will return your call as soon as possible. For a more immediate response, please email the park at

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