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Penn Museum Launches New Free Program for 7th Graders

On Tuesday, October 21, the Penn Museum announced a new partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and Mastery Charter Schools.

Unpacking the Past is a free three-year program that connects seventh grade classrooms studying ancient Egypt or Rome in the School District of Philadelphia, KIPP Charter Schools, and Mastery Charter Schools with Penn Museum collections and teaching resources.

The program is designed to spark STEM learning with museum engagement, while tapping into “Common Core” curriculum standards in language arts, math, and science. 

Unpacking the Past goes beyond just museum admission, offering: 

  • Teacher professional development training
  • In-school pre-visits in a “mummy mobile”
  • Interactive museum field trips (gallery tour and workshop experiences)
  • Culminating student projects
  • One-year family membership to the Penn Museum for every student who attends

Teacher training, transportation and online resources are also covered by grant funding for the program.

We at the Alliance are thrilled to see this ambitious program in motion. Promoting learning through museum engagement is a fantastic example of the power of arts and culture to address larger civic issues such as public education. (And we're sure it will prime these students to enroll in our STAMP program once they enter high school!)

For more information on Unpacking the Past, visit