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Press Release: March 2019 Highlights

February 25, 2019

Filed under Astronaut, Charter Day, Curiosity Kids, Events, Home School Day, Planetarium, Solar Superstorms

The State Museum of Pennsylvania today announced its program schedule for March 2019:

StoryTime: The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain, Friday, March 1 at 10:30 AM

If you travel deep underground, what will you find? The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain explores the fascinating things that lie within our Earth. Using pages from the book, participants will play a guessing game with objects found in the story. This reading will be held in Mammal Hall and will be followed by the activity in Nature Lab. StoryTime is the museum’s popular reading series for children aged 3 to 5 and is included with general admission.

The State Museum Celebrates Scholastic Achievement, Saturday, March 9

The State Museum will host three exhibits highlighting Pennsylvania student achievement:

The 2019 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art Awards recognizes students for their creative excellence. Students from schools in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon, Perry and York counties showcase their talents and are juried by area artistic and literary professionals.

The 2018 National History Day in Pennsylvania is a year-long, classroom-based program engaging students in hands-on historical research. Students select a topic based on the annual theme, research and analyze primary and secondary sources, draw conclusions, and create projects to demonstrate their learning. National History Day in Pennsylvania is managed by the Army Heritage Center Foundation.

The 2018-2019 Future City Competition starts with a question: How can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students imagine, research, design and build cities of the future that show their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. This year’s theme is “Powering Our Future.” The museum will be exhibiting the top three winners.

These special exhibits will be on display through Sunday, May 5.

Nature Lab: Rocks, Thursday, March 7 at 11:30 AM

Rocks of Pennsylvania is the subject of this presentation, with an emphasis on the surprising places they can be found in daily life. This presentation is designed for general audiences, ages 7 and up, and is included with admission to the museum.

Learn at Lunchtime: 1681 Pennsylvania Charter, Friday, March 8 at 12:15 PM

Archivist Joshua Stahlman of the Pennsylvania State Archives will discuss the commonwealth’s 338th birthday and William Penn’s original copy of the 1681 Charter, the document that granted the land of Pennsylvania to William Penn. This program is included with general admission.

Charter Day Sunday, March 10 at 12:00 PM -5:00 PM

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission will celebrate the commonwealth’s 338th birthday on Charter Day. This special day offers visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania the rare opportunity to see William Penn’s original 1681 Charter.

England’s King Charles II used the Charter to grant the land that is now Pennsylvania to founder William Penn. This document is sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania’s “birth certificate” and was Penn’s personal copy. The Charter will remain on display through 12 noon, Friday, March 15. For the remainder of the year, the Charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the Pennsylvania State Archives.

In addition to the Charter, the State Archives will display several documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Other Charter Day programs include:

William Penn: Four Mysteries, 2:00 PM

Andrew Murphy, professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of the new biography William Penn: A Life, will speak about the things we wish we knew more about Pennsylvania’s founder. The program will take place in the First Floor Gallery. A book signing will follow.

Presented on Charter Day only, the Planetarium will show NASA’s Journey to Mars, focusing on NASA’s fleet of Mars robotic explorers as they pave the way for human exploration of the solar system in the coming decades. Times are 12:20 PM, 12:40 PM, 1:00 PM, 1:20 PM, 1:40 PM, 2:00 PM, 2:20 PM, 2:40 PM, 3:00 PM, 3:20 PM and 3:40 PM.

Admission to The State Museum is free on Charter Day, Sunday, March 10, and includes visits to the Planetarium, the Curiosity Connection, and galleries. Free admission to the Planetarium and Curiosity Connection is by timed ticket. 

Homeschool Day, Wednesday, March 13 at 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

The State Museum of Pennsylvania’s upcoming HomeSchool Day offers a look at Pennsylvania through history, archaeology, natural history, and the fine arts. The event is tailored for families and organizations that teach in a home setting. The program fee for HomeSchool Day is $10 per person (adults and children over age 1) and includes all special programs and admission to the Planetarium. Members of the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (including State Museum Affiliate members) will be admitted free. To register for HomeSchool Day, call 717-772-6997, Monday through Friday, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Preregister prior to March 1 and receive a $1 discount on each admission.

Curiosity Kids: Feed the Birds, Thursday, March 21 at 11:30 AM

In this program held in Nature Lab, young visitors will learn about birds and make their own bird feeders to hang in their yards. For individuals with nut allergies, please be aware this program will include the use of sunflower seed butter. Curiosity Kids bridges the fun of Curiosity Connection with the wonders of The State Museum. Museum educators guide adults and their children, ages 3 to 6, on fascinating trips through history. Hands-on experiments in science and art offer enlightening views of the world. Curiosity Kids programs, funded in part by a grant from the Joseph T. and Helen M. Simpson Foundation, are included with general admission.

Rolling Gallery Closures, Friday, March 29 at 9:00 AM-3:00 PM

Museum galleries will experience rolling closures throughout the day to accommodate Pennsylvania Geography Bee competitive rounds.

The Planetarium at The State Museum of Pennsylvania: The planetarium is offering two shows from March 6 through May 26.

Astronaut (Grade 3 and up)

March 6 to March 28, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 11:00 AM

March 6 to May 26, Saturday, 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM; Sunday, 1:00 PM

The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor undertaken by humankind. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? This program narrated by Ewan McGregor explores the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body.

Solar Superstorms (Grade 6 and up)

March 6 to March 28, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 1:00 PM

March 6 to May 26, Saturday, 12:00 Noon and 2:00 PM; Sunday, 2:00 PM

A fury is building on the surface of the sun—high-velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, and rising loops of electrified gas. What’s driving these strange phenomena? How will they affect planet Earth? The answers can be found in this program narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch that ventures into the sun’s seething interior.

Please note that the Planetarium schedule is subject to change with no notification due to high volume and special events. Check www.statemuseumpa.org for the latest show schedule per day. Planetarium shows are $3 per person in addition to general admission. Planetarium admission is free to members of the State Museum Affiliate and the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation.


The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical &Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History. The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

Museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $7 for adults (ages 12-64), $6 for senior citizens (ages 65 and up), and $5 for children (ages 1-11).

The State Museum has joined other museums across the country in Museums for All. This program enables low-income families to visit participating museums for a nominal fee of $2 per person with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and identification. This offer is for general admission only and excludes special programs or events.

For more information about the museum, visit www.statemuseumpa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

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