Each year a growing number of students visit the NCSML on a study trip. These tours are designed to enrich teachers’ curriculum in the areas of history, immigration, home and family.

A study trip to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is an exciting extension of classroom and in-home learning. The NCSML education staff welcomes pre-K to college students. Study trips may range from one to two hours, with a minimum of 12 students and a maximum of 60 students per tour.

Offerings / Focuses

Maňa: One Girl’s Story

Seven-year-old Maňa Marchovsky immigrated from Czechoslovakia to the United States with her family in 1922. Recommended for Grades 2-4, this 2017 AASLH Leadership in History Award winning tour includes an immersive walk through the exhibit Faces of Freedom guided by the oral histories of the Marchovsky sisters, Maňa and Vera, a tour of the Sleger Family Immigrant Home, and an analysis of Czech and Slovak artifacts in the Skala Bartizal Library. Accompanying Common Core lessons including videos, maps, photos, and activities are available at no charge.

Immigration Then and Now

Nearly every family has an immigration story. Connect historic Czech & Slovak immigration in the early 19th and 20th Centuries to modern immigration around the world, and right here in Eastern Iowa, with tours of the exhibit Faces of Freedom and the Sleger Family Immigrant Home. This tour can be adapted for groups of all ages. Visitors young and young-at-heart are invited to follow NCSML’s mascot Hubert the Hedgehog through the galleries with a free interactive workbook.

Temporary Exhibit Tours

Guided tours are available of NCSML’s temporary exhibits upon request. These exhibits change throughout the year and subject matter varies. Check the ‘Current Exhibits’ tab for the most up to date information.

War, Genocide, and Revolution: Czechoslovakia in the 20th Century

This tour, recommended for Grades 6-12+, focuses on the turbulent 20th Century that shaped Czech and Slovak societies. Focusing on WWI, WWII, the Holocaust, Soviet Occupation, and Eastern European Revolutions, students are invited to reflect on the violence of the past and learn to demand a more peaceful and just future.

Design Your Own Tour

NCSML staff are happy to customize a themed tour to align with the needs and interests of your group. Past tours have focused on kroje (Czech and Slovak folk costumes), Czech and Slovak holiday traditions, museum behind-the-scenes, Czech and Slovak food, and the Cedar Rapids flood of 2008.

After reserving your tour, you will receive a confirmation letter by e-mail. Please review the confirmation letter for accuracy and contact jlesan@ncsml.org if you need to alter your tour arrangements.

Once scheduled, please review the following and contact us with any questions or concerns in advance.

Teacher Checklist

  • Read and confirm the date and time listed in the confirmation letter
  • Communicate with the staff if you have any students with special needs
  • If available, make use of the pre-visit materials offered
  • Print and share the chaperone expectations letter with chaperones volunteering on the trip
  • Have students ready to divide into groups of no more than 15 students with 2 adults per group
  • Have students arrive with nametags in a visible location
  • Plan on arriving 5-10 minutes before the tour begins
  • Upon arrival, report total number of students, teachers, and chaperones to the Welcome Desk
Expectations for Chaperones

Modeling engaged behavior sets a good example for students and makes the study trip a positive experience for students, teachers, chaperones, and museum volunteers. The NCSML asks study trip chaperones to:

  • Arrive on time for the start of the tour
  • Refrain from making phone calls, texting, or accessing social media during the tour
  • Keep students focused and on-task
  • Listen to staff and docent’s directions so you are able to assist students
  • Stay with the group for the duration of the tour
  • Refrain from giving answers for challenging questions and allowing students time to think.

If arriving in a separate car, chaperones may park in our free attached parking garage and take the elevator to the main hall to meet the group.

Expectations for Students

The NCSML expects students to come with:

  • Good questions and observations
  • Listening ears
  • Respectful voices
  • Walking feet
  • Nametags where guides can see them
Lunch Arragements

Contact us before your trip for help making lunch arrangements. Depending on space availability, schools are welcome to eat their lunches on site, either in the Rockwell Collins Amphitheatre area, or in the WFLA Heritage Hall. Additional public space is available in the Czech Village near the Kosek Bandstand.  Students are encouraged to pack a zero-waste lunch to reduce the amount of trash, and to pack everything with them to avoid littering.

  1. Plan to quickly disembark upon your arrival.
  2. Bus drop-off and free bus parking is available in front of the NCSML building. Visitors may enter the building through the main entrance. Additional parking is available in our free parking garage.
  3. NCSML staff and docents will meet large student groups in front of the museum. Please have students in their groups before the welcome begins.
  4. Teachers and school aides, please identify yourselves to the NCSML docent or staff member leading your group.
  5. Restrooms and drinking fountains are available.
  6. Have fun!