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Traveling Trunks, Educating the Future of Spartanburg County

September 18, 2017 | Features

Part of Chapman Cultural Center's mission is to provide educational opportunities to the residents of Spartanburg County. However, these opportunities are not limited to the Arts. They extend to science, history, and the humanities. Our campus partner organizations, The John F Green Science Center and the Spartanburg County Historical Association, are able to reach many Spartanburg County residents, including our youngest and most impressionable. 


One of the most popular ways our partners are able to reach the public, especially youth, is through the Traveling Trunks Program. 

So, what are Traveling Trunks?

Traveling Trunks are lessons created to aid teachers, parents, schools or anyone with the instruction of specific lessons or subjects. They provide students with a hands-on experience and fun break from a traditional classroom lesson. 

SCHA's trunks are designed for any group from kindergarteners to senior citizens. For students, they each come with lesson plans, maps, and grade level assignments. They even meet several state standards. Museum specialists are also available to come out and give presentations along with the trunk if requested. Each trunk has five to nine artifacts from the museum for closer examination. Instead of a field trip, they bring the items directly to the students.

The SCC's trunks are similar. Trunks are typically designed specifically to teach certain subjects. For example, a teacher may request a trunk on force and motion so the science center puts together a complete package on force and motion with hands-on technology. In addition, a science center associate is also available to accompany the trunks. 

What type of lessons can be given with a Traveling Trunk? 

For SCHA, popular topics include “Civil War to Civil Rights” and World War II which are predesigned lessons. They also offer customized trunks with two weeks notice, such as a trunk regarding the Judicial Branch. Teacher requests are always welcome and can be designed with advanced notice. 

Currently, SCC offers trunks by request only. Some of their more popular requests include magnetism, electricity, a star lab, and bringing animals into the classroom. Each trunk is made specific to requests and can often fill gaps for teachers while meeting state criteria. 

There are many ways Traveling Trunks can be used that both the science center and historical association would love the public to take advantage of! Reaching homeschoolers is one area they are also focused on. SCHA provides trunks to homeschoolers, scouts, and even senior centers. If there is anyone with an interest in history, they have a traveling trunk for you! SCC generally will invite homeschoolers to the center to have a group of students to give trunk lessons to. 

Interested in the Traveling Trunks program? Learn more by contacting:

Colleen Twentyman form SCHA at 

Mary Levens with SCC at

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