State Museum of Pennsylvania Takes a Unique Approach to Teach Geography

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 14, 2013 — (PRNewswire) — The State Museum of Pennsylvania recently added a new feature to its educational programming, a Giant Map of Pennsylvania.

The large 20-by-30-foot floor map, produced by the Pennsylvania Alliance for Geographic Education, allows visitors to traverse the state from the Delaware River to Lake Erie in their stocking feet.

With a grant from Penn National Insurance, The State Museum is working with students from Harrisburg High School's SciTech Campus to create programming for the map. 

SciTech student docents will present the map and offer natural history tours in the museum's Mammal Hall on March 16 and 23 between noon and 3 p.m. The tours are free with museum admission.

"The State Museum is extremely grateful to the alliance for providing this resource and to Penn National Insurance for its support of SciTech's student docent program," David Dunn, museum director said. "We will be able to use this stunning map throughout the museum for years to come."

This is the second year the alliance, headquartered at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, has partnered with the museum. In 2012, it facilitated the display of an enormous map of North America from the National Geographic Education Foundation.

This year, the alliance received funding from the foundation to produce the Giant Map of Pennsylvania, the first of five maps the alliance intends to make available for programs at schools throughout the state. 

The alliance was assisted by the Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access, a geospatial information clearinghouse affiliated with the Pennsylvania State University, which provided data to create the map.

The map will be shown during the summer to the public and during scheduled tours for school groups in the fall.

For more information about the map contact tour scheduler Diane Wynkoop at 717-772-6997 or Email Contact

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and 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 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens.

For more information about the museum, visit

Media contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639

SOURCE Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

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