Capitol Adventure: Students Explore Capitol Building and NYS Museum

Over 30 students from the AP U.S. History, CIHS American Politics and Participation in Government classes took learning on the road with a trip to the NYS Capitol and NYS Museum.

Students on tour at NYS CapitolAt the Capitol, students received a guided tour, which included the legislative chambers, the Hall of Governors, and the Million Dollar Staircase. At the NYS Museum, students learned from exhibits related to 9/11 and the World Trade Center, the Harlem Renaissance, and more. 

View of Downtown Albany from Corning TowerWhile at the Empire State Plaza, many students traveled to the Corning Tower, boarded the elevator, and headed to the observation deck to take in the 360° view of the Albany skyline, from 42 stories up.  

31 MCS students stand in the NYS Legislative session room.The field trip gave students a new perspective on the history of the Capitol buildings and New York State’s history. Here are some of their observations:

Laney Heany (senior)

Students look up at ceiling at NYS Capitol“I was surprised that it took 32 years to build the NYS Capitol and cost millions of dollars. When Roosevelt came in, he canceled the funding; you can see where the work stopped. The whole building was split between several architects, and you can see Gothic, French, and other architectural styles.”

“I was very interested in the rocks, 911 and Native American exhibits. We also went to the observation deck, which was cool.”

Ross Guernsey (senior)

Students look at 911 exhibit at NYS Museum. Firetruck in the foreground.“We have talked about negotiations between the NYS Senate and Assembly in class; now we have seen the setting. I learned about the stages that one ceiling in the Senate went through. First, it was stone, then paper mache disguised as oak. Now it is real oak.”

Katrina Graves (senior)

“At the Assembly, the room is so big that representatives now vote on tablets because they can’t hear each other.”

Conner Camp (senior)

Display of burned-out fire truck at 911 exhibit.“There’s a hall that’s full of portraits of politicians at the Capitol. Also, it’s very easy to get lost in the museum.”

Robert Kennedy (junior)

They used a lot of sandstone at the NYS Capitol, and there is a copper building inside the legislative building. I liked seeing the sculptures. We saw one devil sculpture during a 4th-grade field trip, and I saw it again.

Exhibit of whale skeleton.Timothy Jennings-Mickle (senior)

“The NYS Capitol has stained glass with many New York animals in the design.”

Teachers Jason Dannible and Katelynne Schuttig organized the trip. Schuttig says it was a fitting extension of what students have been learning in the classroom.

Empty legislative session room“This was a great opportunity to get students immersed in topics discussed in our social studies classes and to engage students in our local political processes,” said Schuttig. “It was a worthwhile trip and experience for many of our students!”Students on the steps of the Million Dollar Staircase