Photograph of Saturday Academy students designing parks in Museum classroom.

Saturday Academy

Spring 2020 Saturday Academy is moving online!

Students who were already registered can follow the link here to fill out the online agreement form. Classes will be held digitally on March 28, April 4, 11 & 18.

Questions? For more information, email

Saturday Academy, a partnership of the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Education Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for students in grades 8–12.

Saturday Academy is a free six-session program for students interested in American History and SAT preparation. There’s no homework and all course materials are provided.

Spring 2020 courses meet on Saturdays in March and April. Students are expected to attend all six sessions and will receive a Certificate of Achievement at the end of the program.

Spring 2020 Courses include:

  • Bell Curves SAT Skills
  • Gender in Revolt: The Fight for Equal Rights in American History
  • Checking the Box: Immigration, Identity and the Census in New York
  • From Pick-Up to the Pros: The History of Basketball in New York City
  • Rebels, Refugees, and Exiles in Early New York

Students may enroll in one or two American History electives. Students who apply for SAT Prep must also register for an American History elective. Please see the course descriptions, class times, and information about the instructors below, and apply by Monday, February 14.

Applications for Spring 2020 open on January 6, 2020. Read the full course descriptions below.


Spring 2020 Course Offerings

Bell Curves SAT Skills

Instructors: Bell Curves Educators
Open to students in grades 10–12. Offered 9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Please see note below about the two required practice exams on February 29 and March 21.

The Bell Curves SAT Skills course is designed to help students succeed on the SAT exam. The course will improve students’ understanding of the skills tested by the SAT and then teach them strategies for applying those skills in efficient ways. With the help of expert and supportive instructors, students will learn how to pace themselves and will become more familiar with the test format and question types. After taking two mandatory practice tests, students will leave the classroom prepared and excited for the big exam.

Gender in Revolt: The Fight for Equal Rights in American History

Instructor: Rebecca Miller, Ph.D Student in History, Drew University

Open to students in grades 8–12; 9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 am – 12:00 p.m.

This course will trace gender rights debates from early America through today by studying the lives of individuals who fought restrictive gender roles assigned by society. Using the exhibition Activist New York and other primary sources, students will trace early connections between the abolition and suffrage movements through the stories of abolitionist Sojourner Truth, political candidate Victoria Woodhull, and militant suffragists like Alice Paul. In the 20th century, students will examine the intersections of gender equality and the push for civil rights through figures like Shirley Chisholm and Gloria Steinem. Students will have the opportunity to connect these movements and people to contemporary fights for equal pay, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ+ rights.  

Checking the Box: Immigration, Identity, and the Census in New York

Instructor: Dyala Kasim, MA Student in American Studies, Columbia University

Open to students in grades 8–12; 9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 am – 12:00 p.m.

This course will examine how race, ethnicity, and immigration connect with the census in New York City history. Students will study waves of Latinx, Black Carribean, and Asian immigration to New York, how these racial and ethnic groups have been represented in government records and how those records intersect with political and social challenges that these communities have faced. Students will connect their learning to the 2020 census and discuss the logistical challenges of the census in New York, as well as the question of self-identification. The course will use the exhibition Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers to explore historic and contemporary census data and how it affects and reflects the lives of everyday New Yorkers.

From Pick-Up to the Pros: The History of Basketball in New York City

Instructor: Amanda Hardin, Ph.D Student in History, Columbia University

Open to students in grades 8–12; 9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 am – 12:00 p.m.

Centered on the exhibition City/Game: Basketball in New York, this course will use the history of basketball, from its invention in the late 19th century to the present, to explore how sports and society intertwine. From street pick-up games, to high school and college sports and the city’s three professional teams, basketball provides important insights into areas such as gender, race, class, and politics in New York. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about the historical significance of basketball as it relates to athleticism, fashion, music, and urban development.

Rebels, Refugees, and Exiles in Early New York

Instructor: Bonnie Soper, Ph.D Student in History, Stonybrook University

Open to students in grades 8–12; 12:15 – 1:45 pm 

In this course, students will explore political and religious diversity and disputes in colonial New York, with an emphasis on the effects of European, African, and Caribbean politics and culture on the growing city. Using primary sources and the Port City: 1609-1898 exhibition, students will develop an understanding of how the influx of ideas that came with being a port city influenced the development of New York as a part of the larger Atlantic world. This course will look at slave rebellions, political backlash, religious changes, and fights for recognition with a focus on the effects on New York from events including King Philip’s War, the Great Awakening, the Seven Years War, and the Haitian Revolution.

How to Apply

Applications open on September 9. ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED ONLINE BY Friday, February 14, 2020.


Enrollment is first-come, first served. Priority seating in all classes will be given to students who live and/or attend schools in East and Central Harlem (zip codes: 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10035, 10037, and 10039). Please apply early - space is limited! Accepted candidates will be notified by email, mail, or telephone by Friday, February 21.

Should you experience any trouble applying online, you may call 917.492.3387 or email

To receive information about the program and other opportunities, please sign up for our mailing list and check the Saturday Academy box at the bottom of the form.

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The presentation of Saturday Academy at the Museum of the City of New York is made possible through the generous support of the Charina Endowment Fund.

The Frederick A.O. Schwarz Education Center is endowed by grants from The Thompson Family Foundation Fund, the F.A.O. Schwarz Family Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Endowment, and other generous donors.

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