International Spy Museum Educator Intel

EDucation Intelligence from the International Spy Museum

The school year is in full swing and we are bustling at the International Spy Museum.

Now's the time to book your spring field trips and virtual field trips - our schedule is filling up! You may have heard the news that the Spy Museum is moving and is planning to convert to non-profit status. Our intended new home is the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, across the street from the DC Convention Center. We are excited to break ground and dig under to create new exhibition space in 2015 with a planned opening in 2017.

As educators we are most excited about the opportunity to renew, revise, and revitalize our exhibition content and methods. In the eleven years since the Spy Museum has opened a lot has changed, both in the world of intelligence and in the world of exhibition design. If you've been to the Spy Museum and thought..."gee I wish they had..." or "it would be great for my students if the Spy Museum could..." Now is the time to let us know as we are re-thinking the Museum experience and would love your input.

Let us know your ideas, dreams, wishes and we will see if we can make them come true in the new Museum. Here's the catch. You need to contact us! It's easy, just shoot me an e-mail and let's chat about your vision for the new Spy Museum. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks for spying on us!


Jacqueline V. Eyl
Youth Education Director

Spy School 101
You think you know what spying is, but do you really? What is the role that spying plays, has played, and will continue to play in our world? How is spying conducted and why? Finally, do you have what it takes to be a spy? What is the tradecraft: the skills and tools needed by spies? Our newest student workshop explores the shadow world of spying and activates students in sharpening their observation and analysis skills. Book your workshop today - either on site or virtual field trip!
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The Museum just acquired this Civil War sword which tells the story of Confederate Colonel William Orton Williams and his cousin Lieutenant Walter G.Peter who on June 8, 1863, rode into Union-held Fort Granger Tennessee wearing Union uniforms. Showing forged papers, they said they were there to inspect the forts in the area. The Union commander became suspicious when the men couldn't keep their stories straight and had them arrested. He sent a message to headquarters asking if anyone could vouch for them. Word came back from Brigadier General President James Garfield (future President of the United States) that they should be court martialed as spies.

The man designated to carry out this order was Captain Julius H. Alexander, Provost Marshall of Franklin, Tennessee. On June 9, 1863, with this sword hanging at his side, he presided over the execution of the Williams and Peter. A year later, the bodies were moved to Washington, DC where they rest today at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown. It is still unknown today if they really were spies or what their real intention was that fateful day.

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We've posted two FREE curriculum resources on our website. The first is our simulation, Minute by Minute: The Role of Intelligence in the Cuban Missile Crisis which provides everything you need to put your students in the shoes of all-source analysts at the CIA in October 1962 as the Crisis is emerging. This simulation exercise encourages critical thinking and analysis at various stages of the crisis using declassified documents and U-2 photographs from the period.
Here's an example:
Using the key can you determine the contents of the four crates on this Soviet ship coming into port in Cuba in 1962? FYI: All 4 crates are the same size and shape - the ones in the rear of the ship are on their side. Hint: base your conclusion on the shape of the crates as well as the size of the objects.
What might be contained in the crates in the front section of the ship?

Key to possible contents in crates:
Check our Facebook for Educators Page for the correct answer!
Our Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains exhibition has inspired us to come up with ideas for how to connect Bond to your curriculum. From writing spy fiction to uncovering the science behind a Bond gadget, take a peek at our six lessons here.
Eyes Only!

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Explore our Educational Resources available on our website. Your students can prepare themselves for their missions at the Museum or debrief on what they learned. We know time is limited which is why we have designed these activities to be easy to teach and address National Standards of Learning.

Spy Term!
Covert Action Operation:
An operation designed to affect foreign affairs; may be lethal or non-lethal.
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