3D Digital Artifact Collection





- Horace Mann

Sources and Solutions


Artifacts Teach was developed by Sources and Solutions. We are classroom teachers who offer innovative ideas, effective assistance, and experience-based support for K-12 teachers. With decades of experience using artifacts in the classroom, we created a company and set our to solve a basic problem for teachers who want to use artifacts in their classrooms -Artifacts are difficult to acquire, time-consuming to research, and impossible for several students to investigate at one time. We figured 3D technology could solve that problem. We partnered with several museums and private collectors to create our 3D models. We then researched and wrote over 600 supporting documents. Our collection began at 30 objects and has grown to over 130. We hope to keep the dream alive, grow our collection, and improve the delivery. With your support, together we can help students think critically, solve problems using evidence, and bring artifacts back to the 21st-century classroom. Artifacts don't require a language or a reading level to access the learning - but you will always need a great teacher to help bring it to life. We hope you use our tool in your Math, Science, ELA, or Social Studies classroom today. Join us, and let Artifacts Teach! 

Matt Arleth and Bill Virden are the creators of Artifacts Teach.


MATT ARLETH -  has been a leader in Social Studies education in Colorado for the past 14 years. After a decade spent in the private sector working successfully on several small business ventures, Matt finally pursued his true passion, education. Mr. Arleth has been directly involved in training teacher candidates throughout Colorado and has guided a multitude of economics, and history majors to the successful completion of their pre-service training. At the University of Northern Colorado, Matt assisted Dr. Fritz Fischer in training teacher candidates to increase rigor by using artifacts in the classroom. He has also led numerous teacher seminars for a variety of Teaching American History grants throughout Colorado. Mr. Arleth’s high school students have worked to preserve and protect important historical sites and to retrieve and restore valuable artifacts. He is currently teaching middle school world studies. Matt is married to a Kindergarten teacher and has two children. At his core, Matt is a teacher.


In memory of our beloved founder, William L. Virden (1947-2016)

Bill's passion for teaching with artifacts will forever guide us at Artifacts Teach.

"Keep your eyes on the horizon, and your nose to the wind"  

BILL VIRDEN - had over twenty years of experience teaching history at the college level at the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to his classes in US History, Western Civilization, and Colorado history, he mentored and supervised secondary-level student teachers over the last ten years. He is a published author of two supplementary texts which use primary sources to teach analysis, synthesis, and decision-making to students from the 3rd through the 12th grade. He has also authored a popular history of Colorado. He founded and served as the Director of the Colorado Institute for Historical Study, a non-profit, educational organization that partners with schools and school districts to improve teacher and student performance. Mr. Virden wrote and received five US Department of Education, Teaching American History grants over the past seven years which have improved teacher and student performance in over 30 school districts in Colorado. He was married to Jo Ann for forty-five years. His daughter is a teacher/administrator for Denver Public Schools and is married to a Master electrician. They have a son, Cyrus, who is now experiencing the joy of fifth Grade.

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  • “Every object has a story to tell if you know how to read it.”
    – Henry Ford
  • “Dealing with objects is a great way to teach the different steps involved in analyzing different kinds of materials. With just a little background, you can get students to engage with entirely new materials in extremely fruitful ways.”
    – Anita Nikkanen
    Harvard University
  • “Using objects helps students develop important intellectual skills.”
    – John Hennigar Shuh
    Curator, Nova Scotia Museum
  • "Whenever I used objects in my EFL classroom, I was surprised by how many questions I would get. I was especially excited when students who usually sat quietly were tempted to ask a question based on my object.”
    – Jenny Wei
    Specialist, National Museum of American History
  • When we examine the parts, we get a new perspective on the whole. There is nothing like holding a dinosaur bone, or the smell of cedar baskets…”
    – Burke Museum
    University of Washington, Seattle WA
  • “Every object has a story, right? Actually that’s a bit limiting. Every object has multiple stories.”
    – Rob Walker
    designer of Significant Objects and How They Got That Way

Teacher Questions