3D Digital Artifact Collection

The Artifacts Academy


The Artifacts Academy presents a methodology that meets the challenges of the 21st century classroom. We live in a new time. It is the Age of Innovation and Information. Digital technologies, not coal and steel, fuel our economy. Innovations_Age.pngThe rules have changed. Expectations are different. Success requires a new set of “21st century skills.”

Business, industry, education and government need young people who can work with others to solve problems, make evidence-based decisions, and communicate both their process and their conclusions, not only to their peers, but also to wider, global audiences. As professional educators, we need to prepare our students to analyze, synthesize, discuss, decide and communicate. The Artifacts Academy demonstrates the methods that meet the challenge.

Analysis_Process.pngThrough short, topic-focused video presentations, classroom teachers who have incorporated artifacts into their lessons demonstrate the methodology involved in teaching with artifacts. The process is simple. The methodology flows through four interrelated steps that begin when you place an object in front of a class and ask the question, “What is this and why is it important to us right here, right now?” 

  • ANALYSIS: students examine the object to gather information in order to answer the question.
  • SYNTHESIS: students sort through the information, determining which of the pieces of evidence they have gathered provide pertinent information.
  • DECISION-MAKING: students formulate their answer(s) based upon the evidence they have gathered.
  • COMMUNICATION: students share their conclusions with their group and come to a consensus answer, or, individually, present their answer supported by the evidence they have gathered to the entire class.

This process occurs each and every time an artifact is introduced into a classroom. It is the natural way in which we learn from the time we put that first finger, toe, or toy into our mouths as babies in the crib.

Click here to check out the videos and see how artifacts can work for you.

Start your 30-day free trial. No credit card required.   Get Started


  • “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