A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KET’s Social Studies Shorts and virtual Capitol tours offer new civic resources for students


In a typical year, hundreds of Kentucky students make the trek to Frankfort to visit the Kentucky State Capitol and learn about the state government. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capitol has been closed to in-person tours since March 2020.

Now, however, students can take a virtual tour of the Capitol — and learn about social studies and civics topics — thanks to a pair of new video resources from KET.

KET’s Field Trip to the Capitol series features three short videos that cover the history of state government, the art and sculpture of the Capitol, and the architecture of the Capitol. Built in 1910, the Capitol houses the General Assembly, Kentucky Supreme Court and the governor’s office.

The virtual Capitol tours are funded in part by the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Endowment for the Arts. The Social Studies Shorts are funded in part by the John R. Hall Endowment for Education.

In the videos, Kelsey Starks, host of KET’s weekly News Quiz program, guides students through a closeup look of the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, the legislative chambers, the First Ladies Doll Collection and more.

Additionally, KET has created Social Studies Shorts—a video series that explores social studies and civics topics, such as the Presidential Inauguration, the Kentucky Legislature and the Kentucky Governor’s office.

Each video comes with discussion questions, writing prompts, a printable quiz and a vocabulary list of terms referenced. Additional videos will launch each month, and future topics include the United Nations, influential women in state history and the economy.

Both video series are housed on PBS LearningMedia, an online repository of thousands of free, high-quality educational resources.

“As students have continued to learn from home much of this school year, they are missing out on in person experiences,” said Tonya Crum, KET’s senior director of education. “The field trips provide a front row seat to Kentucky’s capitol. And the social studies shorts offer content that teachers can share virtually or in-person with their students that’s both fun and engaging.”

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, where learning comes to life for more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization at KET.org/Education, on Twitter @EducationKET and on Facebook @EducationKET.

From KET


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