New Virtual School Programs

October 22, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic upended many of the things we take for granted. Nowhere, perhaps, have children felt the disruption more keenly than in education. Grade schools and high schools have been frequently closed to on-site learning, requiring students and educators to work entirely online.

Painting of battle scene in Courcelette France (1916)

Battle of Courcelette – Louis Weirter – Beaverbrook Collection of War Art – CWM 19710261-0788

Enter the Canadian War Museum’s new virtual school programs, which launched in the fall. With the support of donors like you, educators have a choice of three virtual programs to engage their students:

  • Witness to History– Personal Accounts of Military Service enables students to interact with a veteran or a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, who will share their personal experiences and perspectives.
  • This Belongs in a Museum – First World War Edition allows students to investigate three artifacts from the War Museum’s galleries. Working with the presenter, students explore what artifacts can teach us about the past and discover some of the stories behind the objects.
  • A Soldier’s Story– Will Van Allen gives students an overview of the experience of a real Canadian First World War soldier.

Teachers often share the positive impact of the Museum’s virtual school programs with us. A recent report from a Grade 3−4 teacher in a remote Ontario community describes the effects of This Belongs in a Museum on one of her students. During this program, her students delved into artifacts including a painting of the Battle of Courcelette, a significant Canadian victory in 1916.

“I have one little fellow whose jam is science and technology,” said the teacher. “Right from the beginning of the session, he was fascinated by the painting and artifacts. This program sparked a newfound love of military history that has engaged him in his studies in a whole new way. He has become a little historian.”

Whether virtually or directly in the classroom, the War Museum will continue to serve Canadians everywhere through specialized educational initiatives. “The War Museum’s virtual school programs break down the barrier of distance in connecting with schools,” said Learning Specialist Sandra O’Quinn. By using objects to tell stories, we provide educators with additional tools that make learning both personal and fun. And we could not have done it without our donors’ support.

To learn more about the Canadian War Museum’s virtual school programs, please visit