Superintendent's Award

Recognizing Excellence in Museum Education

The Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education Competition recognizes the outstanding achievements in California museum programs that serve K-12 students and/or educators. The competition is the joint project of the sponsors, the California Association of Museums (CAM) and the California Department of Education. Since 2012, the competition has recognized 51 programs, presented by a diverse range of institutions that demonstrate the vibrant contributions museums make to California’s K-12 educational system. 
 The 2020 recipients are:


Japanese American National Museum
School Visits Program

JANM’s School Visits Program provides a voice for Japanese Americans, serves as a forum for students to explore their own heritage and culture, and encourages meaningful participation in an inclusive democracy by engaging students in American stories that advance the principles of liberty, equality, and justice.


Museum of the African Diaspora
MoAD in the Classroom

Museum of the African Diaspora’s (MoAD) innovative educational outreach program, MoAD in the Classroom (MIC) is a visual literacy and arts program offered to Title I and under-served third-grade students located across the San Francisco Bay Area. Each year, MIC provides free classes and museum visits for over 1,300 Bay Area students.

Rancho Los Cerritos
Long Ago Long Beach

Rancho Los Cerritos’ Long Ago Long Beach afterschool enrichment workshops bring history to life through artifacts, photographs, and primary sources. This outreach initiative artfully integrates the pillars of California’s HSS Framework – content, inquiry, literacy, citizenship – to help underserved youth build academic skills while learning about their diverse and fascinating community.

The winning programs will be presented with their awards by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (or his designee) at a CAM event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in conjunction with CAM’s annual conference.  Representatives will give a short presentation about their award-winning program the following morning (on Thursday, March 5, 2020). 

2020 Application Instructions

2020 Scoring Rubric

2020 Online Application - CLOSED


Thank you to the 2020 Selection Committee members:

Rebekah Harding, Associate Director of Learning and Engagement, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Lindsay Weiss-Tornatore, Ed.D., Education Administrator, Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education


Past Superintendent’s Award Recipients:



Elkhorn Slough Reserve - Estuary Explorers Club

Exploratorium - California Statewide Leader Network

J. Paul Getty Museum - Getty Unshuttered

Marine Mammal Center - Ocean Ambassadors

Riverside Art Museum - Creative Horizons

Tech Museum of Innovation - Tech Academies of Innovation



Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose - BioSITE (Students Investigating Their Environment)

Hiller Aviation Museum - Aero Design Challenge

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes - Edible Teaching Garden & Culinary Arts Program

Museo Eduardo Carrillo - Hablamos Juntos: Creating Bridges: Personal Journeys into Art and Writing 

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History - LiMPETS (Long-Term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students)

Turtle Bay Exploration Park - Lending Library & Teacher Professional Development



Bay Area Discovery Museum - STEM Workshop and Intensive

Mission Inn Foundation - Hands On History Community Outreach

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Mobile Museum

Riverside Art Museum - Art-to-Go

San Diego Zoo Global - Watershed Heroes

San Jose Museum of Art – Sowing Creativity



Discovery Cube - Futuros Radiantes

Hammer Museum - Classroom-in-Residence at the Hammer

Maidu Museum & Historic Site - Maidu Indian Life & Culture Program

Muckenthaler Cultural Center – STEAM Programs

Santa Barbara Zoo – CondorKids

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology - Museum-in-the-Classroom



Autry National Center of the American West – Autry Classroom Curators

Contemporary Jewish Museum – Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition on the West Coast

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – Get Smart with Art: Past & Present

Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum – Common Ground Garden

Museum of Tolerance – Core School Group Experience

Palo Alto Art Center – Cultural Kaleidoscope



Bay Area Discovery Museum - Center for Childhood Creativity

California State Parks - Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) Distance Learning Program

Leonis Adobe Museum - Leonis Adobe California Ranch Life 

Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo - Hands! On Elementary School Science

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library - Air Force One Discovery Center

Skirball Cultural Center - Build a Better World: A Museum/School/Community Partnership



Aquarium of the Pacific - Interactive Videoconferencing Program

Computer History Museum - Get Invested: Case Studies in Innovation

Crocker Art Museum - Art Ark

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Art Programs with the Community: LACMA On-Site

Palo Alto Art Center - Project LOOK!

Roseville Utility Exploration Center - Planet Protector School Tours



Autry - Casa de Adobe Junior Docent Program

J. Paul Getty Museum - Art & Language Arts

Monterey Bay Aquarium - Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats (WATCH)

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles - Contemporary Art Start

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History - Neary Lagoon Wetland Walk

Santa Monica Museum of Art - Wall Works