The West Virginia State Museum opened in the Culture Center (not Cultural Center) at the Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia. This museum opened on West Virginia Day, June 20, 2009. Yesterday, I went to the museum with a couple of fellow Social Studies teachers. I was really amazed with the layout of the facility.
You enter the Culture Center through the main lobby and take the escalator or elevator downstairs to the museum. The museum is laid out as a "showpath" which is basically a walking timeline. Visitors start out in the prehistoric age, then meander to the first cultures in what is now West Virginia. There are samples behind glass and in drawers of rocks of the era.
The museum progresses to the settlers and the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, statehood, the Capitals of West Virginia, and then to the 20th Century. There are also exhibits of mines, pastimes, fairs and festivals, as well as West Virginia's involvements in wars throughout history.
We teachers were talking about how we would take middle school and/or high school students through this museum. We talked to the people at the main desk and said there is an Education Director for the museum who is going to send out much information by the time school starts. We talked about including a tour of the Capital building to alternate with students in the museum so it would not get too crowded. There is also the possibility of having students do a scavenger hunt to find details in the museum. This is not an all inclusive museum of West Virginia and its History but I feel it aligns with the 8th Grade West Virginia Studies Curriculum. This museum will takes 3 to 4 hours to go through at a leisurely pace. I would suggest you to go to the museum because you would much appreciate it.