Westward by Rail

by  Roper Mountain Science Center

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All aboard! Come explore the technological advances made during the westward expansion of the 19th century and their impact on the history of the United States. Learn about the economics of railroad building, the challenges faced by both railroad companies and Native Americans, and see for yourself the lasting legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad. 

* Please note this program is only able to be booked when students are in their classrooms. At this time, this program is not available as a virtual offering for students schooling at home.

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $100.00

The following fee structure is used:
Greenville County - FREE
South Carolina - $50 per session; buy four, get the fifth FREE (All five programs must be booked at the same time to qualify)
Out-of-State - $100 per session; buy four, get the fifth FREE (All five programs must be booked at the same time to qualify)

Invoices are sent by email, and payment is due within 30 days of your session.


50 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 7

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History, Mathematics, Sciences, Special Education, Technology/Information Science, Problem Solving, Leadership

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs canceled due to nature i.e. snow days. The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice unless the program is rescheduled immediately.

About This Provider

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Roper Mountain Science Center

Greenville, SC
United States

Our Mission is to educate and inspire learners of all ages to explore and investigate the world of science and technology. Our philosophy is that learning should be enjoyable as well as challenging.
We strive to ensure your learning experiences with Roper Mountain Science Center are interdisciplinary--incorporating, science, technology, mathematics, social studies, and language arts.

Jasmine Poor

Program Details


1. Students will be introduced to the idea of the transcontinental railroad and what Americans hoped to gain from its construction
2. Students will review possible routes and learn about construction methods relating to the railroads in the 19th century
3. Students will learn about the lasting impact of the construction of the railroad line
4. Question and answer session


The participant will:
- analyze primary sources on the construction of the transcontinental railroad
- model construction techniques common with the construction of a railroad line in the 19th century
- engage in a discussion about the impacts of the construction of the transcontinental railroad

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NSS-USH.5-12.6 ERA 6:
The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)
- Understands how the rise of corporations, heavy industry, and mechanized farming transformed the American people
- Understands massive immigration after 1870 and how new social patterns, conflicts, and ideas of national unity developed amid growing cultural diversity
- Understands the rise of the American labor movement and how political issues reflected social and economic changes
- Understands Federal Indian policy and United States foreign policy after the Civil War

State Standards

South Carolina Social Studies
Analyze the geographic and economic factors that influenced westward expansion and the ways that these factors affected travel and settlement, including physical features of the land; the climate and natural resources; and land ownership and other economic opportunities.
Summarize how technologies (such as railroads, the steel plow and barbed wire), federal policies (such as subsidies for the railroads and the Homestead Act), and access to natural resources affected the development of the West.
Identify examples of conflict and cooperation between occupational and ethnic groups in the West, including miners, farmers, ranchers, cowboys, Mexican and African Americans, and European and Asian immigrants.
Explain the social and economic effects of westward expansion on Native Americans; including opposing views on land ownership, Native American displacement, the impact of the railroad on the culture of the Plains Indians, armed conflict, and changes in federal policy.
Explain how the Industrial Revolution was furthered by new inventions and technologies, including new methods of mass production and transportation and the invention of the light bulb, the telegraph, and the telephone.