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Explore how Lowell's many integrated systems, including waterwheels and turbines, transformed the potential energy of the Merrimack River into kinetic energy that ran the machines. Through a series of investigations led by one of our educators, students generate hypotheses and analyze data to determine the most efficient ways to distribute energy to all the mills and machines. Students will virtually interact with real, live models of waterwheels and canal systems during their experiment.

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About This Program


Point to Point: $125.00


1 hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Homeschool/Family , Learning Pod

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Industrial Technology, STEM, Problem Solving, Gifted & Talented

Program Delivery Mode

Zoom, Contact us about using alternate platforms.

Booking Information

Please contact us for available dates and times.

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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

Two weeks notice for cancellations.

The Tsongas Industrial History Center — an education partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell College of Education and the National Park Service at Lowell National Historical Park — is a hands-on center where students, grade-school through college, learn about the American Industrial Revolution through activities, tours, and virtual programs of the sites where history and science happened. 

TIHC Staff

Program Details


The program is interactive and participatory. Students engage our staff and each other in conversation and make predictions, observations, and draw conclusions during engineering investigations.

Classroom, home, and hybrid options are available. The classroom version requires individual computers (with headphones) or a computer and projector/smart-board. Home versions require each student to have their own computer or tablet. All programs use Zoom software. We will provide a passcode-protected link to share with students.


Enduring Understanding: Engineering and technology are used to efficiently harness natural resources.

Essential Question: What role does science and technology play in balancing the needs for power and use of resources?

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Practice 3: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Planning and carrying out investigations in 6-8 builds on K-5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or solutions.

State Standards

Massachusetts STEM Framework Connections
Grade 7
Physical Science: MS-PS3-5.
Present evidence to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.

Technological Systems: MS-ETS3-4 (MA).
Show how the components of a structural system work together to serve a structural function.