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Crushed fingers, broken legs, cuts and bruises … these were just some of the injuries suffered by 19th-century mill workers as they operated large, dangerous machines. Students will examine the Boott Cotton Mills’ looms and apply the engineering design process to identify safety problems and propose possible solutions. Using breakout groups and collaboration technology, students will draw and collaborate to design a safer loom by applying modern solutions to a historical problem.

Program Rating

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About This Program


Point to Point: $125.00


1 hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, Homeschool/Family , Learning Pod

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Industrial Technology, STEM, Technology/Information Science, Problem Solving, Gifted & Talented engineering

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 to identify problems and generate solutions.

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: Engineers solve problems applying scientific, practical, and social knowledge, along with creativity and within constraints to find the best solution.

Essential Question: How does thinking like an engineer help us find solutions to problems?

Standards Alignment

National Standards

ETS1A 3-5 -- Defining and Delimiting and Engineering Problem
ETS1B 3-5 -- Developing Possible Solutions

State Standards

Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Frameworks
Grade 3: Technology/Engineering ETS1. Engineering Design
3.3-5-ETS1-2. Generate several possible solutions to a given design problem. Compare each solution based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the design problem.

Grade 4: Technology/Engineering
ETS1. Engineering Design
4.3-5-ETS1-5(MA). Evaluate relevant design features that must be considered in building a model or prototype of a solution to a given design problem.

Grade 5: Technology/Engineering ETS3. Technological Systems
5.3-5-ETS3-1(MA). Use informational text to provide examples of improvements to existing technologies (innovations) and the development of new technologies (inventions). Recognize that technology is any modification of the natural or designed world done to fulfill human needs or wants.