- What Is the Tsongas Industrial History Center?
- TIHC in the News
- Mission Statement
- What We Value
- Who Was Paul Tsongas?
- Tsongas Industrial History Center videos on YouTube
What is the Tsongas Industrial History Center?
- The Tsongas Industrial History Center is a hands-on center where students learn about the American Industrial Revolution through activities and tours of the sites where history—and science—happened. Students "do history" by weaving, working on an assembly line, role-playing immigrants, voting in a town meeting, or becoming inventors. Students can also "do science" as they use the engineering design process, manipulate simple machines, create canal systems and test water wheels, measure water quality, trace the flow of groundwater pollution, or discover river cleanup techniques.
- Tsongas Industrial History Center is a professional development provider, offering teachers exciting workshops and primary-source-based teaching activities. Teachers can earn professional development points and even graduate credit for their activities at the Center.
- The Tsongas Industrial History Center is a education partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Education and National Park Service at Lowell National Historical Park, which each provide a portion of the funding and staff to operate the Center.
The Tsongas Industrial History Center is grateful to receive operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Tsongas Industrial History Center is to inspire connections with and understandings about America's industrial past, present, and future through experiential learning using Lowell's unique resources.
What We Value
- Authenticity – We use Lowell’s story, historic landscapes, buildings, and objects as a case study to explore the causes and consequences of the American Industrial Revolution.
- Collaboration – We are teammates – learners, classroom teachers, TIHC staff (UML and NPS), LNHP colleagues, and community partners – sharing authority, knowledge, and viewpoints.
- Customer Service – We make every attempt to meet our audiences’ needs through careful attention to their requests and appropriate flexibility in our logistics.
- Engagement – We provide learners with compelling simulations and activities through which they build understanding about the Industrial Revolution.
- Inquiry Learning – We facilitate critical thinking and foster investigation skills to stimulate learner engagement in history and science/engineering.
- Relevance – We help our diverse audience find connections between Lowell’s historical significance and their own lives.
Who Was Paul Tsongas?
The Paul E. Tsongas Industrial History Center is named for former U.S. Senator Tsongas, not only because he filed the legislation to create the Lowell National Historical Park, but also because he urged the development of University-Park Service educational partnerships to use Lowell as a classroom. Senator Tsongas believed that stronger schools were an essential ingredient in the revitalization of economic and community life in Lowell and in the region and that strong schools resulted from strong community partnerships.
Inspired by Tsongas's vision of Lowell as an historical classroom not only for Lowell students but for all students, Superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park Chrysandra Walter and UMass Lowell Chancellor William Hogan assembled a team and sought initial funding to create a hands-on education center that opened in the fall of 1991. The Center was later named to honor the Senator's many contributions to Lowell as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1975-1979), United States Senator (1979-1985), UMass Lowell trustee, Lowell City Counselor, and County Commissioner.
Learn More by Watching Our Videos
Learn more about the Tsongas Industrial History Center by watching our videos on our YouTube page. UMass Lowell students helped us create a video for our 25th anniversary in 2016. It gives a good overview of our history, our impact, and how we are looking forward to the next 25 years.