Power to Production

Watch a video of our Power to Production workshop.

Grades 4-12


At the start of the Industrial Revolution, water from the Merrimack River powered mechanical systems that allowed Lowell’s machines to produce cloth faster than ever before. As engineers and scientists, students test for solutions to the problem of how to harness water-power. They work in teams to

  • Test water wheels’ speed and strength, digitally recording their data and analyzing graphs to determine which wheel works best.
  • Design and build a functioning mill-and-canal system.
  • Manipulate cams, belts and pulleys, and gears to explore how energy was transferred from water to loom in the historic Suffolk Mill and discover how water's potential energy was transformed into kinetic energy to power Lowell's machines. 
  • Compare past and present-day uses of technology and natural resources and reflect on the environmental impacts of industrialization. 

We have many resources to help prepare your students for their visit, and extend learning afterwards. 

All of our programs have been reviewed to ensure their relevance to state and national standards.

Program details:

  • Field Trip Fee: $225 per group
  • Group Size: Up to 30 students per group.
    • Chaperones: We require a minimum of two (2) adults per group – with a ratio of one (1) adult for every ten (10) students.
    • Each group should include a teacher, one or two chaperones, plus any additional staff (aides, nurses, etc) your group requires.
    • Maximum of six (6) adults per group.

Plan your visit now.

Program can be reserved by calling us at 978-970-5080 to make a reservation for your class.


The Tsongas Industrial History Center is an education partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Education and the National Park Service at Lowell National Historical Park.

  • UMass Lowell
  • National Park Service