For information on our current workshops and teacher institute offerings, see our Calendar of Events.

Staff at the Tsongas Industrial History Center have worked with teachers and offered teacher professional development activities since 1991. We invite you to review ideas of what we can offer and to contact us with your ideas as well.

Customize a Workshop for Teachers customize

The Tsongas Center works with teachers to create educational partnerships. Teachers have been involved in the development of the Tsongas Center even before the first class visited in October, 1991. A teacher advisory board was formed as early as 1985 to advise the National Park, University staff, and consultants in the initial vision of what became the Tsongas Industrial History Center and the board continues to this day.

Teachers and schools can use the Center as a resource for historical content, interdisciplinary teaching approaches for history, science, language arts, or mathematics, re-certification points, or for curriculum planning. All workshops are participatory and provide teachers with useful teaching materials and activities.

We offer workshops for open registration, but we can tailor a single workshop or a series of workshops for teachers in your district.

For additional information:

Call Sheila Kirschbaum, Director, at 978-970-5080 or email:

Working with Teachers working

The Tsongas Industrial History Center had extensive experience with Teaching American History projects, both as a school district partner and as a program provider for other organizations' TAH projects. We also have offered many years of summer workshops funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Familiarization tours of the Tsongas Industrial History Center familiarization

These are physical walk-abouts at the Tsongas Center or virtual tours using slides at your schools. We talk about your objectives and our resources and plan a course of action. There is no cost for this service.

Orientation workshops in Lowell or at your school orientation

Tsongas Center staff will suggest interdisciplinary teaching materials and strategies focusing on the Industrial Revolution in New England. Sample units illustrate successful models used in other schools. We can do a single workshop or multiple workshops. Costs vary with time spent, travel, and materials.

Theme-based Workshops for every discipline theme

These work best as day-long programs at the Tsongas Center. We present content using materials and strategies teachers can use in the classroom, mixing hands-on and primary-source-based activities with investigations of National Park exhibits. A multiple day workshop can easily be created by adding different thematic programs.

Topics include:

  • Reading, Writing and History
  • Farm to Factory
  • Capital, Management and Labor
  • Water Power and Technology
  • Power and Pollution
  • Inventions
  • Immigration
  • Cotton, Cloth and Conflict
  • Women's History

Curriculum Planning curriculum

Districts have brought curriculum teams to the Tsongas Center to create interdisciplinary units. This happens in a variety of ways.

One or more teachers attend a summer Institute at the Tsongas Center, draft a curriculum unit, and then collaborate with Tsongas staff to implement in-service workshops for members of their grade-level teams.

One or more people visit the Tsongas Center for a familiarization workshop followed by a planning meeting with a group of teachers and curriculum leaders. Center staff would then put together a day-long workshop and/or after-school workshops to suggest curriculum approaches. Teachers might then participate in a summer institute or attend thematic workshops at the Center.

Teachers or Curriculum leaders at the district level collaborate with the Tsongas Center in submitting a grant to develop a curriculum unit or implement a professional development program.

Create Your Own Independent Study study

Teachers have spent from one afternoon to several days observing students in hands-on activities, reading in the Center's teacher resource room or the libraries at Lowell National Historical Park or UMass Lowell's Center for Lowell History, culling through files of curriculum materials, and meeting with staff.

School Leadership Retreats school

Need to get your team away from school for a stimulating experience, meeting space, a good meal, perhaps with an ethnic flavor? We have provided groups with a hands-on activity, a short role-playing program, tour of the weave room or boarding house, a musical presentation just long enough to convey a key idea about the industrial revolution. An interpreted trolley ride or boat tour (April through October) can be arranged. Meeting space is available with coffee provided. Restaurants and hotel are two blocks away.


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