Looking for unique field trip destinations and outreach programs for you students or scouts?

Come check out the National Museum of Industrial History in Bethlehem, PA!

The mission of the National Museum of Industrial History, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, is to forge a connection between America’s industrial past and the innovations of today by educating the public and inspiring the visionaries of tomorrow. We strive to meet our mission statement by creating exhibitions and educational programing that tell the stories of the people, machines and ideas that are part of America’s industrial heritage.  Located on the Historic Bethlehem Steel site, NMIH houses artifacts from the Smithsonian’s American History Industrial Machinery collection, the Bethlehem Steel Plant, the Lehigh Valley’s Silk Mills, and Pennsylvania’s Propane Industry.  Interactive exhibits encourage learners of all ages to see how much horsepower they can produce, challenges them to lift as much pig iron as a Bethlehem Steel worker, invites them to learn how to use a loom to create intricate patterns, and introduces them to all the ways propane impacts their modern lives.

The National Museum of Industrial History offers the following educational programing:

School Field Trips
School field trips are available for grades K-12. Students will participate in an informative and interactive guided tour of the Museum with experienced docents. We offer pre and post lessons that meet curriculum standards while providing educators the flexibility to adapt the content to fit their subject and student needs. For more info on booking a tour, please contact Kitsa Behringer at   Your school may qualify for free or reduced costs for school field trips. Find out more here.

Hands on Learning Stations
In the Centennial Gallery, see and touch a sample piece from each of our woodworking machines, files like those from the Nicholson File Company, and discover the difference between hand-made and mass produced nails.  Learn how mechanization revolutionized industries making products more affordable for the consumer.

In the Iron and Steel Gallery, visitors have the opportunity to handle the local natural resources that are the foundation of Pennsylvania’s industrial heritage.  Follow these raw materials as they were historically combined to make wrought and cast iron products and then discover how the local iron industry became the nationally recognized Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

In the Silk Gallery, we invite visitors to see the life cycle of the silk worm, touch silk worm cocoons, and feel silk in various stages of its production.  Play a matching game between natural dyes, their plant source, and colorful silk threads.  Learn about the invention of the power loom and try your hand at weaving a pattern.

In the Propane Gallery, discover how propane is distilled, stored, and shipped while helping perform an experiment illustration Walter Snelling’s original experiment which identified propane as the volatile gas in liquid gasoline.

Literacy at NMIH
Join us in the Education Center at 10am on the second Saturday of each month for an industry themed story which tells the history and events of the inventions and ideas that changed the world.  Following the story, we will have an interactive artifact show and tell with items from the NMIH collection, models of large scale inventions, and the occasional experiment or craft in the case of inventions no longer extant.

  • Ages 5+
  • Cost: Free

In partnership with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, NMIH offers Badge Day Programs.  

Girl Scouts Badge Days

  • Playing at the Past
    • $20/scout
    • Includes badge
    • Includes admission to the museum
  • Inventor
    • $15/scout
    • Includes badge
    • Includes admission to the museum

Boy Scouts/Cub Scout Badge Days

  • Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops are invited to complete requirements for the following:
    • Engineering Merit Badge
    • Geology Merit Badge
    • Inventing Merit Badge
    • Textile Merit Badge
    • Mining in Society Merit Badge
    • Chemistry Merit Badge
    • American Labor Merit Badge
    • Local Knowledge Activity Badge
    • Scientist Activity Badge

Summer Camp
The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) is pleased to offer new educational programing for the summer of 2018.  Participants in the NMIH Rosie Revere’s Engineering Camp will spend a fun-filled week learning how engineers analyze common problems, experiment to discover solutions, and engineer their inventions.  If you’re not afraid to face challenges, can come back to the design table after your first “brilliant flop”, and can try again to come up with the perfect invention, then this is the camp for you!

Registration is available beginning May 1, 2018.

NMIH Tour Pre-Visit Information for Teachers
Scheduling a Tour
Pre-lesson Plan
Post-lesson Plan