Planning a Field Trip
We welcome student groups of all ages to explore the history and technology that comprises the Samuel Slater Experience. However, we recommend visits for grades 3 and above.
The following information and resources list are intended to help make your field trip successful.
The Samuel Slater Experience is not a museum in the traditional sense, with visitors simply looking at artifacts and static displays. Rather, the Samuel Slater story is told with high-tech media: video, audio, motion, wind, and scents, to create an immersive experience.
It covers two time periods: the early 1800s and the early 1900s.
Samuel Slater traveled from England to America 1789 with Britain’s textile industry secrets in his head. He successfully powered the country’s first cotton spinning jenny, and established the American factory system. Slater would become known as the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution.
By the early 1900s, rural New England was dotted with thriving mill towns, the result of industrialization. One of these was Webster, Massachusetts, where Samuel Slater owned and operated six cotton and woolen mills. Webster became a vacation destination for tourists from as far away as New York City. The Samuel Slater Experience recreates downtown Webster as it was in the early 1900s.
A visit to the Samuel Slater Experience is designed to be educational and entertaining. Prepare your students to experience history in a new, immersive way as they climb aboard the ship that carried Samuel Slater to America and ride a trolley through downtown Webster a century later.
The museum’s historical exhibits and media presentations can connect to a variety of classroom topics, such as international trade, transitions from agricultural to urban life, child labor, unions, patents, industrialization, and immigration.
Similarly, the museum demonstrates important principles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with examples such as sail rigging, mill construction, simple machines, modes of transportation, and power systems.
Teacher Exhibit Guide
The Exhibit Guide gives a brief overview of each of the exhibits in the Samuel Slater Experience to assist educators in determining how and when a museum field trip is best incorporated into the curriculum. A PDF version can be found here.
Teaching Notes tie exhibits to specific subject areas. Text Panels provide a more detailed narrative of exhibit’s topic.
The applicable parts of the Curriculum Frameworks for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are in this section.
3-PS2-1. Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
3-PS2-2. Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
3-LS4-4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity: Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.*
4-PS3-1. Energy: Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object
4-ESS3-1. Earth and Human Activity: Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
4-ESS3-2. Earth and Human Activity: Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
5-PS2. Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
Grades 6-8 (Middle School)
MS-PS1-3 Matter and its Interactions: Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Grades 9-12 (High School)
HS-PS3-3 Energy: Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.*
HS-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
HS-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
HS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity: Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
HS-ESS3-4 Earth and Human Activity: Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Grade 3: Connecticut and Local History
HIST 3.2 Compare life in specific historical time periods to life today.
HIST 3.3 Generate questions about individuals who have shaped significant historical changes and continuities.
HIST 3.4 Explain connections among historical contexts and people’s perspectives at the time.
HIST 3.5 Describe how people’s perspectives shaped the historical sources they created.
How did industries such as whaling, manufacturing, and technology create Connecticut’s history and contribute to America’s story?
HIST 3.7 Compare information provided by different historical sources about the past.
HIST 3.8 Infer the intended audience and purpose of a historical source from information within the source itself.
HIST 3.9 Generate questions about multiple historical sources and their relationships to particular historical events and developments.
HIST 3.10 Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.
HIST 3.11 Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments.
CIV 3.5 Identify the beliefs, experiences, perspectives, and values that underlie their own and others’ points of view about civic issues.
ECO 3.1 Compare the benefits and costs of individual choices.
ECO 3.2 Identify examples of the variety of resources (human capital, physical capital, and natural resources) that are used.
ECO 3.3 Explain why individuals and businesses specialize and trade.
GEO 3.1 Construct maps and other graphic representations of both familiar and unfamiliar places.
GEO 3.2 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics.
GEO 3.3 Use maps of different scales to describe the locations of cultural and environmental characteristics.
GEO 3.5 Explain how the cultural and environmental characteristics of places change over time.
GEO 3.6 Describe how environmental and cultural characteristics influence population distribution in specific places or regions.
Grade 4: United States Geography
HIST 4.1 Explain connections among historical contexts and people’s perspectives at the time.
HIST 4.2 Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments.
HIST 4.3 Use evidence to develop a claim about the past.
CIV 4.1 Illustrate historical and contemporary means of changing society.
ECO 4.1 Compare the benefits and costs of individual choices.
ECO 4.2 Identify positive and negative incentives that influence the decisions people make.
ECO 4.3 Identify examples of the variety of resources (human capital, physical capital, and natural resources) that are used to produce goods and services.
GEO 4.3 Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments
GEO 4.4 Explain how the cultural and environmental characteristics of places change over time.
GEO 4.5 Describe how environmental and cultural characteristics influence population distribution in specific places or regions.
GEO 4.6 Explain how cultural and environmental characteristics affect the distribution and movement of people, goods, and ideas
Grade 5: Early United States History
HIST 5.2 Compare life in specific historical periods to life today.
HIST 5.3 Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.
HIST 5.4 Explain why individuals and groups during the same historical period differed in their perspectives.
HIST 5.5 Explain connections among historical contexts and people’s perspectives at the time.
HIST 5.6 Compare information provided by different historical sources about the past.
HIST 5.7 Generate questions about multiple historical sources and their relationships to particular historical events and developments.
HIST 5.8 Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.
HIST 5.9 Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments.
HIST 5.10 Use evidence to develop a claim about the past
CIV 5.2 Describe ways in which people benefit from and are challenged by working together, including through government, workplaces, voluntary organizations, and families.
ECO 5.1 Identify positive and negative incentives that influence the decisions people make.
ECO 5.2 Identify examples of the variety of resources (human capital, physical capital, and natural resources) that are used to produce goods and services.
ECO 5.3 Explain why individuals and businesses specialize and trade.
GEO 5.1 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics.
GEO 5.2 Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments.
GEO 5.3 Explain how human settlements and movements relate to the locations and use of various natural resources.
Grades 6 & 7: World Regional Studies
GEO 6–7.1 Construct maps to represent and explain the pattern of cultural and environmental characteristics in our world.
GEO 6–7.2 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
GEO 6–7.3 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people.
GEO 6–7.4 Analyze the cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from one another.
GEO 6–7.5 Explain the connections between the physical and human characteristics of a region and the identity of individuals and cultures living there.
GEO 6–7.6 Explain how changes in transportation and communication technology influence human settlements and affect the diffusion of ideas and cultural practices.
GEO 6–7.7 Analyze how relationships between humans and environments extend or contract settlement and movement.
GEO 6–7.8 Evaluate the influences of long-term, human-induced environmental change on conflict and cooperation.
GEO 6–7.9 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
GEO 6–7.10 Explain how the relationship between the environmental characteristics of places and the production of goods influences the world trade.
CIV 6–7.1 Explain specific roles played by citizens (such as voters, jurors, taxpayers, members of the armed forces, petitioners, protesters, and officeholders).
CIV 6–7.3 Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies and promoting the common good.
ECO 6–7.1 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
ECO 6–7.3 Explain how changes in supply and demand cause changes in prices and quantities of goods and services, labor, credit, and foreign currencies.
ECO 6–7.4 Analyze the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in a market economy.
HIST 6–8.1 Use questions about historically significant people or events to explain the impact on a region.
Grade 8: United States History
HIST 8.1 Analyze connections among events and developments in historical contexts.
HIST 8.2 Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity.
HIST 8.3 Analyze multiple factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
HIST 8.4 Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time (e.g., American Revolution, slavery, labor, the role of women).
HIST 8.5 Analyze how people’s perspectives influenced what information is available in the historical sources they created.
HIST 8.6 Detect possible limitations in the historical record based on evidence collected from different kinds of historical sources.
HIST 8.7 Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry and additional sources.
HIST 8.8 Evaluate the relevance and utility of a historical source based on information such as maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose.
HIST 8.9 Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
HIST 8.10 Organize applicable evidence into a coherent argument about the past.
CIV 8.3 Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
CIV 8.4 Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.
ECO 8.1 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
ECO 8.3 Analyze the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in a market economy.
GEO 8.1 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
GEO 8.2 Analyze the combinations of cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from other places.
GEO 8.3 Explain how changes in transportation and communication technology influence the spatial connections among human settlements and affect the diffusion of ideas and cultural practices.
GEO 8.4 Explain how the relationship between the environmental characteristics of places and production of goods influences the spatial patterns of world trade.
High School Modern World History
HIST 9–12.1 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
HIST 9–12.2 Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.
HIST 9–12.3 Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.
HIST 9–12.4 Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
HIST 9–12.5 Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives.
HIST 9–12.7 Explain how the perspectives of people in the present shape interpretations of the past.
HIST 9–12.8 Analyze how current interpretations of the past are limited by the extent to which available historical sources represent perspectives of people at the time.
HIST 9–12.14 Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
GEO 9–12.4 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
GEO 9–12.5 Analyze the reciprocal nature of how historical events and the spatial diffusion of ideas, technologies, and cultural practices have influenced migration patterns and the distribution of human population.
ECO 9–12.3 Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
ECO 9–12.6 Evaluate the impact of economic activities and political decisions on spatial patterns within and among urban, suburban, and rural regions.
High School United States History
HIST 9–12.1 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
HIST 9–12.2 Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.HIST 9–12.3 Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras. HIST 9–12.4 Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives. (e.g., immigration, labor, the role of women).
HIST 9–12.11 Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
CIV 9–12.2 Evaluate the effectiveness of citizens and institutions in solving social and political problems.
ECO 9–12.5 Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
GEO 9–12.2 Evaluate the impact of human activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of the various places and regions in the United States.
GEO 9–12.3 Evaluate the impact of economic activities, political decisions, cultural practices, and climate variability on human migration, resource use, and settlement patterns.
GEO 9–12.4 Evaluate how globalization, competition for scarce resources, and human migration contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.
Grade 3: Massachusetts, Home to Many different people
3.T1. Massachusetts cities and towns today and in history
3.T2. The geography and Native Peoples of Massachusetts
3.T3. European explorers’ first contacts with Native Peoples in the Northeast
Grade 4: North American Geography, History and People
4.T4. The expansion of the United States over time and its regions today
Grade 5: Us History to the Civil War and the Modern Civil Rights Movement
5.T4. The growth of the Republic
5.T5. Slavery, the legacy of the Civil War, and the struggle for civil rights for all.
Grade 6: World Geography and Ancient Civilizations I
6.T1. Studying complex societies, past and present
Grade 8: United States and Massachusetts Government and Civic Life
8.T1. The philosophical foundations of the United States political system
8.T4. Rights and responsibilities of citizens
8.T6. The Structure of Massachusetts state and local government
High School United States History
USI.T3. Economic growth in the North, South, and West
USI.T4. Social, political, and religious change
USI.T5. The Civil War and Reconstruction: causes and consequences
USI.T6. Rebuilding the United States: industry and immigration
High School World History
WHI.T1. Dynamic interactions among regions of the world
WHII.T1. Absolute power, political revolutions, and the growth of nation states, c. 1700–1900
WHII.T2. The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions in Europe and social and political reactions in Europe
Grade 3: Human Interactions
3-PS2-1. Provide evidence to explain the effect of multiple forces, including friction, or an object.
Grade 4: Matter and Energy
4-ESS3-1. Obtain information to describe that energy and fuels humans use are derived from natural resources and that some energy and fuel sources are renewable, and some are not. (Clarification Statements: Examples of renewable energy sources could include wind energy, water behind dams, tides, and sunlight.)
Grade 5: Connections and Relationships in Systems
5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways communities reduce human impact on the Earth’s resources and environment by changing an agricultural, industrial, or community practice or process.
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.
Grade 6: Structure and Function
6.MS-ETS2-1(MA). Analyze and compare properties of metals, plastics, wood, and ceramics, including flexibility, ductility, hardness, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and melting point.
6.MS-ETS2-3(MA). Choose and safely use appropriate measuring tools, hand tools, fasteners, and common hand-held power tools to construct a prototype.
Grade 7: Systems and Cycles
7.MS-LS2-4. Analyze data to provide evidence that disruptions (natural or human-made) to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.
7. MS-ETS3-3(MA). Research and communicate information about how transportation systems are designed to move people and goods using a variety of vehicles and devices.
7.MS-ETS3-4(MA). Show how the components of a structural system work together to serve a structural function. Provide examples of physical structures and relate their design to their intended use. (Clarification Statements: Examples of components of a structural system could include foundation, decking, wall, and roofing.)
Grade 8: Cause and Effect
8.MS-ETS2-4(MA). Use informational text to illustrate that materials maintain their composition under various kinds of physical processing; however, some material properties may change if a process changes the particulate structure of a material. (Clarification Statements: Examples of physical processing can include cutting, forming, extruding, and sanding.)
8.MS-ETS2-5(MA). Present information that illustrates how a product can be created using basic processes in manufacturing systems, including forming, separating, conditioning, assembling, finishing, quality control, and safety. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of human vs. computer control of these processes.
High School Biology
HS-LS2-1. Analyze data sets to support explanations that biotic and abiotic factors affect ecosystem carrying capacity. (Clarification Statements: Examples of biotic factors could include relationships among individuals (e.g., feeding relationships, symbioses, competition) and disease. Examples of abiotic factors could include climate and weather conditions, natural disasters, and availability of resources. • Example data sets can be derived from simulations or historical data.)
High School Physics
HS-PS2-1. Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion is a mathematical model describing change in motion (the acceleration) of objects when acted on by a net force. (Clarification Statements: Examples of data could include tables or graphs of position or velocity as a function of time for objects subject to a net unbalanced force, such as a falling object, an object rolling down a ramp, and a moving object being pulled by a constant force. Forces can include contact forces, including friction, and forces acting at a distance, such as gravity and magnetic forces.)
HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to show that the total momentum of a system of interacting objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system. (Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the qualitative meaning of the conservation of momentum and the quantitative understanding of the conservation of linear momentum in interactions involving elastic and inelastic collisions between two objects in one dimension.)
High School Engineering Design
HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify a design problem that can be improved. Determine necessary qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions, including any requirements set by society. (Clarification Statement: Examples of societal requirements can include risk mitigation, aesthetics, ethical considerations, and long-term maintenance costs.)
HS-ETS1-2. Break a complex real-world problem into smaller, more manageable problems that each can be solved using scientific and engineering principles.
HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and tradeoffs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, aesthetics, and maintenance, as well as social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
High School Technological Systems
HS-ETS3-6(MA). Use informational text to illustrate how a vehicle or device can be modified to produce a change in lift, drag, friction, thrust, and weight. (Clarification Statements: Examples of vehicles can include cars, boats, airplanes, and rockets. • Considerations of lift require consideration of Bernoulli’s principle.)
High School Energy and Power Technologies
HS-ETS4-1(MA). Research and describe various ways that humans use energy and power systems to harness resources to accomplish tasks effectively and efficiently. (Clarification Statement: Examples of energy and power systems can include fluid systems such as hydraulics and pneumatics, thermal systems such as heating and cooling, and electrical systems such as electronic devices and residential wiring.)
3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
3-PS2-2. Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
4-PS3-1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Grades 6-8 (Middle School)
MS-ETS1.3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
MS – PS1-3. Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
Grades 9-12 (High School)
HS-PS2-1 PS2.A. Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
HS-ETS1-2 ETS1.C. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
HS-ESS3-1 ESS3.A ESS3.B. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
C&G 1: People create and change structures of power, authority, and governance in order to accomplish common goals.
C&G 3: In a democratic society, all people have certain rights and responsibilities.
C&G 5: As members of an interconnected world community, the choices we make impact others locally, nationally, and globally.
HP 4: Historical events and human/natural phenomena impact and are influenced by ideas and beliefs.
HP 5: Human societies and cultures develop and change in response to human needs and wants.
G 3: Human System: (Movement) Human systems and human movement affect and are affected by distribution of populations and resources, relationships (cooperation and conflict), and culture.
G 4: Environment and Society: Patterns emerge as humans settle, modify, and interact on Earth’s surface to limit or promote human activities.
E 1: Individuals and societies make choices to address the challenges and opportunities of scarcity and abundance.
E 2: Producers and consumers locally, nationally, and internationally engage in the exchange of goods and services.
E 3: Individuals, institutions, and governments have roles in economic systems.
This section contains links to dozens of educational videos and handouts that can augment the SSE visit and learning experience. They’ve been categorized by topic.
Educational Film: Industrial Revolution – Great Britain around 1800 – This is an excellent portrayal of the transitions in society because of the impact of the Industrial Revolution. However, this video provides STEM teachers with excellent views of the textile machines in action.
Industrial Revolution Facts – A KidsKonnect video with facts about the Industrial Revolution.
Industrial Revolution for Kids – A simple yet comprehensive video overview of the Industrial Revolution.
Industrial Revolution Worksheets – A packet of worksheets available on the Industrial Revolution from KidsKonnect.
Mill Times by David Macaulay – This animated program centers on a small New England community similar to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where Samuel Slater established America’s first textile mill. Live action hosted by David Macaulay, takes viewers from Manchester, England, to Lowell, Massachusetts, explaining technological changes that transformed the making of textiles, a key component of the Industrial Revolution sweeping across Europe and America in the late 18th century.
Private Life Of the Industrial Revolution: Social Change – Sir Tony Robinson heads to the Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, United Kingdom to explore the true story of the factory workers whose blood, sweat and toil started the Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution Lesson Plan – A lesson plan about the Industrial Revolution, tailored for students in grades 4-6.
The Industrial Revolution PowerPoint Presentation – This massive PowerPoint presentation covers topics including the eighteenth-century revolution in textile manufacturing, the rise of the labor movement, and early socialism. It includes review questions at the end.
The Industrial Revolution Worksheets – A series of worksheets available on the Industrial Revolution, including word searches and DBQ essay practice.
The Rise of the Industrial Revolution – The development of the spinning machine by Sir Richard Arkwright in England led directly to the rise of the Industrial Revolution, and a new world of manufactured products.
Working in Milltown – A short documentary about working in the Windham Textiles in Connecticut. The video highlights the control system established to trap water resources and covert that to energy required to operate textile machines. It also describes the everyday lifestyle of mill workers at every level.
Field Trip Request Form
Complete the form below to request a reservation for your school or youth group to visit the Samuel Slater Experience. Please review the “Planning a Field Trip” section above for details regarding maximum group size and ticketing requirements.
All Groups Types Must Have:
- A reservation form submitted at least 72 hours in advance; subject to availability
- All guests arrive and enter at the same time
- Only one payment transaction (purchase order, school check) for the entire group (guests cannot pay individually)
- Adults – $16.00
- Students (4-17): $10.00
Please complete the form below to schedule a group visit and a staff member will contact you to confirm your visit. *Fields marked with an asterisk are required.
For questions or additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-461-2955.