Last week we attended a field trip to the American Textile Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. The trip included a guided tour of the museum as well as two excellent classes: "Junk to Jackets" and "Technical Tools." Crackerjack took the former; Bookworm took the latter.
Here are the class descriptions:
From Junk to Jackets (Grades 3-10): Learn how recycling is used in the textile industry to make cloth, and consider its ecological impacts. As a colorful and educational keepsake, students will fill "ecological containers" with layers of materials showing the steps of the scientific process invented to convert plastic soda bottles into knitted fleece fabric. Students will do experiments revealing material characteristics and illustrating advances from nanotechnology research used to make modern fabrics even better!
Technical Tools (Grades 6-12): In a hands-on lab setting, work in teams to problem-solve how to overcome the technical difficulties experienced by the early US cotton industry, and experience the challenge of inventing that transformed the US during the early Industrial Revolution. Figure out Eli Whitney's inventors' success secrets as you engineer your own solutions. A world events timeline provides an international perspective.
This was our first visit to the museum, but I knew we'd get there one of these days (and I have a feeling we'll be back). Our history focus this year is the Industrial Revolution, and Lowell was one of the most important cities at that time. In fact, I believe it is known as the birthplace of the (American) Industrial Revolution.
I have a ton of pictures to share - no really, a ton - so I've made up a couple of photo albums instead of bogging down this post with jpgs. You can find my pictures in the two new photo albums on the right hand sidebar - one is called "ATM Field Trip" and this has the bulk of the pictures I took on our tour and in the boys' classes. The other album is called "Apron Exhibit" and it holds the pictures I took in the museum's special exhibit, a tribute to the 1950's and the apron phenomenon. Sorry these photos are not of the greatest quality, the lighting was fairly dim throughout most of the museum and we were not allowed to use flash photography.
I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you are in the New England area - whether you live here or are visiting some day - I highly recommend you pay a visit to the American Textile Museum. The people who led us through the day were friendly, enthusiastic and so helpful. I look forward to another visit this spring!