Educational Programs

“I just wanted to reiterate what an
excellent experience my students and I had at
NMIH today. Your rapport with the students,
knowledge of the exhibits and history, and the quality
of the exhibits and museum setup made it an
overall outstanding educational experience.”


-Nancy Dean, 5th grade teacher at Good Shepherd Christian Academy

Looking for unique field trip destinations and outreach programs for your students?

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 the museum 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.