Looking for a unique learning experience for your students? Look no further than NMIH!

Schools field trips are available for grades K-12. All field trips are 2-hour experiences that are led by an experienced Museum Educator. Students are guided through a curated and interactive tour of the Museum galleries. The experience may include S.T.E.A.M. hands-on activities, facilitated discussions and debates, oral history, and workshops.

Field trips are easily adjusted to fit the learning needs of your group! These experiences enable students to connect with history in a deeper way, are curriculum-based, and practice the 4 “C”s of 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking, Communication, Creativity, and Collaboration.

Each Field Trip Includes:

  • 2-hour facilitated experience at the Museum with a trained Museum Educator
  • In-depth highlights of NMIH collections and artifacts
  • An interactive discussion or hands-on activity related to the topic that engage your students in local and national history and S.T.E.A.M. learning
  • Meets national Common Core standards, Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System, and New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

COST: $15 per student

Chaperones are free at the rate of 1 per 10 students. Each additional chaperone is $5

Bus drivers are free of charge for museum admission

WHEN: Monday- Friday between 9 am – 5 pm EST (Federal holidays excluded)

WHERE: National Museum of Industrial History

PARTICIPANTS: 5-60 students

We accommodate groups of up to 20 students per Museum Educator, however we can have up to 3 simultaneous groups (60 participants total). We ask that there is a minimum of 1 teacher or chaperone with each group of 20 students.


Barnette Education Center lunch rental: to reserve the Barnette Education Center as a space for lunch is an additional $50 for up to 1 hour of usage.

Barnette Education Center activity rental: to reserve the Barnette Education center for any other purpose is at the rate of $120 per hour.

Email us at [email protected] to learn more about other add-on hands-on opportunities including the Corliss Comes Alive and Metal Melting for Kids.

PAYMENT: We request that a 20% refundable deposit be paid at least 10 days prior to your Field Trip date. Kindly let us know if this poses an issue, and we will be happy to discuss your situation with you.

Full payment is due prior to the start of the Field Trip and can take place upon arrival to the Museum.

Accepted forms of payment include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or checks. Checks can be made out to the National Museum of Industrial History. The Museum does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment.

CANCELLATION: Cancellations up to 7 days prior to your Field Trip are eligible for a full refund. If cancellations are made within 7 days of the Field Trip, the Museum will retain the deposit. If cancellations are made prior to the 7 days of the Field Trip, the Museum will refund the deposit.

PARKING: Parking is available in the Ruins East Parking Lot, off East 2nd Street, adjacent to the Museum.

“The NMIH is a tremendous resource for school groups. The ability of students to see first-hand the size and scale of industrial development is complemented by knowledgeable and engaging staff who provide a learning experience not found anywhere else.”
-Stefan Wentling, teacher, Northern Lebanon High School

Field Trip Experiences

We are currently working on adding more field trip experiences. Please check back for updates.


Grades: K-2, 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

This is an informative and interactive guided tour of the Museum with one of our experienced Museum Educators. it is an in-depth, 2-hour, tour with facilitated discussions and hands-on activities of all 4 of our main gallery spaces: Machinery Hall, Iron & Steel, Silk & Textiles, and Propane & Energy. Learn more about our Hands On Learning Stations below!


Grades: 6-8; 9-12

During this program, which includes a guided gallery tour and facilitated discussion activities, students learn about the impact of the Industrial Revolution and role play a society in flux. In the galleries they learn about artifacts and oral histories that emphasize Pennsylvania’s role in the Industrial Revolution. Students learn about the lives of the men, women, and children who lived and worked during the Industrial Revolution by taking on the personification of real people of the time and discussing the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution. They will then discuss our current revolution, the Internet Revolution, and how it is reshaping society today.


Grades: 3-5

During this Field Trip, students will discover the impact of the silk industry in the United States. They will learn about the history of silk, the connections to the Lehigh Valley, the innovation of the industry, the lives of the workers, and the reform and activism that came out of the silk mills. Included in the field trip are hands-on learning experiences throughout the gallery space as well as fun weaving activities in our Barnette Education Center.



 While in our galleries, explore our Hands On Learning Stations.

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

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


  1. I’m not a teaching professional. Can I still book a field trip?
    1. Absolutely! Field trips are open to groups of learners grades K-12 no matter what organization they come from. If you have any questions about whether the field trip offerings are a good fit for your group, we are happy to discuss your needs and help you find which program will be the best fit. Reach out to us at [email protected]
  2. Is there a minimum/ maximum of students who can participate in a field trip?
    1. Yes! Our field trips have been designed for groups of learners, rather than individual students. Therefore, we require a minimum group size of 5 participants. To ensure the best experience for every student, and to meet our current space capacity, the maximum group size is 60 participants.
  3. How do I make changes to my field trip?
    1. If you need to make any changes, please email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to accommodate any changes.
  4. How do I cancel my field trip?
    1. You can cancel up to 7 days prior to your scheduled field trip and receive a full refund. If you cancel later than that, the Museum will retain the 20% deposit.
  5. Do you offer cost assistance or scholarships for field trips?
    1. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer cost assistance or scholarships at this time.
  6. How does your reservation process work?
    1. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at [email protected] before submitting your request. When you’re ready, you can submit your request via our online form on the website. Once we receive your request, we will reach out with more information and to schedule. Once your program is finalized, you will receive an invoice via email. You can pay for your program by check or credit card. If you choose to pay by credit card, you can do so via our online portal or by phone. We request a 20% deposit and the balance to be paid prior to the start of the field trip.

Contact our Education Department

Email us at [email protected] with any questions.