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National Endowment for the Humanities: Forge of Innovation

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Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for Teachers

Forge of Innovation:

The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry

One-week program offered July 7-12 and July 21-26, 2019 • Springfield, Massachusetts

About The Forge of Innovation

This program welcomed teachers to participate in July, 2015 and July, 2019

This workshop investigated how the newly independent United States rose to become the world’s leading industrial power. Teachers came to Springfield, Massachusetts, arguably the birthplace of modern industry, and learned from scholars as they investigated the history of invention at the Springfield Armory in the 19th century. Participants traveled to historic sites and studied a compelling variety of maps, letters, business records, paintings, manufacturing products, tools, and more. Teachers contrasted ideologies and strategies of industrial development, and considered the impacts of industrial development on workers, communities, the environment, and culture.

A team of historians with extensive experience working with teachers focused on the enormous economic, social, and political changes in America from the Revolution to the early 20th Century.

Teacher-educators guided a process of translating rich in-person resources to the teacher-participants plans for their classrooms. Teachers created inquiry-based lessons on topics of their choice that arose from the workshop. Time to work on class projects was integrated through the week, facilitated by veteran educators. Teachers  researched and included primary sources for their lessons from the archives of participating museums and from the Library of Congress and other national collections. Examples of lessons (edited for sharing) can be found by searching for industry topics in our teaching resources library

Stipend provided to teachers by NEH: $1,200 for travel, meals, and other costs.

Graduate Credit: 3 graduate credits in History from Westfield State University

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