Learning Resources

Check out our learning resources portal! From deep dives into the machines from our collections to curriculums for classes, we have an array of free, public materials available/

Education Overview

Learn From Yesterday, Explore Today, Imagine Tomorrow.

The museum’s educational programming is built around three core pillars. We work to illuminate the history of industrialization, beginning with the birth of the American System in the historic walls of our building 197 years ago, examine the field of manufacturing today, and look towards the technologies poised to shape our future. Our programming is for absolutely everyone, of any ability from K to Grey. From demonstrations in our Innovation Station and hands-on workshops to monthly exhibits and virtual STEM lessons, we have always have something new going on.

We also run a grant-funded hands-on STEM program, where we send free kits and curriculum, covering STEM topics related to the museum, to 4th-6th grade classrooms within a 90-minute radius of the museum. This year, we have already committed 1000 kits to teachers in the region. You can find out more information about the program and our partners who have helped make it happen here.


Learning Lab

What is the tallest tower you can make using only 20 paper straws and a roll of tape? Can you code a sphero to make it out of our maze?  How can you make a model car run on 3 different types of alternative energy? Interested in learning how to design 3D prints?

We use the Learning Lab for field trips, in-house workshops, and group reservations. It’s hands-on and designed for all ages (from “K” through “gray”), where we challenge each other to harness our inner engineers, artists and designers to collaboratively solve hands-on problems. We use everything from building blocks and spheros to co bots and 3d printers. Look at our events page to see if there are any upcoming programs that you’d like to take part in.


Innovation Station

APM interns bring our story to life as they demonstrate the operation of both historic and modern machine tools in our innovation station. See how our state-of-the-art machines work, ask questions along the way, and then take home the objects our interns made from our gift shop. If you’re interested, please call ahead to ensure that we will be running the Innovation Station on the day you want to visit.

Interior view of the Haas 3-axis milling machine as it machines widgets in the innovation station, which we sell in the museum gift shop

The Innovation Station is an integral part of our museum, and it brings our story into the present, helping us not only educate visitors about the history of industrialization and the American System but also inspire the next generation of manufacturers and engineers. These initiatives tie into our core mission: To capture the imaginations of young and old with the spirit of innovation, problem-solving and design demonstrated through the dynamic story of the machines and people that form the foundation and future of manufacturing in America.

The Innovation Station features:

A view of the 3D printer in the museum's innovation station

Special thanks to Haas (Trident Machine), Midaco, Gosiger Automation (Fanuc), Evolution Aero, Abbot Workholding, and Kennametal for their generous contributions of advanced manufacturing machine tools and equipment to the Innovation Station.  

School Visits

Field trips through the museum can focus on a variety of topics, including American History, invention and innovation, manufacturing, energy transfer, measurement, interchangeable parts, just to name a few. In general, each of our field trips begins with a tour through the museum gallery, often focused around one or two core themes. We then run several hands-on activities in our learning lab that build on the tour’s core idea. From coding spheros to building catapults, we offer a wide range of possibilities. Older groups can also request a look behind the scenes at our collections, which will feature objects that aren’t on display in our main gallery and a include look at how museums like ours operate.

Please reach out at least two weeks in advance, and we can help you design a program that fits your vision!

You can also look at some of our standard field trips here.


Stay tuned for more information on our summer camp, which we will announce in January, and join our mailing list to hear about all of our special events and after-school programming throughout the year!

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