Objective: Design and construct a Rube Goldberg-style machine that demonstrates key principles of the Corliss steam engine, while also paying homage to the historical and industrial legacy of the Pullman National Historical Park.
Target Audience: High school students (grades 9-12)
Materials Required: A variety of materials like cardboard, wooden dowels, string, rubber bands, small electric motors (optional), gears, pulleys, weights, marbles, dominoes, etc. Recycled materials and simple electronic components are also encouraged.
Oh, what a day we had at Pullman National Historical Park! It was one of those days where you're learning, laughing, and just completely immersed in the experience. We kicked off the day with a game called "What Year Was That?" and let me tell you, it was the perfect icebreaker. We were guessing, laughing, and really getting into the spirit of things. Then, we embarked on a tour of Pullman. This wasn't just any tour; Ranger Alex made sure we soaked in every bit of history and charm that Pullman has to offer. It was like walking through a living history book!
We designed our own planned community. We took inspiration from the Pullman community, both its past and present. It was fascinating to see everyone's creative ideas come to life. We also dived into some books on Labor Day and came up with some really innovative lesson ideas. It's amazing how much you can learn when you're having fun.
Post-lunch was all about creativity. We designed and created our own stained glass windows. Did you know that Pullman is known for its stunning stained glass? We do now, and we even got to make our own! Then came the engineering challenge - building our own Pullman Cars to scale. It sounds easy, right? Well, it's trickier than it looks, but oh so rewarding when you get it right.
We wrapped up the day with a read-aloud of "The Witness Trees." It was a touching way to end our journey. Each of us then drew and water color painted bricks from around Pullman and wrote Haikus and Free Verse Poems. We left our artistic mark on the park, and it felt great.
This day was so much more than an educational trip. It was a day filled with creativity, history, and a whole lot of fun. And guess what? We're doing it all over again on March 22, 2024, with a whole new set of activities. If you're interested, come join us - it's going to be another amazing day!
Thanks to the amazing staff at Pullman National Historical Park AND the Historic Pullman Foundation!!
PS- All of the lesson ideas from today are posted on the "Experience Pullman" page!
Today marked an extraordinary event at the Pullman National Historical Park, where 831 students from across the country came together virtually for a LiveStream event. The highlight of the day was Ranger Alex’s engaging presentation, which took us on a journey through the rich history and enduring legacy of the Pullman community.
Ranger Alex skillfully narrated the story of George Pullman and the iconic Pullman Train Car, bringing to life the innovations and challenges of the era. The tale of the Pullman Workers was particularly poignant, shedding light on the struggles and triumphs of those who were at the heart of the Pullman Company's success. The discussion of the Pullman Strike was a powerful reminder of the workers' resilience and their fight for fair labor practices.
The strength of the Pullman Community, which endures to this day, was a central theme. Ranger Alex emphasized how this community has evolved, adapting to changing times while preserving its rich heritage. The interactive session included showing students various artifacts: large-scale train tools that illustrated the ingenuity of the era, a blueprint of a refrigerated cooler box for air conditioning showcasing technological advancements, an original Pullman porter hat and suitcase, and a drafting set. These tangible pieces of history created a deeper connection with the past.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the day was the engineering challenge posed to the students. Inspired by the Pullman community’s history, students were tasked with designing sustainable and affordable housing for all. This challenge not only stimulated their creativity but also instilled in them a sense of social responsibility and community spirit.
The event was more than just a history lesson; it was an inspiration. It reminded us of the power of community, the importance of innovation, and the need for sustainable practices in our modern world. As the students take on the challenge of designing housing for the future, they carry with them the lessons of the past and the spirit of the Pullman community. Truly, it was a great day at the Pullman National Historical Park, filled with learning, inspiration, and a renewed appreciation for our collective history.
Today at Pullman National Historical Park, we had an unforgettable day with the students from Poe Classical Magnet School. It was a morning filled with excitement and learning, all centered around the essential '4 Cs' - Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration. We quickly realized how these skills are crucial for accomplishing great things, especially when we looked at how they connect to our national parks.
We dove into the connections between different national parks like Wind Cave, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Craters of the Moon, and how they relate to the history and science at Pullman. The kids were absolutely engrossed, making connections and asking brilliant questions.
The most fun part? Getting hands-on with science. We explored geysers, learned about Bernoulli's principle, played with circuits, and even dabbled in rocketry. There were laughs, wide-eyed stares, and so much enthusiasm. It was clear: we all have a unique part to play in this world, and today was about finding what that might be.
In the afternoon, we focused on the fourth graders who took on the challenge of reimagining Pullman Train Cars. They had to plan, draw, and discuss their ideas before building models out of recyclable materials. It was amazing to see their mathematical skills come to life as they measured, calculated angles, and discussed scale models.
But what stood out the most was their teamwork. They communicated, collaborated, and overcame obstacles together. It's not always easy to work in a team, but these kids showed us how it's done.
As the day wrapped up, we couldn't help but feel impressed by these students and their ability to learn and work together. This week's school event was a resounding success, and we're all buzzing with excitement for the LiveStream tomorrow. Working with Pullman National Historical Park and the Historic Pullman Foundation has been an incredible experience, and we can't wait to see what the future holds.
Today was a reminder of the magic that happens when young minds are encouraged to explore, create, and collaborate. We left feeling proud and inspired, looking forward to many more days like this.
Day 1 at Pullman National Historical Park was like stepping back into a familiar storybook, filled with characters and tales that never get old. Seeing Ranger Alex again felt like catching up with an old pal who always has the best stories to share. He knows the park like the back of his hand, and every time we meet, he adds another layer to our understanding of this place. Fun fact; he has been at the park since March and was formerly a classroom teacher.
Assistant Superintendent Sue, with whom we've had the pleasure of working before, was there too, greeting us with her warm smile and infectious enthusiasm. She's got this amazing ability to juggle the preservation of the park's history with keeping it welcoming for visitors, and it's always inspiring to hear her take on things.
Meeting Superintendent Teri Gage was a highlight. She's got this energy and vision for the park that's contagious. Chatting with her, you can't help but feel excited about the future of Pullman National Historical Park and its role in the community.
The staff at Pullman are something else. Each one of them is so dedicated to their work, and their passion for this place really shines through. They're not just working here; they're keeping the stories and history alive, and it's so cool to see.
Scouting locations for our LiveStream on Thursday took us all over the park. Each spot had its own vibe and story, and we can't wait to share these hidden gems with everyone online.
The tour of the buildings was like a walk down memory lane, with each structure whispering tales of the past. And let me tell you, the coffee and pastry smells at the Pullman House Project? Absolutely divine. We will definitely be grabbing some of those delicious pastries on Friday.
Visiting Rebecca at the Historic Pullman Foundation really hit home how important this place is. The foundation’s work in getting us here and supporting the park is a testament to the power of community in preserving our national heritage. We are very grateful for their support. She opened up just for us and you could see how proud she was to help us imagine the past with her.
As we wrapped up the day, the excitement for tomorrow's work at Poe Classical School was palpable. Sharing the magic of Pullman National Historical Park with the kids is going to be amazing. We can't wait to spark that sense of wonder and respect for this national treasure in the younger generation, just like it has been sparked in us. Today wasn’t just about visiting a park; it was about reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and being part of a story that’s much bigger than ourselves.
Embarking on a journey through Pullman National Historical Park is not just a walk through lush greenery and architectural splendor. It's a dive into the corridors of history, touching the very narrative that has woven the fabric of our nation. This park, rich in its historical tapestry, stands as a testament to American industrialism, labor rights, and community spirit. Its beautifully preserved buildings and landscapes aren't just pleasing to the eye; they are windows into a unique era, where George Pullman's vision of a utopian industrial town in the 1880s came to life.
But the heart of Pullman is truly found in the personal stories echoing through its streets. These stories, passed through generations, are not merely family memories but crucial chapters of our collective history. Recognizing the immense educational value of such stories, Expeditions in Education has embarked on a mission with "Experience Pullman," aiming to bring this historical gem alive for students nationwide. This project is more than a tour; it's a voyage back in time, designed to ignite young minds.
In an innovative step, Expeditions in Education is also virtually bringing the wonders of Pullman to classrooms across the country. Leveraging modern technology, they have created an immersive virtual experience, allowing students who cannot physically visit the park to explore its rich history and architecture. Through interactive virtual tours and digital storytelling, the essence of Pullman's history is brought to life, ensuring that students from all backgrounds can experience this important piece of American history.
Pullman offers an open-air classroom unlike any other, where history transcends textbooks and comes alive. Students can tread the same paths as 19th-century workers, gaining a deep understanding of labor rights and social reform. This journey into the past is not just about learning history; it's about inspiring innovative thought and creativity, drawing lessons from Pullman's pioneering design and community structure.
The exploration of Pullman is a reminder of the importance of our past in shaping a better future. It is a call to raise a generation that values history, using these lessons to carve new paths. The legacy of Pullman lies not just in its historical significance but in its capacity to inspire change, underscoring that innovation, courage, and community spirit can lead to meaningful transformations.
As we embark on this expedition with thousands of students, we are not merely exploring a park. We are igniting a passion for history, fostering curiosity, and empowering a new generation to learn from the past to create a better future. Pullman National Historical Park is more than just a landmark; it's a living classroom, a source of inspiration, and a bridge to our past, shaping the innovators and thinkers of tomorrow.
Join us in this journey of discovery at Pullman, where history is not just learned but experienced. Day one begins now, and the possibilities are boundless.