Learning In Motion

Education Programs at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

All Aboard! Learn about Pennsylvania’s railroad heritage through the use of hands-on activities, primary sources, vintage vehicles and artifacts from the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

We are more than just a history museum. Our education programs satisfy specific academic standards in history, math, science, language arts, geography, economics, and the arts.

Check out our new “Activities” page here.

School Programs

Price:  $7.00 per student.  For every 5 students, 1 chaperone is admitted free.  Additional chaperones are $9.00 per person.

Primary

Working on the Railroad “A” (Recommended for Preschool-Grade 3/Ages 4-8)

Students will get their tickets at a train station, get their tickets punched aboard a passenger car, build a section of railroad track, and shovel coal into a steam locomotive’s firebox.  (90 minutes)

Working on the Railroad “B” (Recommended for Grades 4-5/Ages 9-10)

Students will sort mail as railway postal clerks, inspect trains as freight conductors, use flag signals as brakemen, and load and unload baggage from a passenger train as baggage handlers.  (90 minutes)

 

Secondary

Parade of Power Tour (Recommended for Grades 9-12/Ages 14-18)

Students will explore the innovations that made railroads faster, safer, and more efficient.  Along the way, they will see what these innovations meant for those who worked or rode on the railroad.  During the tour, students will be invited to climb aboard some of the locomotives and rail cars from the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s collection. (60 minutes)

Traveling Programs

Working on the Railroad (Various Audiences; 20-25 participants maximum; 60-90 minutes)

Participants will be able to interact with many hands-on visual aids and artifacts, like tools, lanterns, uniform items, dining car china, and ticket punches, to explore the various jobs in railroading.

 

Live Steam Demonstration (Various Audiences; 20-25 participants maximum; 60-90 minutes)

Using a miniature working steam model, an instructor will demonstrate the physics of steam locomotion.  With the help of historic artifacts, photos and other visual aids, participants will explore the evolution of locomotion, from steam to electric to diesel-electric.

 

K’NEX Rail Lab (Various Audiences; 20-25 participants maximum; 60-90 minutes)

Working in small groups, students use K’NEX bridge building kits and other learning aids to explore the engineering behind railroad bridges.

 

Railroad Slideshows (Various Audiences; 100 participants maximum; 30-60 minutes)

Do you need a guest speaker for a dinner, meeting or special event?  Our popular railroad-themed slide lectures are designed for the enjoyment of those attending business meetings, banquets, and other social gatherings.  Several titles are available.  Please call to inquire.

Summer Camps (Postponed)

Barons & Builders Summer Day Camps (Ages 9-10; Ages 11-12.  16 participants maximum per each week-long session)

Children learn new skills, have fun and make friends during a five-day summer day camp.  There are two sessions: one week for ages 9-10 and one week for ages 11-12.  Explore railroad history through hands-on activities, demonstrations, arts and crafts projects, model-train building, special behind-the-scenes tours, and a field trip by train.  Reservations are accepted beginning in early March for a limited number of available spaces.

Self-Guided Groups

Group Admission (Various Audiences)

Price:  $6.00 per student.  For every 5 students, 1 chaperone is admitted free.  Additional chaperones are $9.00 per person.

For groups with limited time or who would rather walk around on their own, another option is a self-guided walking tour.  Group rates are available.  Optional scavenger hunt sheets are also available upon request.  For more information, please contact a Museum Educator.

Stewart Junction

Open daily until 3:30 pm

Discover something exciting for all ages in Stewart Junction: The Railway Education Center.  Stewart Junction is filled with many fun and challenging interactive exhibits relating to railroading culture and heritage.  Highlights include: a G-scale interactive switching layout, a LEGO building zone, and an exhibit on railroads in popular culture.  An interactive freight station office puts visitors in the shoes of a railroad freight agent, determining what freight car to use and the cost to ship different goods.

To schedule a program, please contact:

  • Troy Grubb, Museum Educator, (717) 687-8628, ext 3022, or by email here.
  • Juliette O’Connor, Museum Educator, (717) 687-8628, ext 3025, or by email here.

When You Call or Email:

  • Preferred date of your visit, as well as 2 to 3 alternate dates.
  • Number of students and chaperones.
  • Age or grade level and any special needs or sensitivities of students.
  • Time of arrival.
  • Length of time allowed for your visit.
  • Program(s) of choice.
  • Lunch plans.
  • Do you have reservations to ride on the Strasburg Rail Road? Have you scheduled visits with other area attractions? If so, please let us know when you must depart the Museum.

Reminders:

  • Prices in this guide are subject to change.
  • A minimum of 10 paying visitors is required to qualify for group rates. (Groups may be combined.)
  • Museum membership and other discounts, including library passes, do not apply to group education programs.
  • We require at least one adult chaperone for every ten students at all times.
  • Every effort is made to adhere to the schedule, so please arrive on time. If your group is more than 30 minutes late, we reserve the right to cancel the program, offering a self-guided option instead.
  • Leave enough time for restroom breaks, as well as visits to the Whistle Stop Shop, our museum store.
  • Reservations cannot be made on days when the Museum is closed. See “Hours of Operation” for details.