STEAM on the Rails Virtual Program

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Virtual educational event featuring science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics in railroading and our daily lives.

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Looking for an educational experience for your students? Register for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's STEAM on the Rails virtual program! Designed for students Grades K through 6, this program investigates the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in railroading and our daily lives. Students will learn how steam engines work, how simple machines drive a sawmill, explore the role of chemistry of baking in a pizza oven, and much more!

The program will be held over 2 days with four, 30 minute presentations each day.

Tuesday, October 19th:

10:00 AM EST: Steam Engine Demonstration (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania)

Ever wondered how steam makes a train move? Using a working miniature steam locomotive, staff will demonstrate how steam power puts it in motion! A large cutaway diagram of the inside of a steam engine will show students how locomotives are designed.

10:30 AM EST - Canals vs. Railroads (National Canal Museum)

Before the railroad, Pennsylvanians could travel across the state by canal. Students will learn what this experience was like, and how it compared to the railroads.

2:00 PM EST - Coal-Fired Pizza Oven Demonstration (Anthracite Heritage Museum/Eckley Miner's Village)

Let’s make a pizza, coal oven style! Students will learn how chemical reactions are used to make this tasty treat, and how coal powers the process.

2:30 PM EST - Blacksmithing Demonstration (Frank Gillespie, Blacksmith)

Frank Gillespie, Blacksmith, will demonstrate how to create iron tools 19th century style- using a hammer and anvil!

Thursday, October 21st:


10:00 AM EST - Art on the Rails- Goldleaf and Loco Logo Designs (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania)

Hands-on art session features 2 parts: Part 1 will engage students in how locomotives are restored, re-designed and painted true to historic accuracy. In Part 2, students will learn about color wheel theory and the basics of logo design, and create their own railroad logos!

*Students should have a piece of paper and colored markers to attend this session. Additional/optional materials can be found on the online event page.

10:30 AM EST - Logging's Simple Machines (PA Lumber Museum)

Director Josh Roth will demonstrate the simple machines used to log Pennsylvania’s forests, past and present!


2:00 PM EST - Diesel-Electric Locomotives Live Interactive Tour (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania)

Join the staff for a live, interactive virtual tour of a diesel-powered locomotive! Includes areas not regularly open to the public.

2:30 PM EST - Electric Locomotives Live Interactive Tour (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania)

Join the staff for a live, interactive virtual tour of an electric-powered locomotive! Includes areas not regularly open to the public.

**Attendees must have internet access and Zoom in order to attend. Links will be sent each week via e-mail to join. Your registration gives you access to all listed presentations.

Please download and print all of the materials on the Online Event Page.

Please click on the Go to online event page in your Eventbrite confirmation email for the Zoom meeting invitation and link as well as a list of any needed materials.**


  • Anthracite Heritage Museum/Eckley Miner's Village
  • Frank Gillespie, Blacksmith
  • National Canal Museum
  • Pennsylvania Lumber Museum
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Organizer Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Organizer of STEAM on the Rails Virtual Program

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is administered by Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, with the active support of the non-profit Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Over a hundred historically significant locomotives and railroad cars, extensive railroad history exhibits, working restoration shop, cutting edge education center and programs, special events throughout the year, professionally managed library and archives, museum store and more.

Exhibit halls are climate controlled. WIFI access available, numerous mobile device videos showing details of exhibits and railroad history.

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