History, Culture, and Technology

Miller Jeanne shows kids how the bolter separates different sizes of grain
Miller Jeanne explaining how the bolter separates ground wheat by size

NPS Photo

Get your hands on history!

Students can learn about history through interactive programs at Peirce Mill--the last operational mill on Rock Creek. Students learn about the foods they eat, life in rural 1800s Washington, DC, how water is used to increase production, and the role mills played in the Industrial Revolution. Students also learn about how children lived in the 1800s and how life has changed over time.

Need to make a reservation?

Programs are free and must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance. Call 202-895-6070 from Wednesday through Sunday, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to reach a staff person to make your reservation. While most Rock Creek Park school programs are available year-round from Wednesdays through Fridays, Peirce Mill education programs are available from April through October only.

 

Curriculum-based Programs

Grades K-2 - Cornucopia--From Farm to Table (60 minutes): Corn is transformed during this interactive program about milling. Students will grind corn by hand and learn how the mill works. Key concepts include food, natural resources, production vs. consumption, business, motion, and simple machines.

Grades 1-4 - Once Upon a Time at Peirce Mill Estate (60 minutes): Students will compare and contrast life in mid-1800s rural Washington with present-day DC. Older students will read maps and track urbanization and other changes to the area. Key concepts include life, food, physical surroundings, business, resources, rural vs. urban, development, energy, simple machines, and slavery.

Grades 3-4 - Powered by Water and Gravity: The Workings of a Mill (60 minutes): Students will see how the machinery in Peirce Mill operates on water, power, and gravity. Students will take an in-depth look into the workings of this giant machine. Key concepts include energy, simple machines, water resources, location and growth, and technological changes.

Grades 3-4 - Milestones to Millstones (90 minutes): In 1820, Peirce Mill's state-of-the-art technology was an important part of America's Industrial Revolution. Students will learn about technological changes that took place between 1780 and 1860 and their influences on life today. Key concepts include simple machines, mechanical engineering, mechanical advantage, and mass production.

Grades 5-6 - Industrial Revolution Hits Home (90 minutes): In 1820, Peirce Mill's state-of-the-art technology was an important part of America's Industrial Revolution. Students will learn about technological changes that took place between 1780 - 1860 and their influences on life today. Key concepts include technological changes, industrialization, and urbanization.


Travel tips

  • Parking for buses, vans, and cars is available near Peirce Mill.

  • Bring your lunch and beverages. There are limited uncovered picnic areas nearby. There are no food facilities in the park.

  • Incorporate pre- and post-trip lessons into your visit.

  • Beach Drive is closed to bus traffic. Buses must access the mill by Tilden Street or Park Road, NW. A bus turnaround is located next to Peirce Barn to drop off and pick up students.


What if there is stormy weather?

Peirce Mill is only open for education programs from April - October.

During inclement weather, particularly snow storms and hurricanes, federal offices in the District area may be closed. To check if we are open, you can visit the website www.opm.gov and click on "operating status" along the top bar.

Or, check local television and radio broadcasts for announcements about whether or not the federal government is open. You can also try calling the Nature Center using the same phone number you called to make the reservation.

Need to contact us?

Call 202-895-6070--Wednesdays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Last updated: April 25, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

5200 Glover Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Phone:

(202) 895-6000
Rock Creek Park's main phone line.

Contact Us

Tools