Dr. Penny Ferguson selected for prestigious workshop

The University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Tsongas Industrial History Center announced that it has selected Dr. Penny B. Ferguson from Maryville High School to participate in a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities “Landmarks of American History and Culture” teacher workshop. The workshop is entitled “Inventing America - Lowell and the Industrial Revolution.”

Ferguson was selected from a pool of applicants from across the United States. This workshop is part of NEH’s “We the People” project, which promotes the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, literature, and culture through the exploration of significant events and themes in American history.

Ferguson will join 39 other teachers from dozens of different states in an intensive, week-long workshop at Lowell National Historical Park and the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, Mass. Through scholarly presentations and on-site investigations of the canals, mills, and worker housing in America’s first large-scale planned industrial city, as well as through field studies of Old Sturbridge Village, Walden Pond, and Minute Man National Historical Park, workshop participants will explore the far-reaching economic and social changes brought about by industrialization.

Teachers will use primary sources provided throughout the workshop to develop lesson plans that can be incorporated into their school’s curriculum.

“I am very pleased to be selected to participate in this national workshop,” said Ferguson. “It will enable me to identify teaching materials I can use with my students to engage them in understanding how the Industrial Revolution affected the Transcendental writers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, and laid the foundation for the United States to become a powerful nation.”

“The NEH ‘Landmarks of American History and Culture’ workshops provide the Tsongas Industrial History Center with a wonderful opportunity to introduce teachers from across the United States to Lowell’s unique historic resources,” said Sheila Kirschbaum, coordinator of the Tsongas Center’s “Inventing America: Lowell and the Industrial Revolution” Program.

U.S. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas said, “I congratulate the educators who were selected to participate in the Inventing America workshop in Lowell this spring. The Industrial Revolution was born on the banks of the Merrimack River, and this much-recognized workshop at the Tsongas Industrial History Center will further enrich both teachers’ and students’ understanding and appreciation of this historic time in our nation’s history.”

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