The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop is an experimental learning workshop for students, teachers, and families. We collect, interpret, and teach experiments that are the roots of design and invention. For children between 5 and 12 years old, we offer walk-in projects on weekends, birthday parties, summer, and vacation programs. There are 1001 things to build before you grow up. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s our American Flyer train layout is available for children to run during our open hours. Children can build a toy train on the weekends as a Walk-in project.
The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop was established in 1979 as a not-for-profit historic and educational organization. The Museum preserves the site on which Whitney constructed the first American factory in 1798. With permanent exhibitions as well as special exhibits that visit our site we have an array of offering for all ages and interests such as :
The Marble Wall – Children discover the power of marbles before they understand it. Marbles need no captions. Marbles speak their own language. Marbles know all the laws of nature and they obey them in their simplest possible form. Marbles are the atoms of experience.
The Water Lab – An outdoor experiment area which engages, a new generation, in the fundamental engineering experiences of the stream and sandbox. The Lab adapts the traditional activities of messing about for the standards of control and safety of our cautious era. It is a shared resource for the region, and a model for schools and communities across the nation.
The Factory Model – The factory model tells the story of the work Whitney directed here and significant changes that are discernible in that work. Our sources: period artwork, Whitney’s probate inventory, records of parallel armories, and informed guesswork. The model is constructed in 1/3 scale. Imagine that the men are 6 feet tall.
We are a Workshop: we build things. We are a Museum: we collect things. We collect essential experiments. We also collect the materials that experiments require. We collect tools and clever ways of building. We collect curious and gifted apprentices who can help experimenters get started.
From Labor Day to Memorial Day we are open on Saturdays from 10 – 3 and Sundays from 12 – 5. When you visit us on a weekend day, an apprentice will work with your child as they build a project and begin to experiment. Sessions last from 20 minutes to an hour. Projects change from weekend to weekend. A sampling of possible projects is available here.
During the summer, (Memorial Day to Labor Day) we are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 – 4. Walk-in projects are available on the weekends just as they are in the Fall and Winter. Our Water Learning Lab is open on the weekends from May through October (as weather permits.) Please understand that in the summer, our available projects are much more limited because we are not producing others for school programs. We always have Pinball and Boats available however.
Through of offerings of workshops and activities we explore and create!
Summer 2019.Each summer, the Workshop devotes itself to a series of week long day camp workshops for young experimenters. 61 workshops to choose from, for a summer of inquisitive fun.
This year, as last year, we are using our Regpacks registration platform, so if you are a returning camper, basic registration information should still be in there. Log-in with your email from last year! You will update any information that needs it, (you must update the age information and any medical information) and then register for Summer classes. If you have forgotten a password, ask for a new one (and be sure to check your spam folder.) If you are new to our programs, sign up and get started.
Please note that Extended Day sign ups will not be available until closer to the summer.
We will still be doing the same amount of Extended Day at the same rate as last year, but sign up will happen closer to your class week and it should be a much less complicated process.
If you wish to register, click on the class you want to register for and go to the Registration Page via the link on that page.Logistics
- The Museum is available to children aged Pre K and up for birthday parties.
- Prior to the event, your child selects a project. Projects available at this time are pictured below.
- Birthday parties are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays from either 10 to noon or 1 to 3pm.
- During the first hour and a half (an hour for Pre K ages), the birthday child and guests build the project your child selected. The last half hour is for food and gift giving.
- The Museum provides the project and table and chairs for the party. You provide the paper goods and the food.
- The cost for the party is $20/per child with a 10 child minimum.
- A deposit of $200 will be required to hold the slot for your party. This covers the cost of the first 10 children.
- The balance of $20 per child is due on the day of the party when we know how many children over the first 10 attend. We do need to know how many children you have invited so that we may prepare enough materials.
Call Helen Barajas at the Museum at 203.777.1833 to schedule a party.