Field Trips

For your middle school students, we offer hands-on, engaging field trips that promote problem solving, comprehension and social interaction using our collection of historic locomotives and rolling stock.  

The programs below are developed using the most current MSDE curriculum standards for middle school students:  


African American Railroading Legacy 

In this program, students will learn about the legacy of African Americans on the railroad. From the laying of the first tracks and the B&O’s connection to the Underground Railroad, through the Civil War Era and into the Civil Rights Movement the African American experience has been intertwined with the history of the railroad. 

Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: From Slavery to Civil Rights: The African American Railroading Legacy  
  • Workshop: Reflecting on History through Monoprint Design Workshop 
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Curriculum Standards:  
  • MSDE 8th grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How did regional tensions challenge national unity?  
  • MSDE 8th grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How does war impact and change society? 
  • MSDE 8th grade Social Studies – Essential Questions: How does a nation reconcile past injustices?  

The Civil War  

In this program, students will explore the world’s first major war that was fought using the railroad- The Civil War. Students will discover the impact the B&O Railroad had on the outcome of the Civil War through this program. 

 Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: The Civil War: The War Came By Train 
  • Workshop: Artifact Exploration: Life During the Civil War 
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Curriculum Standards:  
  • MSDE 8th grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How did regional tensions challenge national unity?  
  • MSDE 8th grade Social Studies – Essential Question: What factors lead a country to civil war? 
  • MSDE 8th grade Social Studies – Essential Questions: How does war impact and change society? 

Commerce on the Railroad  

In this program, students will learn about the history of freight transport on the railroad. Learn about the different types of freight and how the railroad bolstered cultural diffusion around the world. 

Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: The B&O Goes Bananas: The Progression of Global Freight Transport  
  • Workshop: PVC Freight Car Challenge 
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Curriculum Standards:  
  • MSDE 7th grade Social Studies: 7-SS-2.B.1: Analyze how diverse culture shapes a pluralistic society 
  • MSDE 7th grade Social Studies: 7-SS-4.A.3: Analyze how technological changes have affected the consumption and production in the contemporary world 
  • MSDE 7th grade Social Studies: 7-SS-4.A.4: Compare the levels of specialization and economic development in different parts of the contemporary world. 
  • MSDE 7th grade Social Studies: 7-SS-5.B.1: Analyze the growth and the development of nations in the contemporary world. 
  • MSDE 8th Grade Social Studies & HS US History Bridge Unit Growth of Industrial and Urban America (1877-1890) - Essential Question: Did American Westward Expansion challenge and promote national unity?  
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
  • ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem 
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions 
  • ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution 

Environmental Impact  

In this program, students will learn about the impact the railroad has had on our environment. Using the different types of fuel used to power trains throughout history we will explore how they have contributed to climate change and what is being done today to prevent it.  

Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: Fueling America’s Railroads: Climate Change and the Evolution of Fuel Types  
  • Workshop: Climate Change and Transportation Workshop 
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Social Studies Curriculum Standards: 
  • 7th Grade Social Studies – 7-SS-1.A.3: Analyze the roles of governments around the world regarding public policy and issues 
  • 7th Grade Social Studies – 7-SS-3.D.1: Analyze why and how people in contemporary world regions modify their natural environment and the impact of those modifications 
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How did regional tensions challenge national unity? 
  • 8th Grade Social Studies- Essential Question: Did the benefits of post-Civil War industrialization outweigh the costs? 
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
  • MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems  
  • MS-ESS3.D: Global Climate Change 

Global Conflict and the Railroad 

Students will explore the contribution and involvement of the B&O Railroad during major global wars including the US Civil War, World War I and World War II. 

Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: Iron War Horses: The B&O’s Contributions During Global Conflict 
  • Workshop: War and the Railroad Workshop 
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Curriculum Standards:  
  • 7th Grade Social Studies 7-SS-1.A.2: Analyze the historic events, documents, and practices that are the foundations of political systems around the world 
  • 7th Grade Social Studies 7-SS-2.C.1.a-b: Analyze major sources of tension, cooperation, and conflict in the world and the efforts that have been made to address them 

Maryland History on the B&O Railroad  

In this program, students will learn how the B&O Railroad has contributed to the collective history of the state of Maryland. Use our historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock we will journey through the past 200 years of B&O history to discover the milestones of the railroad within the state of Maryland.  

Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: Maryland on the Rails: The B&O’s Contribution to Maryland History  
  • Workshop: Maryland History Stations 
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Curriculum Standards:  
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Question: What fostered the development of distinct regions in colonial North America? 
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How did regional tensions challenge national unity? 
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Question: What factors lead a country to civil war? 
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How does a nation reconcile past injustices? 

Railroad Technology  

In this program, students will explore how the B&O Railroad has been the epicenter of technological advancements on the railroad throughout its history.  Using our historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock students can learn about how technology influenced design changes to locomotives and get to build and race their own vehicles made from LEGOs on a test track.  

Activities available for middle school students in this program:  
  • Tour: Technology Changes: Innovations in Locomotive Design  
  • Workshop: Engineer a Bridge STEM Workshop  
  • Train Ride: Take a ride down the first mile of the B&O Railroad aboard the Mile One  Express (available Wednesday-Friday) 
MSDE Curriculum Standards:  
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Question: How did regional tensions challenge national unity? 
  • 8th Grade Social Studies – Essential Questions: Did the benefits of post-Civil War industrialization outweigh the costs?  
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
  • ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem 
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions 
  • ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution 

Build Your Own Field Trip  

Mix and match activities from available themes to build your own field trip.  Activities from other grade levels are available too but may not be aligned to middle school curriculum standards.  

Ready to book your program?

Questions about our programs?

Contact our Education Department at Edu@BORail.org

Janet F.
Morgantown, WV

As you moved through the roundhouse it felt like you were following a cohesive storyline through the early history of the railroad.

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