Pioneers: Life Before Steam (Gr. 2)

Program Highlights

In this popular program, kids learn about how things were made in pre-industrial Nova Scotia as they make their own traditional crafts. The printing press is featured as an example of technology used in early 19th century Nova Scotia. Students also accompany a Museum interpreter on a tour of the pre-industrial exhibits and use interactive displays to learn about the use of hand tools, simple machines, and water power in manufacturing products. 

Curriculum Outcome Links

Grade 2

Outcome 1:  Students will describe changes in their lives and their reaction to these changes.

  • Discuss learnings, perceptions, ideas about changes and their reactions to changes in their lives through listening, speaking, and creating images
  • Ask questions about changes and why they may occur in family or community


90 minutes

Program Capacity

2 classes (60 students maximum)

1 chaperone for every 5 students


September – June

Program Outline

Arrival: Bathrooms, hang up coats

10 minutes: Welcome and introduction

Students are divided into small groups to take part in the tour and craft activities, and each group participates in all components of the program.

25 minutes: Tour of Pre-Industrial Gallery

Students tour the Pre-Industrial Gallery and use interactive exhibits to learn how people of the early 1800’s used the technologies of water power and simple machines to do work and make things.

25 minutes: Printing Press activity

Students learn how printing presses were used to create texts and communicate ideas and information. Students then print a bookmark to take home.

25 minutes: Tin Punch activity

Students learn about tinsmithing as a skilled trade by punching a decorative pattern in an aluminium plate.

5 minutes: Conclusion and dismiss

Information and Reservations

To reserve your program, please call: (902) 755-5425 or email

Registration will begin in September. We encourage you to book early!