WATERFORD, NY- The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation are pleased to announce the launch of a new educational initiative, the Erie Canal Learning Hub. The Hub provides free curriculum resources, field trips, virtual 3D tours, and other online tools for teachers and students who are learning about the Erie Canal.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “The Erie Canal is an intrinsic part of our state’s history and a vital part of the learning curriculum for New York students. Our Canal system is a great example of history, technology, and science working in tandem to serve New York State, and provides a lens into the innovation and culture that transformed communities far and wide. The Canal Corporation is pleased to help launch the Erie Canal Learning Hub, which will serve as an immersive learning opportunity to educate future generations about an integral part of New York’s legacy.”

Educators in New York State and beyond will find resources to engage students by examining the canal in traditional and new ways, including:

  • Virtual 3D Tours with audio-described videos enable students to explore canal locks, bridges, and other structures used to operate the canal.
  • Ticket to Ride Field Trips bring students to canal museums and historic sites by covering bus and tour fees. Since 2012, more than 55,000 students from 250 schools have participated.
  • Document Based Questions incorporate primary source maps, images, and newspapers to help students develop critical thinking skills as they learn about the canal.
  • The Seneca Lake Survey Lesson Plans draw on recently discovered canal shipwrecks to provide middle and high school students opportunities to study canal history, underwater archeology, water quality, geology, and invasive species in the Finger Lakes.
  • Opening the Gates to Change Lesson Plan explores the role of the canal in social reform movements and the ways that young people today are finding their voices in the struggle for social justice.

“The Erie Canal Learning Hub is the result of collaborations among educators, curriculum specialists, researchers, museum professionals, and others to develop engaging new approaches to studying the Erie Canal. We are thrilled to be able to expand educational offerings to schools throughout New York and the nation,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

The Erie Canal Learning Hub is dynamic and will grow to include new curriculum in the coming year. All resources are offered at no cost to ensure that they are available to every school district, regardless of budget.

The Erie Canal Learning Hub is a joint initiative of the New York State Canal Corporation and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. For more information visit https://eriecanalway.org/learning-hub