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Chamberlin Mill’s transition from a dormant historic saw mill to a museum affords regional schools a range of unique opportunities for students to apply classroom concepts and advanced technology to reveal a better understanding of a world that no longer exists.  Cumulatively, these studies will enhance the story of the mill and the region’s economic engines of development in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  

Projects completed to date:

  • In 2017 students of Peter Sumner, Career & Technology Teacher at Woodstock Academy, constructed a 3D CAD model of the water turbine. The model was 3D printed, and water was pumped through the scaled turbine to demonstrate how the water turbine generated power.

  • In 2020 a student of Jacob Spjut, Professor of Engineering Science at QVCC, made multiple visits to the mill to reverse engineer the Lane #1 Mill, the drive system of belts and bevel gears, and the water turbine. Building on the Woodstock Academy CAD model, the QVCC student created a narrated animation that revealed how the mill harnessed the kinetic energy of rushing water into productive mechanical energy. 

Opportunities include:

  • Architectural students

    • Create CAD model of future state Mill museum showing ingress/egress, displays, viewing areas, including also a wiring and lighting plan.

    • Create 3D CAD model of sawmill structure into which machinery modes can be integrated.

  • Mechanical Engineering students

    • Continue to build out dynamic CAD models of the various saws powered by the Mill.

    • Research the original power source at the site to develop a dynamic CAD model of the water wheel.

    • Analyze the three sources of power – water wheel, turbine, and Studebaker engine and to assess the improved productivity over these evolving technologies.

  • Visual arts students

    • Combine the dynamic engineering CAD models, aerial drone images, and advanced audio/visual production techniques to bring the Mill to life.

  • History/anthropology students

    • Integrate engineering insights from the Mill with historical information about water ways and regional transportation systems to explain how the network of regional mills supported community growth.

    • Using primary sources create databases to analyze a daily diary from the 1890s that details work at the mill. Activities include the maintenance, repair, and operation of the sawmill structure, mill machinery, dam and flumes; farming operation; carpentry work. Seasonality of work (mill, dam, and machinery maintenance and repair, actual sawing, distribution of processed lumber; farming; carpentry); geographical economic networks (location of people for whom sawing and carpentry work was done); and weather conditions are all possible topics.

  • Trade school students

    • Install new wiring and lighting system.

    • Construct enhancements to ingress/egress that improves access and safety.

  • Elementary and middle school students of local history and U.S. history.

    • Woodstock third graders study local history. Chamberlin Mill Board members are eager to resume visits to classrooms with activities relating to the role of mills in the town’s history and how water powered a sawmill. Adding Chamberlin Mill to the annual student tour of historic sites will enhance students’ understanding of the mill and the importance of local mills to 19th and early 20th century citizens.

    • Woodstock 7th and 8th grade students study American history.  Build on teacher interest in classroom visits to the mill. Use primary source materials already developed to initiate inquiry activities related to the mill’s history and its operation on site and in their classrooms.

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