Ingenious Inventions at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Pre- and Post-Visit Activities
These lessons are designed to enhance your students’ experience of the Ingenious Inventions tour of The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, but may also be used as stand-alone introductions to the history of innovation at the Navy Yard, from 1600s to today. The lesson plan includes a memory match online game and bingo boards to reinforce the content through play.
There are 2 versions available, depending on your technical needs:
Make Your Own Dry Dock Flipbook
Have you brought your class to BLDG 92 for an Ingenious Inventions tour?
Pre- and Post-Visit Activities
These lessons are designed to enhance your students’ experience of the People of Your Yard tour of BLDG: The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, but may also be used as stand-alone introductions to the history of workers at the yard during WWII and the present.
Recommended for all classes before you visit:
Use the following videos, produced exclusively for the BLDG 92 exhibit, to introduce your students to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and its history. Please find discussion questions and an accompanying worksheet below each video.
Building the Brooklyn Navy Yard
(recommended for all classes visiting BLDG 92)
“Building the Brooklyn Navy Yard” gives an introduction to the history of the Yard leading up to and during the US Navy’s tenure there. From the first shipyard built on Wallabout Bay and prison ships docked there during the American Revolution to the launch of the USSMissouri, this video places the Navy Yard in the context of both national and local Brooklyn history.
Suggested discussion questions to explore based on “Building the
Brooklyn Navy Yard”:
- What is the U.S. Navy? Why was Brooklyn a good place to build
a Navy Yard?
- In what ways did the Navy Yard impact the surrounding Brooklyn community during its history?
- List some examples of inventions at the Navy Yard that you would like to learn more about during your trip. Why are these innovations interesting to you?
Download a question worksheet for students here.
Reinventing the Yard
(recommended for middle and high school students)
“Reinventing the Yard” tells the story of the Yard’s recent history since the closing of the Navy Yard by the federal government in 1966. New York City purchased the property from the U.S. government and, since then, the Yard has witnessed several attempts to re-kindle the industrial vigor and job opportunities that the Navy Yard once represented. Though it has been a rocky path, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation now serves as steward to the Yard and has turned the space into an industrial park that is home to over 300 businesses and a leader in green, sustainable manufacturing and design.
Suggested discussion questions:
- Why do you think people (workers, Brooklynites, New Yorkers) were so upset when the Navy Yard closed?
- Why do you think it was hard to figure out a way to re-use the Navy Yard after the Navy left?
- What does it mean to be “green” or “sustainable”? Why is this important to the environment?
- What are some other ways that you know of for people to “go green”?
Download question worksheet for students here.
Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present, Future Curriculum Kit
From its origins as a shipbuilding site to its recent rebirth as a modern urban industrial center, the Brooklyn Navy Yard's evolution has reflected major themes in American history, from industrialization and urbanization to civil rights and environmentalism. This kit, with lesson plans for eight class sessions, includes a range of primary source documents, from photos to oral histories.
Curriculum kits are written by a team of Brooklyn Historical Society's curriculum writers, with assistance from historians, and vetted by classroom teachers. Each kit is $99 (includes shipping). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-222-4111 x 241 for details.