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“George Washington: the Businessman” is not a moniker that most students associate with our nation’s first President, but it is one of the most illuminating biographical aspects to understanding his ideas, hopes, and challenges for the young nation’s political and economic future. Through hands-on experiences at re-created 18th-century sites at Mount Vernon and written primary sources like account books, farm reports, and maps, 20 teachers from around the country can envision the changing modes of operation at Mount Vernon as Washington would have; democracy at work. In bringing to life his inventions, experiments, and investments, participants will be given the tools to integrate STEM and historical thinking into the classroom.

Past Program Scholars and Speakers

Lead Scholar Dr. Bruce Ragsdale, Author of A Planters’ Republic: The Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia

Teacher Facilitator Lara Beard, 8th grade American History teacher at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas

Dr. Sarah Purcell, Director of the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights at Grinnell University

Steve Bashore, Director of Historic Trades at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Sample One Day Schedule


Coming face-to-face with the work of the farm - the treading barn, the mill, the distillery, etc., put a new face on Washington's curiosity and drive as a business man.

-GWTI Teacher Participant

It is hard to summarize this, but I think the biggest takeaway to bring to my classroom is just how interconnected Washington and the early United States were to the economic structures of the greater world and how he was an early adopter of the Industrial Revolution.

GWTI Teacher Participant

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