Thursday, Jul 5, 2012
Students from New Albany Middle School were awarded “A Ticket to Ride” to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park following an in depth National Park Service project completed in the classroom.
With their chaperones, 300 eighth grade students were immersed in hands-on science, art, living history interpretation, and habitat restoration during their park visit on May 10th. The goal of the visit was to transform student ideas into park experiences for youth.
Students assisted natural resources staff with the removal of 161 pounds of garlic mustard. They conducted excavation work with park archeologists, discovering and identifying both pre-historic and historic artifacts. At the “Arts Afire” stations, students painted four banners which will be used as headlight barriers for the park’s night sky events. After a brief lesson from park staff, they tested their skills at spear throwing using an atlatl. Some were even fortunate enough to conduct a mound survey with famed local 1800’s historian, Dr. Davis.
In an email to park staff, New Albany teacher and program coordinator Josh Flory offered the following appraisal of the event:
“The students are still talking about this experience, and many have found a new sense of efficacy. They now see how they can make a difference in the larger world, and several are actively taking steps to do so. This experience has had an impact larger than we ever dreamed. Our staff members are also excited, and several have approached us to see how they might use NPS resources to support their curriculum… The experience our students had at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park was very distinct from their daily environs, and many started to see a world that is larger than they realized.”
Park staff from all divisions collaborated to make this event fun and interactive, giving students a snapshot of different park experiences and career opportunities.
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park conducts on-site and off-site curriculum based educational programs for over 4,500 students each school year. The “Ticket to Ride” program extended the reach of the park’s programming by allowing a school that would otherwise not visit the park a chance to experience the National Park Service first-hand.
This event was coordinated through a partnership with the National Park Service and New Albany Middle School and through the generous support of the National Park Foundation and Eastern National.