History comes to life at St. Stan’s
by Holly Tsang
May 13, 2009 | 2668 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last Friday, Saint Stanislaus Kostka School in Maspeth held its seventh annual Social Studies Museum, in which the seventh graders acted as living ambassadors for their chosen topics.

Visitors to each exhibit were transported to different periods in world history. Dressed in costume, students gave brief oral presentations, answered questions, and provided visitors with an interactive learning experience.

“A number of kids have said to me over the years that Social Studies is their least favorite subject. However, when they’re able to do something like this and get into something that really interests them, they find that they really get into it,” said Linna McDonald, the Social Studies teacher for the seventh and eighth grade.

Students seemed to enjoy presenting their projects in the form of a living museum.

Thomas Sanchez and Charlie Siguenza wore orange spacesuits and poured cups of Tang, the orange-flavored drink made famous by NASA. The pair even visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of their research on the Apollo missions.

Aleksandra Kluter dressed up as Sacagawea, the only woman on the Lewis and Clark expedition. She asked visitors to lift a sack with a bowling ball in it, demonstrating the weight of equipment carried by the explorers.

“It’s much more interesting than writing essays and just handing that in, and doing the whole project and having to tell your whole project to a lot of people is really fun,” said Rebecca Carney, who did her project on the Wright brothers’ flights.

She cited the fact that the Wright brothers worked in a bicycle shop before building a glider plane as the most fascinating piece of information she uncovered.

Students worked on their projects for about six weeks, doing Internet research, preparing costumes and visual aids, writing well-crafted essays for submission, and familiarizing themselves with the information to be presented.

“They’re excited about showing what they know, and if you listen to any of their presentations, you realize how much a part of them the knowledge is now. They’re not reading from any papers; it’s their knowledge,” said Sister Rose Torma, principal of St. Stan’s.

She added that the Social Studies Museum immerses the seventh grade students in the knowledge they acquire and integrates their book learning. The eighth grade will participate in a Social Justice Museum later this month.

“I think that any knowledge that you have is part of your core understanding from which you make all of your judgments in life, so we’re helping the children to broaden their spectrum of knowledge that will be theirs to use for the rest of their days,” said Sister Torma.

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