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Young Kids and Old Subjects – Museum History Fair

home school history fair
The Ravalli County Museum was full of ‘living history’ Thursday. (KLYQ Photo)
The Ravalli County Museum brought together almost 30 home-schooled kids for a History Fair Thursday evening, January 30.

Standing in front of their displays of photos, drawings and quotations, the students, dressed as historic characters, presented the stories that made their subjects memorable.

I walked into one of the galleries on the second floor and watched a little guy explain about the sinking of the Titanic while he struggled to put on a pair of white gloves to complete his maritime costume. He finished his presentation with another visitor, then turned to me and introduced himself as John Phillips (“…but you can call me Jack.”). He was telegrapher who went down with the Titanic as he keyed over and over again “S-O-S,” which brought rescue to the survivors.

Dawson Pace then demonstrated S-O-S on an old telegraph. It was a fine history lesson with his own detailed drawings. Dawson was Jack Phillips for an hour and a half.

I later heard about rocket engines from Sierra Stringham, whose great grandfather worked on rockets that have sent men and women into space. Carson Craft, who was Dr. Joseph Guillotin, brought a giant guillotine model (with a cardboard blade). Also in the room was John Coulter, Annie Oakley, Guy Fawkes, Amelia Earhart, Catherine Booth, Marco Polo, John Wayne and Hawaii’s Queen Lililukahuni… and many more.

Downstairs, I found some pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail in covered wagons, author Laura Ingalls Wilder and the original computer nerd Charles Babbage.

The museum was crowded with visitors – many of them friends and family of the historical kids. And, to top it off, there was even a bake sale.

Bravo! It’s always wonderful to see a museum come alive. And it’s gratifying to see young people embrace history.

Next week, the Ravalli County Museum will return to their Natural History lectures on their ‘late night’ Thursdays.

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