Students Absorb History at Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center
The entire fourth grade student body from Safety Harbor Elementary School convened at the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center on Friday for a lesson on Florida history.
But instead of reading books and looking at slides, this interactive class involved eating 30-year-old bread rations and firing a real cannon.
It was all part of the museum’s “10,000 years of Florida History” tour, given to large groups of students and guests who wish to learn more about the background of the city, and the Sunshine State, in a fun, more direct way.
“It’s hands-on for the kids,” Michelle Brennan, a SHES teacher who organized the expedition, told Safety Harbor Connect.
“There’s a lot of history here, a lot of visuals here, and this is how they learn.”
The tour is roughly two hours long and incorporates four elements of the area’s history: dinosaurs, Tocobaga Indians, Safety Harbor history and Florida’s Civil War history.
Students are divided into groups and are walked through a variety of exhibits, some static and others more active.
Museum co-curator Scott Anderson, dressed in full Civil War regalia, likes to wow the kids with his presentation, which involves eating an ancient piece of hardtack biscuit and firing a rifle. The tour ends with Anderson supervising a cannon being shot over Bayshore Boulevard. (Don’t worry, it’s just a blank!)
“The kids really love it,” Anderson said. “Even though it does get pretty loud.”
Brennan confirmed that her kids loved the trip, and she said she can’t wait to do it again.
“I want this recur every year,” she said. “It reinforces what we are doing in the classroom and brings it to life. The kids actually get to see and touch what they are learning about, so it’s a big advantage to have this here.”
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