Teacher education students at Oklahoma Baptist University hosted an interactive social studies museum for local fifth graders Wednesday, April 11, on OBU’s campus in Shawnee. This semester’s theme was titled, “Kids in History: Four Powerful Stories to Inspire Kids to Make a Difference.” The fifth grade class of North Rock Creek Elementary School attended the interactive museum.
This was the 38th interactive children’s museum held at OBU. During the event, students learn through activities and lessons created by teacher education majors who are students in the social studies methods course. The course is taught by Dr. Jeanne Akin, Mary A. White Professor of Education, who challenges her students to create interactive and engaging displays by only using materials available to the average educator.
Akin appreciates the impact the museum has on future educators.
“They select a history focus and make it come alive for children,” she said. “They help the children see that history isn’t some boring subject that has nothing to do with them, but quite the opposite. The children are able to participate within the story and then hopefully translate that into their own lives, seeing that they, too, are history creators.”
The four “Kids in History” featured as part of the interactive museum served as a representation of important life principles. Louis Braille, French educator and inventor of the Braille reading and writing system, represented persistence; Anne Frank, German-born diarist, represented hope; Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, athlete and activist for the disabled, represented perseverance; and Malala Yousafazai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, represented courage. Each section of the interactive museum engaged students by exploring the lives of these inspiring individuals.
The students involved in creating this edition of the interactive museum were Jessica George, Mallory Sinor, Jordan Weakley, Kailey Klonowski, Kelsey Lowe, Lexie Williams, Claire Avante, Kaylee Crowson, Olivia Dudley, Aimee Mantz and Erica Reed.
Akin recognizes the significance of training future educators and the impact they have on future generations.
“The whole experience is empowering for the children that come and for the OBU education majors,” she said. “On a day like today, when we are seeing the many struggles that are associated with public education in Oklahoma, it is heartwarming to see the powerful exchange that takes place within the process of teaching. May we always remember and celebrate the place and power of public education.”