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Teacher Education Majors Inspire Local Fifth Graders at “Real-Life Heroes” Interactive Museum

November 4, 2019

Teacher education students at OBU hosted an interactive social studies museum for local fifth-grade students Wednesday, Oct. 30, on OBU’s campus in Shawnee. This semester’s theme was, “Real-Life Heroes: A Study of Johan van Hults, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nikola Tesla and Harriet Tubman.” The fifth-grade class from Grove Elementary School in Shawnee attended the interactive museum.

This was the 41st biannual 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. Her classes create a similar museum each year in both the fall and spring semesters.

Through this fall’s museum, teacher education students hoped to inspire children to see that heroism is much more than being a super hero with special powers. They taught the students that heroes can come in any race or gender and during period of history. They also taught them that heroes are people that show courage, perseverance, resilience and passion for what’s right and good. Heroes may be a scientist, such as Tesla, that perseveres until the break-through discovery is found, or may be someone that fights for injustice even if it puts their own lives at risk, such as Johan van Hults or Harriet Tubman. Heroes may be a social reformer that uses their position of power to fight for human rights in our nation as well as the world, such as Eleanor Roosevelt. In addition to the study of values and character of these selected real-life heroes, students learned about the various historical time periods and the challenges these heroes faced.

The OBU Teacher Education students who created this museum included Mikayla Whiteley, Demi Dobbs and Ariel Wright with the Eleanor Roosevelt exhibit; Breanna Hargrove and Beth Ann Frankenfield presenting about Nikola Tesla; Zion Cagle, Emma Kidd and Emily Justice teaching about Harriet Tubman; and Raelie Gilbert and Rachel Richie discussing Johan van Hults.