Meridian Star

October 8, 2013

Smithsonian comes to the students

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Close to 100 home school students were able to take advantage of a special learning experience Monday afternoon at the Soule' Steam Works in downtown Meridian by attending a Smithsonian Exhibit at the museum.

    Karen Rooney, the director of Meridian Main Street who sponsored the event, said it is trips outside the home and a break from school work that helps to enhance the learning experience for these students.

    "This is a highly educational, hands on experience that brings the science and physics alive," Rooney said. "We keep a full calendar of events so these students will stay busy and this is a prime example of that."

    The exhibit is titled "The Way We Worked." Greg Hatcher, executive director of the museum said the display consists of photographs from the National Archives with some interpretations, some oral history and a few artifacts.

    "Because the museum is located at Soule Steam Works, a thriving Meridian work place for more than 100 years, it is the perfect setting for the Smithsonian exhibit," Hatcher said.

    Brenda Stevens and Angie Dover teach their children at home. They said this is a prime example of how their curriculum can differ from what their children would be getting in the public school system.

    "We have a lot of activities such as this and we can tailor the teaching to the child according to what we believe is relevant," Stevens said.

    "I've got one in college who graduated in home school and my two daughters are being home schooled now," Dover said. "My husband and I teach the courses and coming here to a display like this just makes the history come alive in many ways."

    “The Way We Worked” brings to light the who, what, where, why and how of Americans at work. It explores the places Americans worked, from farms to factories and mines to restaurants, as  well as in homes. It also looks at how some people worked for better working conditions, wages and hours, and an end to racial and gender discrimination.

    The exhibit will run through Nov. 12 at the museum, located at 1808 Fourth Street. The museum will be open extra hours during the exhibit; Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily; on Sundays from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at no charge to the public.