Tonight, 29 fourth-grade students from Juniper Elementary School will make their most recent state history project available for the world to see. During a 6 p.m. Open House for parents, friends and community members, students will launch their Oregon Virtual Museum on the World Wide Web at http://www.oregonvirtualmuseum.com
The online museum project gives the usual state history lesson a new, 21st century twist with the introduction of technology tools including cameras, computers and website development.
“To collect their research information they became archeologists, historians and geographers,” said Speed. “They found interesting information about Oregon’s geography, history and native animals in books, on the web, and through visits to The High Desert Museum.”
She says students then created exhibits and photographed each one to create a 3-D experience for the web.
Speed says that this hands-on learning opportunity was special in many ways, “It allowed students to really think outside the box, and forced them to find new means for gathering information – beyond the traditional textbook research.”
“It is wonderful to see students getting excited about Oregon history, and really learning the material,” she adds. “It is so different than the memorization methods of learning that we did when I was a student, they are learning things about our state that they will remember for a lifetime.”
The website includes interactive student presentations including Oregon animals, history, geography and symbols, to name just a few.