History comes alive through new student project

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By VICKI BROWN

A group of Colleton County Middle School students have become historians and are bringing the history of Colleton County alive through a computer-based program.

In working on a social studies/science project, the students learned things they never knew about their county. They have compiled it together into the Colleton History Project.

On June 14th, teachers Katie Hutchison and Jerry Schexnayder hosted a museum-style exhibition of the project in CMS’s Media Center. The library was set up with stations to allow visitors to experience the project in different formats.

Along one wall are computers and ear buds.

According to student volunteer Kenneth Ulmer, visitors can listen to oral histories of people who have lived a long time in Colleton County, some since the early 1900s.

“The Colleton natives discuss the changes they’ve seen here during their lifetimes,” he said.

In a meeting room nearby, visitors can use an interactive map to explore key places and geological features of Colleton. For students there are puzzles and interactive Colleton-themed board games.

“In addition, a timeline lists the major events in Colleton from the early 1600s to the 1900s and people can read through this timeline of key events,” said Breasia Jenkins.

The Colleton History Project was completed in the spring of 2021 by 8th grade students at Colleton County Middle School. The goal of the project was to study the history of the place in which they live and to explore how the events of the past shape their lives today. This project was completed in Hutchison’s social studies class and in Schexnayder’s science classes, by a team of 67 student historians.

“I think that it is important to know about the history of South Carolina because it could help you connect with the older people in your lives who have lived in South Carolina for many years. It could also help you appreciate how the place you live has changed in many ways,” said Dylan Ketchum.

Fellow student Lanasia Sanders said history is important to learn, because it is impacting our present circumstances.

“History has a lot to do with our knowledge and our culture. You should always know about your ancestors, you don’t have to know everything about them but you should know at least one or two things,” she said. “There could be a lot of things you might find interesting. Your hometown always teaches you lessons. Learning about your hometown history gives you a better understanding and by learning it can help you make better decisions in life.

“It helps us understand ourselves, and it helps us have a better understanding of our ancestors.”

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