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Grant Spotlight: Frontier Culture Museum field trip

November 20, 2017 / Catherine Nicholas / Spotlight - Grants

On November 13, 2017, social studies teacher Hana Voight took a group of her AP Human Geography students to the Frontier Culture Museum located in Staunton, VA.  The museum tells the story of the thousands of people who migrated to colonial America, and of the life they created here for  themselves and their descendants.  The students saw firsthand the varieties of materials and methods used in constructing folk housing around the world, from the US to Ireland and West Africa.  “My favorite part of the museum was getting to learn about how each style of housing was influenced by the culture around them and what each part of the houses were used for and how it connected to their everyday lives,” said Deborah Prescott ’20.

Many students reported that they particularly enjoyed the hands-on activities offered at the museum, like playing games of a lacrosse-like game called “2 ball”.  The farm animals on-site were also big hits, notably the sheep (“fluffy”), the chickens (“very cute”), and the pig (“adorable”).  The students also had the opportunity to play West African drums, visit a blacksmith’s forge, and saw wood using a two-man saw (“very satisfying”), in addition to building a log cabin (pictured above).

“We have been studying folk culture and customs, including folk housing, over the past few weeks,” explains Samantha Grossman ’18.  “All of the recreated or imported folk houses and buildings at the museum were authentic in their portrayal, allowing us to see how parameters like terrain, available materials, climate, and the intended purposes of the building affected its construction. Beyond simply being interesting pieces of architecture to look at, these homes were emblematic of folk styles from around the world that directly affected the later evolution of American architecture in various parts of the United States along the frontier.”

The Foundation covered the museum entrance fees and bus transportation for all students attending this field trip.  Donate to the 2017-18 Annual Fund to support this and other academic enhancements for Governor’s School students.

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