University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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Augusta Teachers and Students to Create
Public Displays to Showcase History

 MAILED:  April 3, 2003

EAU CLAIRE - Teachers and students from Augusta Middle/High School will present the first of the research they've completed as part of a two-year project exploring the history of Augusta. The public presentations will run from 1-8 p.m. April 30 in the school.

The "Our Town Augusta: History in Public Places" project is part of a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Center of History Teaching and Learning Initiative, which is designed to help Augusta middle and high school teachers increase their knowledge of history, technology, art and the care and management of museum collections, while exploring the history of Augusta with their classes. The teachers use their increased knowledge to create interdisciplinary units for their classes. Classes then work together to create displays for public places that bring local history to the people of Augusta.

The April 16 public presentation will include a display of plat maps from 1850, 1910, 1940, 1955, 1970, 1980, 1993 and 2001, accompanied by information that students studying land use and ownership patterns in the school district have uncovered in their research.

Another group of students will present a display of the inside of a one-room school. They will include artifacts in the display, such as photos, report cards, books and certificates. A booklet of school day memories compiled from interviews with area residents who attended the Dell's School in Augusta also will be on display. Sixth and ninth graders completed interviews for the memories book.

Art and business students will display advertisements from the early 1900s, along with some modern re-makes. Some ads will appear in an "Our Town Newspaper" created for this program, along with information about the companies and their owners. The seventh-grade class has created a display titled "Our Neighborhood Augusta," which includes drawings and architectural features of house dating from the early 1900s.

Social studies students will present the history of Augusta soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Middle school students also have built a model train layout of Augusta in the 1900s.

Other topics to be included in the presentation include the history of the Park House Hotel in Augusta, the history of telephones in Augusta, and the history of the Fairgrounds/Race Track and the Green Lantern Café.

Kate Lang, assistant professor of history, and Roger Tlusty, professor of foundations of education, received a $100,000 grant for the UW-Eau Claire Center for History Teaching and Learning from the National Endowment of the Humanities last year to help fund the two-year Augusta project.

"The overall goal of the project is to engage students in the process of historical inquiry and academic research by allowing them to start in their own community," Lang said.

Partners in this project include Charles Lee, a professor in the oral history program at UW-La Crosse; the Chippewa Valley Museum; the Upper Midwest Conservation Association (that preserves paper for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts); and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

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JB


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Updated: April 14, 2003