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Clinton students to open POWER museum at school

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ANN MARIE AMES
December 5, 2007
— Get ready to travel from the cave of a prehistoric man to downtown Clinton … without ever leaving the comfort of Clinton Middle School.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, the POWER Charter School will open a “museum” to the public.


Using everything from poster paint to Powerpoint, the 20 sixth-graders in the POWER school will display what they’ve learned about prehistoric man and ancient Mesopotamia, as well as how those cultures relate to modern life.


The subject matter is in the district’s sixth-grade curriculum.


Guests will enter the museum and find themselves in downtown Clinton. A “time machine” will take them to prehistoric times. Another time machine will shoot guests forward thousands of years to ancient Mesopotamia, where they will see money, religious icons and architecture on display.


The museum, built of room dividers and butcher paper, is the equivalent of a social studies and language arts test for the sixth-graders. The POWER school uses a project-based curriculum, which means students show what they’ve learned by making something to teach others.


For example, the museum is divided into historical and cultural sections, like “economy,” “religion,” or “transportation.”


Each student was responsible for researching a small part of the museum and writing an essay and a speech.


Along with the speeches, students wrote questions the other kids should be able to answer after the speech. As they listened, students filled out the quizzes. The process got everyone started on a detail of the museum and exposed every student to the information, said POWER teacher Gena Gilbertson.



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