Copperas Cove students capitalize on history lessons in Washington, DC
Special to Leader-Press
Its one thing to read about history in a book or even see pictures. But to physically be present on the grounds where history has been made, touch actual historical documents, and stand in awe on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial has Copperas Cove junior high and high school students stating that seeing history come to life are lessons they will forever remember.
S. C. Lee Junior High seventh grade Texas History teacher Pamela Knutson started planning the trip in early 2020 prior to the pandemic which put the trip on hold for more than two years.
“The purpose of the trip is to help students get hands-on experience about the history they study in the classroom, having the students see that the people and places were real, not just in textbooks,” Knutson said. “Seeing the places and documents that will be or were studied bring these things to life. The goal is that this trip will encourage more learning in the future.”
With the assistance of a historical guide, students and staff visited the capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and more.
Copperas Cove Junior High U.S. History teacher Samantha Moss said the trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most students.
“Students got to be outside of the classroom and learn about their nation’s history in a more hands-on way. Students smiled and cried as they walked in the same steps as the founding fathers, stood in front of the most famous American landmarks, and learned more intimate details regarding how the nation was shaped,” Moss said. “They were able to see these things first-hand, not just on a PowerPoint, and garner a different love for learning without the pressure of an exam. Being able to take their learning outside of the classroom and see the impact it has truly made is the biggest benefit of this trip.”
Students encountered learning lessons at visits to each historical site discussing its significance and how it affected change in America.
“The trip put a spotlight on how the enslaved population of America is the foundation and backbone of today’s America,” Copperas Cove High School student Roman Garcia said. “It highlighted the good and bad of the events that took place and how they affected the American people. It shows how each historical event that’s happened has been an opportunity to learn and build from and how the American people have done just that to adapt evolve and make America what it is today. It gives me a newfound inspiration to adapt to any hardships and to be better to people as anyone and everyone can change the course of history in any way they wish.”