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Medina students explore DC

Contributed Story Posted 16 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Students in front of the Capitol

Students get a lesson from Mr. Byrne on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

Story and pictures courtesy of
Tim Lincoln, Medina teacher

A group of Medina 8th grade students explored Washington, D.C. and its rich history from Wednesday to Friday last week. The trip marks the culmination of a two-year study of the history of the United States, its government, and the remarkable individuals that have influenced our great nation.

Throughout the trip, students were able to make connections to their study in the areas of history, literature, and science. Eighth-grader Leah Sheelar felt that the trip was more valuable than a typical week at school. “We were able to learn social studies first-hand, visiting the White House, Capitol Building, and the monuments.”

On Wednesday, students explored the Newseum, which featured the late Tim Russert’s office on display. Russert, a Buffalo native and dedicated Bills fan, was the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press” for 16 years. Following dinner at Fuel Pizza, the students visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. and FDR memorials.

Thursday’s itinerary included a subway ride from the hotel to the National Mall, where students visited several museums at the Smithsonian Institution. Future science majors Ian Joseph and Jacob Bensley enjoyed the hands-on activities at the Smithsonian Institution, especially the Air and Space Museum.

Nick Boyle and Bryan Bale were particularly moved by their visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bale remarked that the museum “made it feel like you were one of (the Jews in Germany).” Each student is given an ID card and a brief biography of a concentration camp resident prior to the tour, providing a powerful first-hand narrative of the atrocities experienced by the victims of the Holocaust.

“Bao Bao” at the Smithsonian Institution

On the early summer evening, fireflies abundant, students were led on a tour of the monuments by Medina teacher and aspiring docent, Joe Byrne. Destiny Satkowski was most impressed by the Vietnam Memorial. “You could feel the energy and the respect for the veterans that gave their lives for their country.”

The trip concluded on Friday with a guided tour of Arlington National Cemetery and a visit to the National Zoo. At the zoo, students were able to visit Bao Bao (Chinese meaning “Treasure”), a panda born at the zoo in August of last year.

Overall, the trip was invaluable to the group. The adventure provided a tremendous learning opportunity for the students, while creating long-lasting memories for classmates and teachers.

The trip was made possible through the efforts of Medina parents, teachers, and administrators in conjunction with First Choice Travel in Batavia.