Middle school history students travel back in time

Laci Leverty and Ali Manley gave a history presentation on the Doctor Mob Riot, which included a homemade pine casket and a corpse.
Laci Leverty and Ali Manley gave a history presentation on the Doctor Mob Riot, which included a homemade pine casket and a corpse.

PRINCETON – Princeton Middle School students took a walk through history on Friday, Feb. 10, when the school hosted an all-school history day.
For two hours, more than 800 students shared projects that took about 300 visiting parents through time – many times jogging memories of their own past.
The event even wrote its own moment of exciting history when a toddler activated a fire pull station and sent a piercing alarm throughout the middle school building. The Princeton Fire Department arrived on scene to reset the alarm.
The highlight of history day was a walking museum. The school’s gymnasiums were cordoned off into three sections – one each for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. Inside these gyms were the history presentations that students had worked long and hard on. Their theme was “difference-makers.”
Visitors learned about people who made a difference in the world throughout history. Eighth-graders, for example, presented projects on Oskar Shindler, Nelson Mendela and Muhammad Ali.
Elizabeth Johnson and Makenzie Farmer did their presentation on the Polish resistance movement.
“We wanted to do something about World War II,” MaKenzie said.
“And I’m a tiny bit Polish,” Elizabeth said.
The movement was the largest underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe, the girls said. They said it was responsible for disrupting German supply lines and saved many Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
The eighth-graders hit the library for information and turned their efforts online, as well, they said.
Seventh-graders Laci Leverty and Ali Mantley presented on the Doctor Mob Riots.
The mob riots took place in New York in the late 1700s and centered around the practice of medical students using cadavers in their studies, the girls said.
Seventh-grade American history teacher Pat Arens challenged the girls to take on the topic, they said.
“He said it would be hard to find information because it happened so long ago,” Laci said.
The girls said the topic was very interesting because people dug up dead bodies.
“It was kind of weird,” Ali said.
Laci said there were no books at the library in which she was able to use in her research. But she found a good website.
Ali noted that because the event took place so long ago, there were no photographs to view.
“There are only drawings,” she said.
The girls also had one of the more eye-catching displays.
While many students used poster boards for their displays, Laci and Ali used a coffin to tell the story of history. The coffin even had a body in it.
Laci said her father gave the girls guidance in using and creating the attention-getting display.