Teacher and study unit head RoseMarie DeCoste of
the Tredyffrin Middle School in Berwyn reviews digital photos with
Inquirer photographer Tom Gralish at the 10th annual Lewis and Clark
Exhibit. The 15 star/15 stripe flag carried by the explorers was
a gift from our Chapter, along with 50 of the newest brochures available
free to teachers (see story). Photo by Norma M. Milner
A popular exhibit put on by 218 8th graders at a Berwyn middle school
recently marked the end of its 10th annual multi-disciplinary study
of Lewis and Clark's Expedition.
A team of enthusiastic teachers led by RoseMarie DeCoste attacked
the subject from the fields of history, art, music, language, biological
sciences (plants and animals), math and celestial navigation, map
making, environmental issues, and even cuisine. The home ec department
supplied buffalo meatballs and buckwheat biscuits with fruit and
honey toppings to parents and visitors.
The inclusion of math required getting a taste of trigonometry,
said students manning that display, a subject usually not taught
until high school. "Trig", they pointed out, was used
to convert Lewis's celestial readings along the trail into global
positioning on the map of the explorers' route that filled in the
Western empty space on earlier maps of American latitude and longitude
for the map made by William Clark.
Two tables of student "Journals" were a treat to the eye.
They had covers of burlap, psuedo leather, and water soaked brown
paper, (some of the real journals were soaked or even lost in the
river journey), and held reports on 10 parts of the trip, taken
from internet study.
The field of language gave the students a taste of the Latin that
is used to describe the new animal and plant species found by the
explorers, the techiques used in writing scientific and descriptive
prose, French, Spanish, and Indian dialects heard on the journey,
and the complicated translations needed for communication. The haphazard
spelling of the explorers gave the unit added spice.
The newer field of electronics tied the show together. A lively
video showing students at work on their "journals and other
projects" played in the background, while a fiddle and piano
played tunes of the times. The video was made by Social Studies
teacher John Burns with the help of his students. Proud of all his
students had accomplished, Dr. Steve Riggs is principal of the school.
Chapter Founder Frank Muhly and his wife Rose have been showing
their slide show on Lewis in Philadelphia to students at the school
for five of the ten years. Chapter member Norma Milner presented
DeCoste with a 15 star/15 stripe flag which was immediately hung,
as well as 50 copies of the new brochure called Lewis and Clark
in Historic Philadelphia. Interested teachers may obtain a free
packet of 50 brochures by writing to Frank Muhly, 3206 Disston Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19149.