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Falls City Students Capture Local History

October 4, 2012
methodist Church

Imagine a class where high school students are learning about the history of their hometown, who developed the town, and what had happened to the booming mill town they live in.  This is exactly what six students at FallsCityHigh School were doing in their Historical Sites class.  FallsCityHigh School was awarded a grant to create this class and create a video project about their town’s history and historical sites.  The task seemed simple, but the students soon learned they had a huge task in front of them. 

The Process    

  • September to December – researched the history of FallsCity, created a historical timeline, conducted interviews
  • January to March – researched specific properties, visited PolkCountyMuseum multiple times, interviewed locals with a long history in FallsCity
  • April to June – compiled videos and photos, created scripts, developed mini videos for each historical property, interviewed, edited videos

The Struggles

The project was a huge undertaking and with it there were many struggles.  One student commented, “It was hard to stay focused.  The project seemed simple, but there was so much work and it took a whole year that at times it was hard to stay focused.”  Another huge struggle was gathering information about the properties.  Students struggled with finding the information they wanted.  They would get a good lead on something that would unfortunately lead to a dead end.  But through the struggles the students learned about research skills and how to investigate.

The Value

At the end of the project the group met and talked about the entire process and whether it was worth all the hard work.  The consensus was that the project was worth it and it was valuable to them and the community.  A student said, “We were able to create something that we could share what we learned with the entire community.  So, the hard work was worth it.”  Another student commented, “The self-satisfaction of completing a project this big was worth it.”  The students agreed that they had learned a lot from this project and were excited to share this knowledge with the community.

Come see the final product at a public showing on Saturday October 6th at the upper park in FallsCity starting around dusk.  The project will be shown on a giant screen in the park, so bring your camping chairs and enjoy!

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