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|Project Title: ||Raising Awareness of the Blackstone Canal in Worce|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||South High Community - Worcester|
|Contact Name:||Lori Carrol, Bethany Miczek, Steve Lacilla|
|Contact Phone:||(508) 799-3335|
|Content-Area(s):||History & Social Sciences, Science & Technology|
|Community Need:||Community Development, Education|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
One grade 10 Biology class and one grade 10 U.S. History class developed a Youth Tour of the Blackstone Canal. Students learned about the Canal through a presentation by Bill Wallace, Director of the Worcester Historical Museum. Students toured the Blackstone Canal by bus with the Audubon Society’s Donna Williams, and photographed areas that interested them. Students also learned about the Blackstone’s water quality. Elizabeth Bacon of the Worcester Arts and Humanities Educational Collaborative helped students develop the tour. Students interviewed the business owners in the Blackstone District on their opinion of opening a replica of the Blackstone Canal. Students met with Bobby Largess and the owner of the Wings Restaurant as well as organizers of the FREE THE BLACKSTONE COMMITTEE to learn more about the committee’s work. Students gave the bus tour to city and school officials on May 25, 2007. The tour was so successful, the students have been asked to give four additional tours this summer. Bobby Largess has donated the use of his horses and a wagon for the Blackstone Tour. The tour will be held July 10, 17, 24, and 31st from 7-8pm. The tour is featured in the July 10th issue of Worcester Magazine.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
There has been a lot of conversation in Worcester around the Blackstone Canal. Worcester is in the process of building The Blackstone Historical Center as part of the Worcester Historical Museum. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently published information in the local newspaper about the Blackstone River water quality. The students researched the pollution in the water of the Blackstone and also the historical impact the canal has made on Worcester. Students spoke to local businesses and inquired about the change that might happen to Worcester if a replica was built of the canal. The students then developed a tour highlighting what they learned and what they wanted to share with the community.
|Service Component: |
The students dedicated 40 hours of service researching the history and the biological properties of the Blackstone Canal, touring the Canal several times by bus, and working with partner Elizabeth Bacon writing the tour. Students chose the historical sites they wanted to highlight with their 1.5 hour tour. The community impact was continuing support to revitalize the canal district as well as educating the public about the historical and biological impact the canal has made on the city of Worcester. The tour was so successful the students have been asked to give four additional tours this summer 2007. The tour will be held July 10, 17, 24, and 31st from 7-8pm. The tour is featured in the July 10th issue of Worcester Magazine.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
Biology 6.2 Analyze changes in population size and biodiversity (speciation and extinction) that result from the following: natural causes, changes in climate, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species. 6.3 Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers, and explain the transfer of energy through trophic levels. Describe how relationships among organisms add to the complexity of biological communities. 6.4 Explain how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in an ecosystem, and how oxygen cycles through photosynthesis and respiration.
U.S. History 18 Explain the major components of local government in Massachusetts, including the roles and functions of school committees, town meetings, boards of selectmen, mayors, and city councils. (H, C) 19 Explain the rights and the responsibilities of citizenship and describe how a democracy provides opportunities for citizens to participate in the political process through elections, political parties, and interest groups. (H, C) 20 Explain the evolution and function of political parties, including their role in federal, state, and local elections. (H, C) 27 Explain the importance of the Transportation Revolution of the 19th century, including the stimulus it provided to the growth of a market economy. (H, E)
28 Explain the emergence and impact of the textile industry in New England and industrial growth generally throughout antebellum America. (H, E)
One classroom activity involved reading the history of the Blackstone Canal, why it was built, how it affected Worcester’s population, economics & transportation, and why it ultimately failed. Students watched a slide show of Worcester in 1824 and 1828, the time of the building and completion of the Canal. Student learning was assessed through classroom discussions, written tests, & demonstration of the tour. A PowerPoint presentation of the tour was also developed.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students made decisions on which sites to include on the tour. Students also wrote the script for the tour, with some help from their teachers and Elizabeth Bacon. Students also decided which students would speak at each historical site.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students completed reflection sheets on this project. Students were so excited to present their tour to the community. Student reflections included:
•“It was a lot of work to research the history of the Blackstone Canal. I liked seeing the slideshow of the Blackstone Canal. I liked the bus tours the most. I did not think I could say my part without my index cards but after much practice, I knew my part. “
•“I could tell my friends were proud of themselves by the big smile on their face after the first tour.”
•“I never thought planning and giving a tour could be so much fun. I am looking forward to giving the summer tours.”
•“Whoever thought that Biology and History could be so fun?”
|Community Partners Involved: |
All the community partners worked with the students throughout the project.
Elizabeth Bacon (WAHEC): Helped students in preparing the tour of the Canal.
Bill Wallace (Worcester Historical Society): Gave a slide presentation of the history of the Canal.
Donna Williams (Audubon): Brought the students on a tour of the Canal explaining many of the historical and biological ideas and landmarks.
Bob Largesse (Canal District Alliance): Met with the students and discussed efforts past and present to restore the Canal.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Students attended a food celebration on July 2 at Wings Over Worcester. The Summer Tour is featured in the Worcester Magazine the week of July 10th.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
The students joined with their teachers to evaluate the impact of the project. Staff and the students agreed the service met the identified need. Students have asked to develop another tour for next year. The City of Worcester does not have another youth tour group.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
There were no challenges related to the process of implementing the CSL curricula
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.