Landon Middle School students get hands-on lessons at the Kansas Historical Society's History & Environment Fair
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Budget cuts may be impacting students' education, but some local teachers don't mind walking the extra mile to make lessons exciting. Or even four miles.
Landon Middle School's social studies teacher have been teaching their seventh-graders about the local environment and Kansas history all year.
But it wasn't until yesterday when teacher Jason Meyer found out, the Kansas Historical Society was hosting a free History and Environment fair - today.
Meyer and his social studies colleagues got to work quickly, getting the necessary parental permission slips. But it was too late to order busses.
"So we just walked all 7th graders, all 170 of them down here," James Liotti, who also teaches social studies at Landon, said. "This didn't cost us anything. The museum today was free, that saved us money there [and] we didn't order busses."
Teachers say the real life lessons to be had at the fair was worth the walk - nearly four miles round trip.
Students seemed to agree.
"Today was pretty fun," Nicholas Gonzalez, a Landon Middle School seventh-grader, said. "We got to pet the animals. They're little baby sheep."
The society had booths and animal pens allowing students to touch and learn about local flora and fauna.
Another student found inspiration inside the museum.
"The first machine gun that I saw in the museum, from the 1870s, and just how far we've all come from what's in there, it's just amazing history," seventh-grader Emily Ellis said.
As for the close to four-mile walk, she was less enthusiastic. "It was a long walk. It was really hot," she said. But when asked if she would do it again, she responded "Yes!" without hesitation.
Landon's teachers say they saved about $2000 in bussing and admissions, but the lessons students learned are priceless.