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Wyoming students will get a schoolhouse experience from the 1920s in Thermopolis

Children listening to a teacher in a old fashioned one-room school house
Wyoming Rural School Program

There is good news for Wyoming students in the 3rd to 5th grades. A new immersion program that introduces elementary school students to life in a one-room 1920s schoolhouse has been launched at the Hot Springs County Museum in Thermopolis. The schoolhouse will educate grade school students on what it was like to learn in rural Wyoming around 100 years ago.

Marian Bender
Wyoming Rural School Program
Marian Bender

Project Manager for the Wyoming Rural School Program, Marian Bender, said the program aligns with the social studies and history standards for students in 3rd through 5th grades in the state.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Wyoming school children to get a sense of what it was like to go to school in a rural one-room schoolhouse in the 1920s rural Wyoming," said Bender. "We should be very proud of our history here in this state especially how education was brought forward so rapidly."

Bender added that students will get a thorough immersion experience.

"They will be learning arithmetic, and reading, geography, spelling, they get costumes, they get a little character card that lets them play as a schoolchild from that era. It is open to grade school students from the entire state," said Bender

During the program, students will attend class in the original school that was built in rural Middleton, Wyoming and moved in 1982, to its current location at the Hot Springs museum annex. Lessons will be taught from the curriculum of the 1920s, lunch will be served in lunchpails and kerchiefs and students will play games from the era during break time.

The program is available to students from across the state via an on-site immersion experience and as well as an online classroom that offers free curriculum, activities and videos.

Friday Otuya is a graduate student of International Studies at UW. Within the last 5 years he has worked as a sports and tech journalist in Africa. He reported on electronic waste management in Lagos - Africa's largest megacity, the electoral process in Nigeria, the state of the trans-West African coastal highway, conservation, irregular migration, and other socioeconomic issues. Friday thrives on both radio and TV. He loves running, biking and is an avid lover of American history and the founding documents.
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