A Bicentennial map project allowing local students to see Indiana’s rich, shared history is the recipient of a statewide award.
The Indiana Historical Society announced Monday that Central Middle School teacher Alan Birkemeier and his students received its 2017 Outstanding Bicentennial Collaborative Project Award.
Rachel Hill Ponko, the IHS director of public relations, says that the award recognizes a Bicentennial-related event or history project implemented in 2016. As it is the final year for the award, the judging committee chose to recognize four projects, with Birkemeier’s “Incredible Indiana History Map” among them.
Hill Ponko says that the 8th grade U.S. History teacher started the project by randomly assigning students to research the history, people and tourism of one of Indiana’s 92 counties. Students then used their findings to create a brochure, a graph, a presentation and a to-scale map of the county.
“Through research, collaboration, community partners and various site visits, students were enabled to dig into characteristics associated with their designated county,” writes Randy Gratz, principal of Central Middle School, in a letter of support for the project’s nomination. “In addition, integration of social studies and math provided students with cross-curricular connections.”
“The massive map was impressive, but the students’ ownership, passion and enthusiasm for what they had learned was truly inspiring,” writes Greg Lewis, chair of the Social Studies Department. “Alan’s big goal of having his students better understand and appreciate the Hoosier state, county by county, had certainly been achieved in a big way.”
Central Middle School’s Incredible Indiana History Map will be recognized at IHS’s annual Founders Day dinner on Monday, Nov. 6, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis.
The Founders Day event, sponsored by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS.
For more information on this event and other IHS programs, visit www.indianahistory.org.