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Thread: Student Program at Local CW Site

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Student Program at Local CW Site

    As some of you may know, I've been taking students to Historic Fort Abercrombie for about ten years. I put them in uniforms and civilian clothing and teach them about the war as well as life on the frontier. The Regular Army was replaced by state volunteers during the CW and Dakota Warriors attacked. Defending Fort Abercrombie was possible because of the effective use of mountain howitzers. I teach my students to be teachers and interpret CW history to visitors at the state historic site. I discovered that kids enjoy teaching with manipulatives because it draws attention away from themselves.

    With that in mind, I've decided to build a mountain howitzer for the students to use when they interpret the history of the fort. Construction is well under way. The carriage is mostly finished. We have completed the wheels, axle, all iron components (Ben Miller), and the cheeks. We are currently working on the trail and we have a barrel from Gillmore Ordnance. Implements have been ordered from Ben Miller. The project has had great support. Many people have donated clothing and equipment for our students to use. I have personally sewn and purchased many items for the kids. I can proudly say that we can clothe about 20 students. We had over 20 people show up to march in a local parade honoring veterans this year. Student interest keeps increasing, so I'm forced to invent new ways to engage their interest. Building a cannon seemed obvious. A cannon is a huge teaching manipulative. It teaches kids about local and national history. It teaches them public speaking and communication when sharing their knowledge with spectators. Communication skills are greatly needed for youth who spend so much time behind a screen. Most importantly, they will practice teamwork as they demonstrate artillery drill. After a hard day of drill and teaching, the kids enjoy a hot authentic meal that they helped prepare (so I guess they learn some home-ec. too!).

    I have a fund raising project to acquire a limber box for my students. I plan to fill it with replica ordnance so they can learn and teach about the different ways that artillery was used. I have contributed to the project myself, but I thought I could use some help spreading news of the fund raiser. If you are able to share this project with people who might be interested in supporting this non-traditional learning opportunity, please do. If you would like to donate, the reputable website collects the money and would (will) purchase the limber box for us. If you give us the box, I'll provide the rest. If you have other manipulatives or equipment you would like to donate to the cause, please pm me.

    We currently have about 16 uniforms, about half & half U.S./C.S.
    Two sets of Infantry leathers.
    One men's suit.
    One ladies dress.
    Four dresses (girls sizes)
    Three shelter tents.
    One drum.
    One National (U.S.)
    Plates & cups for 8 (need utensils & and better cook gear)
    One partial mountain howitzer... awaiting a limber box from Donorschoose

    Thank you for your time.
    Den Bolda
    Special Education Teacher, History Club Adviser
    Sgt. 5th Minnesota VIR, Co. D.

    Below: A group of students posed with our volunteers in October.

    Below: Me,with the carriage wheels, axle, and dummy round at Ft. Abercrombie. Excuse the farb, I had to give some of my better equipment to a student.

    The barrel.
    Barrel 1.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    Almost there! Less than $300 to go! Thanks everybody! Please give if you can. Anything helps.

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