Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, Josephine Baker, Garret Morgan – these are just some of the names honored as part of Harrison Elementary School’s Black History Museum, created to celebrate Black History Month. Harrison staff members were looking to do something extra special this year for the month of February and came up with the idea of transforming the entire school into a museum.
Each class was tasked with researching an African-American who has had a significant impact on society and then creating a door decoration to celebrate that person’s accomplishments. With the help of curriculum and technology teacher Stacy Rocco, each class also added a QR code near the door that linked to a biographical video, or a speech, a song, or piece of literature from the highlighted individual.
Guests invited to tour the museum the first week of February were given an iPad to wander the building and see the many doors decorated and watch the biographies on the iPad. They were then asked to vote on their favorite door. The winner was the English Learners classroom of Tiffany Hickey with a bold Barack Obama door design. The design earned the class of pizza party in the future.
The museum idea came out of a broader vision that Principal Sabrina Crawford has for her building.
“My goal is for our students to be exposed to and experience authentic learning opportunities. I have implemented various committees in our building that work to create these experiences for students. I challenged the Black History Committee to think outside the box and really elevate the Black History Month experience for our students and our staff,” Principal Crawford said. “Not only did we add visual aspects, but we used opportunities to add audio/technology as well through the use of QR Codes.”
The tech aspect of the museum helped the celebrated figures come to life as you listen to Pharrell Williams sing “Happy” or hear other NBA greats explain why Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time. From entertainers, to athletes, to scientists, to national leaders, it is all simply inspiring!