Three-day field trip to WMHO’s Brewster House
(Stony Brook, NY) The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO), in a unique collaboration with the Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School, took students on a journey spanning the centuries in a jam-packed three-day field trip to WMHO’s Brewster House (c. 1665), Thompson House (c. 1709), Stony Brook Grist Mill (c. 1751) and a Long Island environmental treasure, the 11-acre Stony Brook Mill Pond and T. Bayles Minuse Park.
“Colonial America through the 21st Century: An Interdisciplinary Experience” provides programming across the content areas in Social Studies, Science, Math and English. The program, aligned to both Common Core and New York State learning standards for academic and college readiness, tapped student’s potential for ingenuity, creativity and problem solving. Each day for three days approximately 100 students in grades 4th through 7th experienced these four exceptional educational facilities and programs. “Having a one-day bus trip to experience these disciplines in one day is beneficial for students and cost effective for the district as well. I want to commend Deborah Boudreau, our Education Manager, who spent months making this program a reality. This multi-disciplinary experience will now be offered to other school districts throughout Long Island,” said Gloria Rocchio, President, WMHO.
Medicine: Past, Present and Future at The Thompson House. Transported to the home of a colonial physician, students participated as doctors, patients and scientists in a search for cures to life threatening illnesses of the 18th century. They moved through each room in the house and evaluated treatments, made pills by grinding herbs using mortar and pestles and were transported into the 21st century using smartboard technology. Students were joined by medical students from Stony Brook University School of Medicine for Q & A.
Become a Spy! at the Brewster House. Students visited “a colonial tavern” where they traded, led a lively debate and were immersed in an espionage spy plot using the Culper Spy Ring’s numeric code. For a touch of 21st century spying, they encrypted computer code on android phones.
The Pond Ecology Program at the Mill Pond: Students were introduced to a unique 21st century pond environment and measured the impacts on a fresh water pond using secchi disks, plankton tow and magnifying glasses. They explored Avalon Park on a scavenger hunt where they identified plants, animals and insects using field guides.
The Art and Science of Hydraulics at the Stony Brook Grist Mill. This trip took students to a colonial grist mill where they experienced first-hand the ingenious ways our ancestors harnessed the power of the nature to operate a grist mill which grinds grain into corn. This was the center of industry in Stony Brook during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Mill is Long Island’s most complete working mill and a fine example of early American ingenuity and engineering.
“WMHO should be commended for the time and effort they placed in working with our district to plan and present a truly meaningful Middle School orientated field trip. The communication between the teachers, administration and museum staff was amazing. We cannot thank them enough for all of the collaborative work that was done in preparation for this experience,” Maureen Avione, Social Studies Dept. Chair, Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School.
For more information, please visit www.wmho.org or call 631-751-2244.