Craig students give visitors a tour of local veterans’ history | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig students give visitors a tour of local veterans’ history

Craig City Council member Ray Beck watches interviews of veterans on an iPad Tuesday morning at the Wyman Living History Museum in Craig. Sunset Elementary students were on hand to show visitors how to pull up the collection of interviews, part of a school-wide oral history project, on their smartphones or tablets.

Sunset Elementary students put on their tour guide hats Tuesday morning to show visitors their oral history exhibit at Wyman Living History Museum.

Each Sunset classroom invited a veteran from the community to talk with their class last week. The interviews were recorded, posted to YouTube and assigned QR codes, which are like barcodes that can be read using a smartphone. The codes lead viewers directly to the online interview.

Fifth-grader Emily Howe greeted visitors at the door as they came into the museum and showed them to the back right corner of the museum, where photographs of the vets and corresponding QR codes were lined up amid the Wyman Museum's other war memorabilia.

"I thought it was really cool to interact with the veterans," Howe said of her experience with the interview process.

Though Howe said her dad has talked to her about U.S. wars and the vets who fought them, "this is the first time I've actually talked with (a veteran) about it."

Vietnam veteran Bob Neher, whose granddaughter attends Sunset, visited the exhibit Tuesday morning. Neher was interviewed by a kindergarten class.

"It was quite a nice opportunity," Neher said. "It was good to see them participate in something a little different in school. It kind of brings it to life. It changes their experience, so hopefully they'll remember."

Second-grader Wyatt Tucker, who was on hand Tuesday to show visitors how to link to the interviews, made a unique contribution to the project. His grandfather, Lee Tucker, is a World War II veteran who lives in Craig.

"We interviewed him at his house because he's 92 years old," Tucker said. "He just told me stories. One part of his story is he got captured and other people got captured too," referring to his grandfather's experience as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down over Romania.

Craig City Councilmember Ray Beck came out to see the young historians' handiwork, and viewed several of the interviews with the help of the tech-savvy elementary students.

"I think this is just great to teach them about history and what Veterans Day is and what they've done for our country," Beck said. "I think this is pretty neat that these guys take the time to sit down and talk to these kids."

The photographs will remain on display at the Wyman for future visitors. The interviews can also be viewed on YouTube using this link: http://bit.ly/1ujPofp.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.