On Friday, April 9th, 2018 a group of Cortona Academy students and staff spent the day in Washington D.C. at two very exciting field trips. The first was at the Museum of National History. The museum offers a set of unique learning opportunities for students in grades 6 – 12 called the Q?rius School Programs. Cortona Academy chose “ Forensic Mysteries – Mystery at Yorktown Creek.” as their program for the day. In this amazing program, our students worked with museum educators to examine a set of real human remains to forensically decide the characteristics of the person. The students had to make choices about age, sex, height, location etc, all using the remains the the clues held within them. The skeleton the students worked with was over 200 years old and was found near a creek bed. The students loved working with the bones and seeing what secrets and details they were able to uncover.
After a wonderful lunch at what is quickly becoming our favorite spot, the National Gallery of Art, the students headed across the street to the National Archives. The self-guided tour of the facility allowed the group to see many national treasures, such as “The Bill of Rights” and “The Emancipation Proclamation.” The students were surprised to learn about the efforts that need to be taken to ensure the ongoing preservation of such important documents. They learned about what light and moisture can do to documents, and how the facility works to prevent any further loss and degradation. When standing in front of “The Emancipation Proclamation”, the students were really moved at the level of history they were able to enjoy living so close to Washington, D.C. They were in awe of how a few pieces of paper truly changed the world. The group got to have a quick stroll through the sculpture garden and enjoy a bit of the spring sun.