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Trip into history

Oasis Middle students visit Fort Myers Beach’s Mound House

September 4, 2018
By JESSICA SALMOND (jsalmond@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Once, the site of the Mound House was home to an ancient people.

Now, the "jewel" of Fort Myers Beach is home to hands-on education.

The entire sixth-grade class of Oasis Middle School spent the last two weeks visiting the Mound House in groups to learn more about the colorful history of this area.

Article Photos

JESSICA SALMOND

A group of Oasis Middle sixth graders are led by Mound House volunteer Ceel Spuhler to the Mound House’s “Beneath Our Feet” exhibit on Fort Myers Beach.

Dexter Norris, an education program coordinator, said Oasis students started coming to the Mound House for a field trip last year when one of the sixth-grade teachers wanted to bring her class. The school administration liked it so much, Oasis sent all of its sixth-graders. There are about 300 sixth-grade students at Oasis; they visited in groups of 45 to 50.

On Aug. 29, Ceel Spuhler led the tour to the "Beneath Our Feet" exhibit. Becky Werner led a talk about archaeology. Norris spoke to the students about Calusa jewelry and artwork, using some of the replicas. The highlight for most of the students was trying their hand at the atlatl - the spear-throwing tool the Calusa used for hunting.

It was Nikita Shchevyer's first visit to the Mound House. He said "it was amazing." His favorite parts were the underground exhibit and the atlatl-throwing.

Jill Frank also liked the archeological exhibit underground.

"You could see where people used to live," she said. "They explained it really well."

Matt Clark, the sixth-grade teacher at Wednesday's trip, said making a visit to the Mound House aligns with the student's curriculum.

"It's really cool. They can see it hands-on," he said. "They can see how archeology works and learn about ancient people with no written record."

Amelia Koralik appreciated the creativeness of the Mound House's programming, and said it was "tons of fun" to experience how the Calusa may have lived.

"It was very educational," Koralik said. "I recommend people coming here, it's pretty darn cool."

 
 
 

 

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