Fourth-grade Lecompton class prepares multimedia component for local historic sites

A fourth-grade class at Lecompton Elementary is crafting a multimedia component to enliven the historic sites around town.

Sandy Gantz, the teacher of the class, earned a $250 community action grant from Thrivent Financial that will help install QR codes at 15 historic sites in Lecompton. Each code will take smartphone users to a YouTube video created by her students that will expound on the history of the site.

Gantz said it should all be made available sometime in June.

“We have so much history here, I thought it would be nice to get kids involved in learning about their town,” she said.

Lecompton is known for being the former capital of the Kansas Territory. In 1857, legislation was drafted in the still-standing Constitutional Hall to legalize slavery in the area. The ensuing controversy was referenced in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

Among the sites where codes will be found will be Constitution Hall, the Democratic Headquarters building and the Territorial Capital Museum. Some videos will show photographs with students narrating. Others will involve short plays.

Students worked with volunteers from the Lecompton Historical Society to make it happen.

“It was very positive,” Gantz said. “(The students) enjoyed it. The adults enjoyed working with the kids and realizing how tech-savvy they are.”