Smithsonian Exhibit unveiled by BIC EAST students

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Chris Renteria (left) and Jace Couch (right) BIC EAST students show the Smithsonian exhibit "The Way We Worked." Also pictured are Buddy Jones and Nan Snider who were featured in the video. (Town Crier photos/Revis Blaylock)

A team of Buffalo Island Central High School EAST students partnered with Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street Division and EAST Initiative in a pilot program themed “The Way We Worked.”

Jill Sanders, BIC EAST facilitator said her students were invited to work on the project by the EAST Initiative.

“This is something the Smithsonian does every year using a different theme,” she said. “The students have worked all year and have done an outstanding job of documenting and sharing the history of Buffalo Island from swampland to the largest row crop county in the nation.”

Sandra Kennett gets a lesson on the automated IPad tour of the antique tools on exhibit at the Buffalo Island Museum.

Student contributors are Chris Renteria, Jace Couch, Erica Hurst, Colin Weatherly and Carlie Wattigney.

All of the hard work was worth it when the students unveiled the next exhibit “The Way We Worked,” at the Buffalo Island Museum in Monette on Thursday, May 10. The public was invited to visit the exhibit. BIC fourth grade students had the opportunity to visit the exhibit downstairs and take a tour of the upstairs (old tools) using the automated iPads telling the story by local men and women of the tools on display. Also HP Reveal apps can be downloaded and used with the exhibits.

The large screen television and video equipment in the exhibit area tells the history of the area by local historians interviewed by the students.

Technology by the EAST students give visitors a living history lesson on "How We Worked." Pictured is Becky Sessums.

Among those featured on the videos were Nan Snider and Buddy Jones, who were among the special guests viewing the new museum exhibit.

Snider of Monette talked about the old gins and railroads in the area along with other interesting facts. Jones, manager of Adams Gin, the largest gin in the world located in Leachville, gave a history of the gin. Adams Gin located in Leachville in 1992.

Students received a grant which was used to purchase Ipads for the interactive tour. Visitors will be able to view and hear a live description of the tools and how and when they were used in the development of farming.

The students developed an Esri Story map which is on the Smithsonian website. The link is

BIC EAST team offered a thank you to Buddy Jones, Adam's Gin, Red Palmer, Nan Snider, Jerry McAfee, Edwin Dunigan, Doodle Taylor, Rudy Anderson, Rob Rash, Frieda Lawrence, Buffalo Island Museum, Larry Sanders, Diana Sanders, The EAST Initiative, Shannon Sullivan, Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street, and George West for helping them in the project.

“We are so excited to have this technology in the Buffalo Island Museum in Monette,” Dianna Sanders, board member, said. “This would not have happened without BIC EAST. So many of these stories would not have been known and preserved for future generations. We invite people to come to the museum and use this new technology in learning about the history of the area.”

Jill Sanders, former Social Studies teacher, said she is excited for the possibilities of this new technology. Throughout the area a Google slide presentations can be utilized in he classroom from this project allowing students to learn about the history of Buffalo Island and the agriculture industry as it evolved from hand picked cotton to the modern machinery of today.

The EAST team agreed, the completed project was worth the work. They learned about their community and the history of the working on Buffalo Island.

They expressed their appreciation for everyone who helped with the project.

They were happy to be able to use the technology available to tell and show people how farm tools such as horse collars, hay pulleys, breaking plows, cotton scales, mule shears, cotton sacks, tractor cranks and more were used by early pioneers.

The information did not stop there. The video is filled with information including watching the cotton go from the fields to one of the most modern cotton gins in the world.

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