History on the move: Iowa History Bus mobile museum visits Dike Elementary

Michaela Kendall

DIKE - Students at Dike Elementary got a hands-on lesson in Iowa history last week, when they had the opportunity to take a walk through the Iowa History Bus mobile museum, which was parked at the school for two days last week.
Jessica Rundlett, special projects and outreach coordinator for the State Historical Museum of Iowa, was there to show students around.
“The bus is a traveling exhibit, and our goal is to bring Iowa history to all 99 counties,” she said. “It’s great for people who can’t make it all the way to Des Moines to see the [State Historical Museum], and it’s also great for schools; we can bring history to them.”
Dike Elementary 4th grade teacher Linda Hensley, who teaches social studies, says she heard about the mobile museum and thought it would be a great opportunity to bring a fun, unique learning opportunity to students.
She put in a request to have the bus visit, and after a chance cancellation, the bus was free to visit Dike last week. The bus was parked at the school on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and 240 students from grades K-4 were able to tour the museum.
“The kids loved the museum,” Hensley said. “It gives them a hands-on learning experience and I think it helps them to actually see these things, instead of us just reading about them in a history book.”
The museum takes visitors on a walk through the entirety of Iowa’s history, starting with the very first, hand sewn prototype of the Iowa flag, up to information on Iowa today, including information on modern agriculture and industry in the state.
“We try to give a brief, and fun, walk through the entire history of the state, and we have artifacts and things in here from each of Iowa’s 99 counties, so everyone can find some connection or something of interest to them,” says Rundlett. 
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