Now on public display in the Sonoma Barracks Theater Room of Sonoma State Historic Park are Sonoma Valley’s fourth grade student California History projects. Mission-era art models, maps and term papers represent the studious and crafty work of over 200 local student historians. New this year, participating students are showcasing their projects in person on two Saturdays, May 12 and 19, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Visitors can experience a year’s worth of research, discovery and imagination from students at six Sonoma Valley schools. The exhibit is on display through Memorial Day Weekend. The Barracks is located at the corner of Eat Spain Street and First Street East, open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and there is no charge for admission.
After studying both indigenous life in California and the motivations and practices of European explorers to the new world, fourth grade students investigate what happens when two different cultures intersect: What impact did this encounter have upon Native peoples, Spanish missionaries and military, the Spanish/Mexican Settler population, and California’s natural environment? Student projects at the barracks reflect this History-Social Science Framework of California’s statewide curriculum standards.
California State Parks provides on-site museum tours and interactive experiences to more than 17,000 students at the Sonoma Mission, Vallejo Home, and Petaluma Adobe each school year. For more information on fourth grade tours, Environmental Studies Program and Environmental Learning Program, visitparks.ca.gov/SonomaSHP and www.parks.ca.gov/PetalumaadobeSHP.
“With the support of our cooperating association, Sonoma Petaluma Parks, we continue our financial contribution to each school’s project expense,” said State Park Interpreter Joleen Ossello.