Students make history at J.M. Davis, Smithsonian

Students make history at J.M. Davis, Smithsonian
Posted on 06/01/2018
Students make history at J.M. Davis, SmithsonianThe J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore and the Environmental & Spatial Technology (EAST) program at Northeast Tech’s Claremore Campus will soon showcase videos created as part of the Smithsonian Museum’s Stories from Main Street Program. Intended to spark youth engagement and promote skill-building, the Stories program is a collaborative project driven by students who develop videos that are shared on the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street website, found at

The Stories program engages students with regional history and connects them to invaluable resources at their local museums. It also provides them with an opportunity to use professional equipment and learn real-world skills. This year two EAST students, Markus Gunn and Barry Rolen, took on the challenge of collaborating with these two museums as part of this program.

“I was surprised to learn The J.M. Davis Museum has so much more than just guns in the museum,” Rolen said when asked about his work on the project. “I enjoyed learning about the other artifacts that you can find in the museum, and I hope our videos will encourage more young people to visit the museum and see for themselves.”

Northeast Tech’s EAST® program has served the Rogers County community for the past nine years. All students – regardless of past experience – are encouraged, expected and required to work in teams that tackle self-selected community service projects.

“We were very excited this year to collaborate with the Smithsonian on a project and receive grant monies for both our program and the J.M. Davis to use in purchasing new equipment to enhance the museum for years to come,” said EAST Facilitator Brook Easton. “We have big plans for next year by expanding the project to include augmented reality, and we then want to take the virtual museum to the local elementary schools.”

Funding for the Stories program is provided to Museum on Main Street (MoMS) with internal support from the Smithsonian Youth Access Grants Program. MoMS is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and state humanities councils. It was created to serve museums, libraries and historical societies in rural areas, where one-fifth of all Americans live.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C. for over 65 years. It connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage though a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.

“The students, Rolen and Gunn, worked directly with me on this entire project,” said Davis Museum Curator, Jason Schubert. “Their enthusiasm of working on a video project with the Smithsonian involved was catching! It was fun to work on this project. The Davis Museum has worked with students at the Claremore Tech Center for four years now, and we are very pleased with the work and the positive attitudes the students bring to each project.”

The J.M. Davis Museum is the world’s largest privately held arms museum, and it is located in downtown Claremore at historic Highway 66 and 5th street. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and the students’ exhibit – the Museum Minute – is currently on display.

For more information about the many traveling exhibits that are part of the SITES community – including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules – visit
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