Sophomores Take an Emotional Trip to Holocaust Museum

Imogen Smith, Staff Writer

Coinciding with the tenth grade history curriculum, the sophomore class went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Feb. 8.

The trip goes along with the One to the World project initiative, in which history teacher Danyael Graham decided to focus on genocide awareness for the project.

“Last year, we decided to grow this even more with the Genocide Awareness Night in April and a trip to the Holocaust Museum,” Ms. Graham said.

Previously, only Ms. Graham’s and history teacher Kyle Linder’s classes went on the trip. This year, the plan was to bring entire sophomore class over two days. Unfortunately, the Feb. 7 trip was postponed due to a school closing. Organizers promise it will be rescheduled.

At the museum, all received an identification booklet with a mini biography of a Holocaust victim or survivor.

“I was able to learn about the specific experiences of one person, which helped me understand how the Holocaust personally affected so many people,” sophomore Aili Hou said.

Sophomore Malika Shaik was moved by the identification booklet as well.

“It made my experience feel a lot more powerful,” Shaik said.

Students and chaperones could move around the museum at their own pace. Additionally, students did not have to complete an assignment.

“We also [wanted] the students to just take in the information and process it for themselves; so we [did] not hand out worksheets, but we have them do a reflection,” Ms. Graham said.

By visiting the memorial museum, Ms. Graham wanted students to be aware of the people involved in the Holocaust, and other genocides.

“Real people committed these crimes, and real people allowed it to happen,” Ms. Graham said. “I hope that maybe by bringing this topic to life for the students inspires them in multiple ways.”

Hou thought the experience was enlightening and inspiring.

“I learned a lot about the horrors of the Holocaust which opened my eyes to the suffering and discrimination during that time period,” Hou said. “But I also learned how despite all the bad things going on, love still brought people together, and that is how they were able to persevere in the end.”

Students appreciated that the trip was a different approach to learn material outside of a classroom environment.

“I enjoyed going through the exhibits and learning through many videos and artifacts rather than being lectured in a classroom,” Shaik said. “It was a much more effective learning experience for me.”

Besides the permanent Holocaust exhibit, there were exhibits showing the conflict in Syria, and more in-depth information on the time period.

“History is more than just words in a book or video clips we play,” Ms. Graham said. “It is the lives of real people.”