Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Massie Awarded CMA Awards of Excellence

Published on: 6/11/2019
​The Massie Heritage Center has been awarded the Coastal Museums Association’s Award of Excellence in Education and Interpretation for its program, “Pinching Pottery and Weaving Walls: American Indian STEAM”.
This program was created to meet a direct need in our community. When the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) changed recently, 3rd Grade teachers reached out to Massie Heritage Center for American Indian content - an all new subject added to their curriculum. The GSE presents a broad perspective of American Indian settlement across North America. Savannah-Chatham County Public School teachers expressed a desire for a more local and place-based approach. Massie Heritage Center began developing a new program with that goal: to meet the needs of community educators by providing them with local American Indian heritage interpretation. Eventually, as program development continued, it evolved naturally into an interactive STEAM program that can be performed at Massie Heritage Center, or in a classroom setting. Recently, SCCPSS schools have popularized “STEAM Nights” as an exciting community event celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Massie’s American Indian programs quickly became a favorite during “STEAM Nights”
One of the most crucial aspects of the 3rd grade GSE is that students understand how the geography, environment and resources affected the American Indians and how/where they settled. This complex relationship between Coastal Georgia's American Indians and Massie's unique geography is something that they wanted to interpret in depth using hands-on STEAM activities. Using the exact same pottery or weaving technique that the American Indians used provides students and visitors with a fresh look on historic material. This program is now Massie's most popular program and is something they look forward to growing in the future. In addition to the estimated 2,000 students from the SCCPSS that attended this program as a field trip, Massie also brought this program to 5 STEAM nights  reaching Savannah families throughout the low-country. Massie's hope is to continue sharing this program with the community and visitors in an effort to provide a more in-depth, STEAM based interpretation of Coastal Georgia's American Indian Heritage.


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