NEWARK – A group of Pocomoke students highlighted their hometown with a series of tourism projects they shared with education officials this month.
Representatives of Pocomoke Middle School attended last week’s Worcester County Board of Education meeting to showcase the variety of ways students in Jennifer Beach’s enrichment group came up with to promote their town. They created postcards, videos, podcasts and even a Pocomoke themed Monopoly game.
“This is such an amazing project,” Pocomoke Middle School Principal Melissa Freistat said.
Beach, the school’s media specialist and gifted and talented teacher, said she wanted her fourth- and fifth-grade enrichment group to become more familiar with the variety of Apple and other apps available to them. They started the school year using technology to share stories about themselves.
“Quickly we moved on to looking outside of our own little bubble,” she said. “We looked at the town of Pocomoke.”
They looked at what municipalities issued in terms of tourism and marketing materials and started working on their own Pocomoke promotional products. While some students created videos showcasing popular community spaces, such as Cypress Park and the Mar-Va Theater, others put together podcasts. “We talked about what needed to be included in a podcast and what kind of apps we could use,” Beach said.
That led to the idea of “app smashing,” which is when students use multiple apps to create a final project. Students used apps like Canva to create cover art and then made their recordings with the GarageBand app. Others used Canva and Keynote for their projects.
Not all students wanted to use technology, however. Beach said one girl had seen an Eastern Shore themed Monopoly game and wanted to create a Pocomoke version.
“We didn’t realize what a labor-intensive project this was going to be,” Beach said, adding that in addition to creating the properties the student had to create relevant “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards. “She also printed out houses and hotels and playing pieces on our 3D printer. It was a very unique idea.”
The students were even able to share their projects with Pocomoke City Mayor Susan Harrison, who visited at the completion of the unit.
Annette Wallace, the school system’s chief operating and academic officer for grades 9-12, said she was impressed with the project and the fact that kids were making use of the array of technology available to them.
“It was a labor-intensive unit but my kids loved it,” Beach said. “They loved the opportunity to be creative and choose their own path.”