MATTHEWS – Master’s Academy Classical Club (MACC) and Bridge Latin Club members hosted “Ancient Aquatic Adventures” this weekend at the Georgia Aquarium as part of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) events for the Atlanta Science Festival.
Multiple Matthews students participated in the clubs and helped complete preparations for the project, including mosaic making, Roman numeral block creation and artwork and coloring pages highlighting Aesop’s aquatic fables.
Students set up a booth as part of the science week in the Georgia Aquarium, where Atlanta students completed crafts and games, while learning about Latin and classical culture.
Sherri Madden, leader of Master’s Academy, said the project originated after students visited the Carlos Museum of Emory University, where they saw the museum’s Greek and Roman Collection, during the National Junior Classical League Convention last year.
Madden said she loves to integrate creative and fun projects into learning, so when she was approached by the Atlanta Aquarium about the science festival, she knew the Master’s Academy had to be a part of it.
“We were thrilled Latin could be a part of STEAM,” Madden said.
The group created materials for the event for two months, up until the day of the display, which reflected an aquatic life theme. Students created bookmarks displaying aquatic life, played a game using Roman numeral blocks and met Neptune, portrayed by MACC student Cory Hickey.
Campbell Robinson, a 16-year-old sophomore at Grace Academy, created the blocks that displayed Roman numerals, which she said helped her learn time management.
The project also featured digital images of ancient renderings of aquatic creatures from the Greek and Roman Collection from the Carlos Museum.
“The emphasis on the arts is a fairly new development in our modern world of STEM,” Carmel Christian Classical Club (CCCC) member Katie Petersen said. “However, it’s a very important one. Latin and Greek are, after all, the language of science. And students who study the classics are more informed about ancient history – including early scientific theories and discoveries.”
Laura Schoeck, a 16-year-old Carmel Christian School sophomore and MACC president, said the project gave her a greater appreciation for Latin and helped her see connections between the modern world and Latin and classical culture.
“As people are moving forward, they are forgetting about the classics, but there is still a lot of meaning to it,” Laura said. “It can help people have a greater understanding of the world, but people don’t think about what was long ago.”
Laura said society was shaped by the classical time period, so people who study the era have a better understanding of today’s government and culture, as well as the English language. She said learning Latin has improved her grammar and encourages her to experience new challenges.
“A lot of people think it’s a dead language; it is the basics of every other (Romantic) language,” said Tess Hickey, a home-schooled freshman.
Tess said she was surprised how quickly the event participants picked up Roman numerals, since today’s elementary students are not typically exposed to them.
“We were even able to teach some adults about Roman numerals,” said Ryan Thomas, a home-schooled freshman.
Sophia Schwinghammer, a 14-year-old home-schooled ninth-grader, was one of the artists who created artwork for the Aesop’s fables coloring pages. She and other students created art to display “The Two Crabs” and “The Monkey and the Dolphin,” which incorporated sea animals and shared life lessons.
Overall, Madden said the event went smoothly, and she felt the kids worked together well and were able to share their knowledge with others.
“It was really nice to see people come together for one goal,” Laura said.
Students credited Madden with making the project and class a success. Madden teaches the students songs and shows a passion for the subject, the students added.
“Ms. Madden intrigues us to learn,” Tess said.
The Master Academy’s trip also included a visit to the Carlos Museum, where a curator gave a presentation about the Greek and Roman Collections, as well as the chance to visit the animals at the Georgia Aquarium.
Contact Sherri Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-771-9949 for more information about the Master’s Academy.