Ask most any graduate of Hammond School in Columbia, South Carolina, what they remember most about their Hammond experience and they’ll mention Mr. Mancke’s Early Tech Week.
Each year for the past twenty-some, Hammond fifth-graders have trooped down to Mr. Mancke’s cabin for a week of hands-on learning about important technologies used by American Indians and colonial-era immigrants. Experienced specialists, including Mr. Mancke himself, teach the Hammond fifth-graders about six major technologies, each occupying a full school day.
Just one example. Consider string. Or cordage. Or rope. There’s more to learn than you might imagine. Unless you’ve spent time in the woods without a piece of rope you badly needed. Benjamin “Raven” Pressley from North Carolina visited Tech Week last year to show Hammond fifth-graders how to make cordage from materials found in nature, and how it’s used. Learn more from Raven Pressley on-line at http://goo.gl/xtIJml
I could go on and on about what I saw during a visit to Hammond’s 2013 Early Tech Week. Instead, I decided to interview our granddaughter, now a Hammond sixth-grader, who agreed to describe her experience last year and show us some of the materials she created.
Here, Janie recalls her overall Early Tech Week experience, describes the six “stations,” or technologies presented, and explains the decorations on the statue in the Amanda Walker Taylor Courtyard.
In this third and final segment of the interview, Janie presents three more early technologies: burn and scrape, though which cups and bowls were made from sections of tree trunk; creation of musical instruments from river cane; and how even the feet of harvested deer were used by early Americans rather than wasted.
So there you have it. One of Hammond School’s remarkable initiatives, as seen through the eyes of a sixth-grade participant. Thanks, Janie, for your help. And take good care of your Early Tech Week artifacts. Well … maybe that frozen deer foot has passed its best-by date …..