DOWNEY – Several students at Griffiths Middle School participated in an assignment that has been 20 years in the making.
The lucky sixth graders of Deanne Davis’s social studies made, or rather unearthed, history on Thursday when they cracked into a “time-capsule” that had been prepared by Davis (then knows as Mrs. Frakes) and her students in the 1996-97 school year.
Davis started the assignment as an interesting way to teach one of the mandated standards.
“I think I probably read a story somewhere about someone making a time capsule, and I thought it would be fun for the kids to think about what changes,” said Davis. “One of our standards that we’re supposed to teach is what stays the same over time and what changes, so I thought that would be a neat way for them to kind of think about how the people of the future will remember us and bring stuff in that will represent that.”
This particular capsule took form of a large blue container, adorned with the words “Do not open until 2016.”
Over the years, Davis has compiled several time capsules with her classes from year-to-year, however this the first occasion where she has opened one and revealed the contents to her class.
“A lot of people have been eagerly awaiting this day,” said Davis.
Throughout the entire day, every student in one of Davis’s five classes was able to reach into the box and pull out one item. They were then tasked with studying their item, and discerning if use of the item has changed or stayed the same throughout time.
Items retrieved from the capsule included music cassette tapes, a radio flashlight, a Time magazine with OJ Simpson on the cover, a Super Nintendo game cartridge, and an older styled Downey Police Department patch. Several old newspapers were also retrieved, including a Downey Eagle with a headline about the then struggling Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.
The items will now be displayed in the teacher’s lounge during Griffiths’s back-to-school-night event on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. It is Davis and her students’ hope that some of the former students who placed items in the capsule will return to visit and view the display.