Students flock to WDM for Museum Learning Day

Times-Herald Staff
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It was a blast to the past for 300 students at the Western Development Museum (WDM) Wednesday.

Caronport Elementary School student Will Ortlund stands with Second Lietenants Derek Barrette, Aaron Stafrace and Weston Hall from the 2 Canadian Forces Flight Training School on Wednesday at the Western Development Museum. The pilots let students like Ortlund try on the flight gear and sit in a cockpit.

Students of all ages came from across the province for the Museum's Learning Day, where they experienced what the past was like.

"I hope they learn that museums are a good place and that they learn something about blacksmithing; what a steam engine sounded like and smelled like and they can imagine what the trip across the country was like," said Jackie Hall, Western Development Museum program education officer.

The students toured the different areas of the museum, including the transportation wing of the museum, which has cars, trucks, buses and trains from the last century.

"I think the exhibits are amazing. Everything is really nicely kept. It's very educational. It's just an awesome facility to visit," said Nina Kucey, 18, from Saskatoon. "I learned a lot about the development of the prairies and also just transportation. It's a huge part of our lives and it's nice to know where it came from."

Students were also able to step on board a Canadian Pacific passenger train and ride the WDM Short Line. For the active youngsters there was a lot of hands on activities, including milking a fake cow, typewriting and mowing the lawn with a push lawn mower.

Pilots from 15 Wing were on hand at the Canadian Snow Bird exhibit, where the kids learned about the history of aviation and also had some fun.

 "The thing they have learned so far is that the gear is really heavy," said Josh Brighton, Second Lieutenant, as a student tried on some of the pilot gear." What we are trying to do is show them that we have a presence in the Moose Jaw area, with in Saskatchewan and in Canada."

The WDM has been hosting the Museum Learning Day for several decades and in recent years has hosted between 400 and 500 students each year.

For more information on the WDM and WDMs around the province visit www.wdm.ca.

Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.

Organizations: Western Development Museum, Canadian Pacific

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Canada

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