Hot Springs School District teaching students about 9/11 with exhibit


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – With the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, time is bringing a new challenge.

Students who have no memories from that tragic day. Hot Springs School District used pictures, videos and interactive exhibits to give students the feel of the impact of the tragic day.

It’s a story students have only learned about in the classroom or seen in pictures.

“I think my first experience was first grade,” Hot Springs Freshman Julie Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she never felt the true emotions of September 11, 2001, until now.

“You imagine it but here you get to feel it,” Hernandez said.

Walking through the Trojan Arena at Hot Springs Junior Academy, the walls are covered in pictures from that dark day 20 years ago.

“That little kid. He was running away. I just couldn’t imagine his fear,” Hernandez said.

From the victims to the heroes, each station of this interactive exhibit tackles a different perspective of the terrorist attacks.

“This equipment you try it on and you imagine what they’re going through and it’s very emotional,” Hernandez said.

“You see kids writing on paper all over. If we were just lecturing this in the classroom that probably wouldn’t happen,” Hot Springs Junior Academy Teacher Dale Ridgley said.

Ridgley said this experience is giving students a look at what it was like to see the horror firsthand.

“They have questions like could this happen again. Is there something that would happen that would cause us to go to war,” Ridgley said.

At the end of the exhibit, students get the chance to take what they learned and put it into a message for those who lived through the tragic day.

“By seeing the things that took place they have a little more empathy as to what people went through,” Ridgley said.

This is the first year Hot Springs School District has done the exhibit. They do plan to continue this method of teaching about 9/11.

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