Saturday, December 25, 1999

Knowledge of the future
The dawn of the new millennium has given teachers a learning tool to inspire reflection, creativity and imagination. Students across the islands are linking subjects to the turn of the century as they relate to the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Time capsules, scrapbooks, dramatizations and art projects require research, analysis, problem solving and thought. The Star-Bulletin went into the classrooms to see what students of various levels are doing -- from elementary school, to middle school, to high school and college.

Here's a look at one of the projects.

Iolani students
keeping track of
last days of the

By Eloise Aguiar


For Iolani School juniors in Jeff Hackler's U.S. History class, the countdown is almost over.

Each day since Sept. 1, they've been keeping scrapbooks of facts, events, and personal reflections.

"They're (also) looking for evidence of, or evidence against, the scare of Y2K," Hackler said. "Just the other day we realized we'll have 22 to 23 hours if something bad is going to happen because the lights will go out in Japan, then China, then India. We'll have several hours' notice to get those hibachis out."

The scrapbooks contain news articles, advertisements, football game scores, predictions, photographs and prices of products. Some students selected articles about the Y2K issue, but others said they weren't worried about it.

"I don't know if Y2K is a big deal but it's effecting a lot of change just because of the anticipation," said Peter Mark.

Current events take up a lot of space in the teens' books. They said they wanted to remember the Columbine High School killings, information about interest rates, Rainbow football team victories and threats of newspapers closing.

Alisa Nakamine included an editorial she wrote when the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

On a lighter note, Jennifer Sin wrote next to a newspaper photograph of a body surfer: "Man I want to learn how to surf."

Challenged to be creative, some students incorporated graphic designs; others made collages.

Audrey Sato explained a poem she wrote for the introduction.

"I feel the future is unpredictable, and we should appreciate all we have now," Sato said.

Hackler has created several scrapbooks of his own, marking the year he graduated from college in 1975 and the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.

He said the personal aspect of his students' books makes grading them difficult, he said.

"There's no right answer and there's no wrong answer," he said. "If they give me an honest effort, they'll get a good grade."

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