CRESTVIEW — A hands-on history lesson during Bob Sikes Elementary School's "America: Then and Now" event on Wednesday impressed second-grader Gunner Chessher, 8.
"It was pretty cool," he said. "We got to make butter and get some pieces of sugar cane so we can grow our own."
Representatives from the Florida Forest Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with a wildlife trapper and a Native American gave presentations.
"We (wanted) to compare and contrast the different eras," second-grade teacher Renee Cotten said. "It's really beneficial because most (students) have never seen sugar cane, touched any of the (wildlife) furs or seen the (Native American) artifacts."
Fish and Wildlife representative Kevin McDonald allowed students to identify which animals left footprints and droppings — "the animal droppings are always a big hit with kids," he said.
Wildlife trapper Lonnie Stone taught students about possible diseases linked to wildlife. "The best way to avoid those diseases is by not handling that animal," he said.
Gary Holley, of the Florida Forest Service, taught students about tree reproduction, and how forest management's controlled burns can be beneficial. "The fire keeps the area open where trees can grow," he said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.