Fifty Salem-Liberty Elementary students were in Marietta Monday, learning more about the Pioneer City they've been studying for the last few weeks.
Their day began at the Anderson Hancock Planetarium on the Marietta College campus. Sara McElroy, 10, said she's visited the planetarium before.
"I've probably been there about four times, but every time it's been something new," she said. "I like to learn about the constellations."
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Students from Salem-Liberty Elementary School gathered for lunch on the Marietta College campus lawn Monday where they were joined by Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews who talked about the city’s history and municipal government.
McElroy said the planetarium visits have helped her identify the constellations when they appear in the night sky above her home.
She and classmate Lauren Zwick, 10, were also interested in the replicas of two Chinese terra cotta warriors at Marietta College's Thomas Hall that were recently donated to the institution by alumni Ormah and the late Bob Duggan.
The warriors are copies of more than 1,000 terra cotta soldiers that have been discovered by archaeologists in 1974 while unearthing the tomb of 3rd century B.C. Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di. The warriors, stationed in underground trenches around the tomb, were reportedly created to guard the emperor in his afterlife.
Students learn about Marietta
Students in fourth through sixth grades from Salem-Liberty Elementary School traveled to Marietta for a day-long field trip Monday.
The group attended a presentation at Marietta College's Anderson Hancock Planetarium, had lunch with Mayor Joe Matthews, toured Marietta College and President Joseph Bruno's home and received a tour of the Washington County Courthouse by the county commissioners.
The field trip was part of a course the Salem-Liberty students are taking to learn more about the Marietta area and history in their own backyard.
"We've been learning about the terra cotta warriors that were originally dug up by some Chinese farmers," Zwick said. "I love history, and just learning about it."
The students spent their lunch time on the campus lawn along Fourth Street, munching on sandwiches and hearing about some of Marietta's history from Mayor Joe Matthews.
"Is it hard to run a city?" asked fourth-grader Michael Carpenter.
"Anything you do in life can be hard," Matthews answered. "But I like my job, so it's not really hard to me. And something you all should know is to do what you enjoy in life and it won't seem so hard."
Ten-year-old Luke Huffman said he didn't realize there was so much to learn about in Marietta.
"So far I really liked the talk with Mayor Matthews and the planetarium," he said.
After lunch the students were split into two groups. One group boarded a Trolley Tours bus bound for a tour of some of the city's historic areas. Unfortunately that tour ended within a half hour as the trolley had a breakdown near Indian Acres Park.
The other group of students took a walking tour of the college campus, through the Dyson-Baudo Recreation Center and were taken on a tour of the college president's home by Marietta College President Joseph Bruno and his wife, Diane.
"This is a really cool house," said 9-year-old Derek West as the students climbed the steps to the nearly 200-year-old home.
The Brunos met the children at the door and invited them in to see some of the historical items, paintings and photos inside.
Hands went up all over the room when Joesph Bruno asked how many children were planning to attend college. He gave some advice on getting ready for their post high school education now.
"You have to work hard in school, but also get involved in as many other activities as you can," Bruno said. "Pursue your interests, and maybe we'll be seeing you in about eight years."
Teacher Renay Eddy, who coordinated Monday's field trip, said the students have been studying about Marietta and some of the history and other attractions that exist in the Pioneer City.
"When we go back to the classroom they'll be asked to design a brochure about Marietta from all that they've learned today," she said. "There are a lot of free things they can do and sites they can see here, and we hope they'll tell their parents who will bring them back to see more during the summer."
Eddy and fellow teachers Kelly Biehl and Ericka Schneider are Marietta College alumni and wanted the children to visit the campus.
"A lot of these kids have never set foot on a college campus, and we wanted them to get an idea of how exciting it can be," Eddy said. "And we have so much for people to see and do right here in our own backyard."