Students learn history of Rome, plan future of Lincoln

Trevor Shalon’s seventh-grade world history students at Moore Middle School have been studying how cities in ancient Rome were structured and organized. To better understand the past, Shalon had them think about the future of Lincoln.

Their assignment: to design a future use for a currently undeveloped plot of land near 93rd Street and Old Cheney Road. They had to consider the many factors that could impact Lincoln’s future growth. Similarly, when studying how Rome developed, they considered topics such as geography, wealth, status and population density.    

Shalon’s students worked with David Cary, director of city planning for Lincoln and Lancaster County, who visited their class. The students’ ideas ranged from a library to a skate park to restaurants. They used a 3D digital design program, Tinkercad, to bring their ideas to life.

Cary and others from the City of Lincoln then chose their three favorite student ideas:

  • Elaine Yu - a library and cafe
  • Emily Schmersal - a park dedicated to American soldiers
  • Tyler Thimmesch - a park dedicated to Nebraska history

Last year for this assignment, students designed their own Roman buildings - which naturally led to a lot of temples and colosseums, Shalon said.

“This year they could use a bit more creativity with what they did,” he said.

His students gave the assignment rave reviews:

  • "What I liked most about this project was that I got to research Nebraska history and was able to put that information into the Tinkercad program. I also was able to learn more about Nebraska history that I didn't already know."
  • “I liked that we were able to think outside of the box, but we still had an idea that we had to follow for some guidance.”
  • “What I liked about this project is we got to turn this piece of land into practically anything. I also enjoyed learning how to use Tinkercad. Now I’m very good at it.”

Published: November 19, 2019, Updated: December 2, 2019