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    Workshop to Assist Preservation Groups in Engaging Visitors with Artifacts

    Northeast Iowa – Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) will be hosting the workshop “History in Your Hands: Putting Artifacts to Work” on Thursday, August 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The workshop will feature master teacher/interpreter Michael Zahs and be held at Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Area in Toddville, Iowa.

    Through the use of storytelling and hands-on activities, museums have the ability to bring history to life using the artifacts they preserve. Michael Zahs, twice named Iowa Social Studies Teacher of the Year, will share what he has learned in 39 years of utilizing historical artifacts for hands-on teaching. During his presentation, he will discuss how to incorporate artifacts and other primary resources into exhibits and programs. He will also talk about his own experiences with students rebuilding log cabins, mapping cemeteries and digging into archaeological sites.

    “We are very proud to offer this hands-on workshop from such a knowledgeable speaker,” commented Don Short, SSNHA President. “We hope the skills he teaches will help visitors become more engaged with artifacts and exhibits, bringing history to life in a whole new way.”

    Registration is due July 28 and limited to 50 participants. The registration fee is $45 per person, which includes lunch and materials. Individuals affiliated with a SSNHA Partner/Emerging Site will receive a discounted registration of $35 per person or $90 for a group of three. Registration forms are available online under the “Resources” section at

    Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa. Interstate 80 borders it on the south and Interstate 35 borders it on the west. Through a network of sites, programs and events, SSNHA interprets farm life, agribusiness and rural communities – past and present.

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