Engaging Students in Our History

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park and NPF engaged local students in creating 'Wright Paths'—historical replicas of the significance of their hometown.

Through the invention of powered flight, Wilbur and Orville made significant contributions to human history. In their Dayton, Ohio bicycle shop these two men created the science and art of aviation by researching and building the world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine capable of free, controlled, and sustained flight. The Wrights also perfected their invention during 1904 and 1905 in their hometown of Dayton.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a partner of the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial. Paul Laurence Dunbar achieved national and international acclaim in a literary world that was almost exclusively reserved for whites. This gifted and prolific writer produced a body of work that included novels, plays, short stories, lyrics, and over 400 published poems. His work, which reflected much of the African American experience in America, contributed to a growing social consciousness and cultural identity for African Americans in the United States.

This project provided an opportunity for MSA students to learn more about their neighborhood and its connection to the park. Students created a sequence of experiences, called the Wright Path, which included historical information and mini replicas of Wright flyer airplanes. These airplanes helped others learn about the cultural and historical significance of the area. Last, the students shared what they discover on the park and school's social media platforms.