Secrets on the Shelf
Cascade Middle School’s 8th-grade honors social studies class has created an annual documentary project highlighting artifacts found within the Hendricks County Historical Museum. Students visit the museum in the fall and select an artifact they are interested in researching. With the help of the museum staff they research the history of the item. Once the students have done their research, they film short skits telling the artifact’s story and the people connected to it. All of the groups’ stories are then edited together into one hour-long documentary. In the spring the documentary is shown to the public at Danville’s Royal Theater. Immediately following the show the museum is opened so the artifacts shown in the film can be seen by the audience. The project started after Ben Neilson, the 8th-grade social studies teacher at Cascade, watched an episode of the television show “Mysteries at the Museum”. Neilson believed that his students were capable of creating their own version of the show highlighting local history and thus the “Secrets on the Shelf” documentary was born.