HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Wednesday's historic significance was clear for one coast school. The students at Bay-Waveland Middle School had a hands-on look at how the attack on Pearl Harbor changed the world.
A weeks-long study on World War II ended with a look into the day that got the U.S. involved, Dec. 7, 1941.
"When they get to do the hands-on approach, the creativity just comes out of them. I like to say that it's a little bit of magic, and we're able to capture that," said eighth grade social studies teacher Dave Adams.
The students really got into it. Some of them even became iconic figures from the era.
"It's fun to actually put yourself in their shoes, literally, when you're dressed up like this. You get to feel like you're them, and you get to explain your life from their point of view," said eighth grader Angelina Legros, while dressed as Rosie the Riveter.
Some of the students involved a little bit of audience participation. Guests were even invited to sign up on a mock list to become a pilot for the war effort. The hands-on approach was a welcome change for many of the students.
"Being in the classroom is kind of boring and it gets tiring just listening to the teacher. This time, we get to speak instead of the teachers," said seventh grader Haley Harris.
That's exactly what the teachers involved wanted to hear.
"It's phenomenal to be able to see that these kids are taking the initiative. They're the ones doing the learning. They're controlling it. They're picking what interests them. World War II is so broad," said seventh grade social studies teacher Logan Pullin.
Eighth grader Bianca Vellon was even able to learn a little bit about her Puerto Rican heritage for the assignment.
"I just wanted to include that. Not only the Puerto Ricans were affected. It was Cuba, all of them. They actually helped with World War II," said Bianca.
This was the third year for the school to take on a period in history like this.