Nearly 300 eighth-graders from Mars Middle School in Pennsylvania recently worked together in social studies and language arts classes to research and recommend prominent African-American figures for a Mount Rushmore-like monument. Some students built monument models to include their nominees' faces for the project, which observes the 2015 opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. "You can tell that they put [in] a lot of time out of the classroom. The students were highly engaged," said social studies teacher Jason Thompson.

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