With the May installation of a pair of time capsules to be opened in 25 years, Dripping Springs ISD officials hope to have their students considering their own place in history.
The capsules are the brainchild of ninth-grader Luke Medina, who, at the time, was a student in the eighth grade at Dripping Springs Middle School. Medina used the project as a means of completing the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. The idea came to him when he read a book in which a character created a time capsule; Medina decided to do one as well. He reached out to the school’s principal, Dan Diehl, who thought it was a great idea.
While the traditional time capsule calls for the container to be buried until it is unearthed, the construction of the new middle school allowed for a unique approach that Diehl hopes will make the capsule more meaningful for students. The time capsule will be kept behind a glass pane in front of a mural in a central part of the building. An additional time capsule will be located on the Dripping Springs Elementary School campus.
“What’s unique about our time capsule is that it’s not in a hidden location somewhere on campus,” he said. “It’s out in the open, kids will pass by it every day on their way to the cafeteria and have it on their minds.”
Diehl said that, while the time capsules won’t be opened for 25 years, just the reminder that they exist could be a powerful reminder for students about how they fit into the world.
“I think it gets their heads around what’s happening in the current times, and helps them recognize their place in history,” Diehl said. Middle school kids, ages 11-14, typically don’t think beyond the day or week in front of them. For them to see themselves as a bigger piece in history is a pretty big thing for them to conceive.”
Inside the capsules, Medina and the students placed recent newspapers, current yearbooks and photos of the school’s construction, along with a staff t-shirt and Jenga blocks with teachers’ signatures written on the sides.
It was important to Medina that the time capsule include something that represented the current students, he said. After taking several weeks to weigh options, he decided to ask students to write a one-page essay on what the world would look like in 25 years when the capsule is to be opened. Also included are student essays on topics such as what is popular in the current culture, what music they listen to, the clothes they wear and what the students think of the presidential administration.
“Objects are nice and all, however, if you have multiple opinions of what the world looked like 25 years ago, (having the writing) helps sort of build (future students’) ideas of what the world looked like,” Medina said.