Science Hill’s Rho Kappa celebrates 100th anniversary of 19th amendment


Science HIll’s Chapter of the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society hosted a museum walk for students last Wednesday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement. The event allowed students to be submerged in a time period and learn new things about the historical figures from that time.

“In history classes, you learn small parts, but you have to move on. These live museums allow you to learn so much information in a short amount of time,” Science Hill senior Aniela Suit said. “It can take people back to a certain part of time and help you understand more about what was going on during that era.”

A few Rho Kappa students dressed up as famous women and men who played key roles in ensuring the 19th amendment was passed. Science Hill history teacher Jessica Schiwitz is one of the faculty advisors for Rho Kappa and she said the live museum experiences help students get a better understanding of the content.

“It’s different from reading about that person or having teachers teach you facts about that person,” Schiwitz said. “To kind of, in a way, experience that information from that person’s point of view can be a more engaging way to present history.”

Schiwitz also noted Tennessee’s unique history with the suffrage movement that some may not know. Tennessee was the last state needed to ratify the 19th amendment and was the final state to join what is referred to as the “perfect 36”. The vote came down to one Tennessee legislator, Harry T. Burn.

Burn received a letter from his mother that encouraged him to change his vote and ensure that women received the right to vote. The letter worked and Burn’s last-minute change was the vote that was needed to ratify the 19th amendment.

“What a cool story,” Schiwitz said. “We are the last state. We are the state that made the 19th amendment happen.”

Rho Kappa has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment throughout the year with announcements and posters through the hallways of Science Hill. But Science Hill senior Cooper Reaves said that the live museum was a great event to help students get a better understanding of how it all came about. 

“It’s an important part of our history as a country and as Americans,” Reaves said. “Our project today helped reinforce what students already know and exposed them to new things.” 

While Suit said she knew a lot about the 19th amendment before the event, it helped her and others gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the fight for women to receive the right to vote.   

"Things are hard to get and people had to struggle, and sometimes even die for things that we consider basic everyday things for us,” Suit said. “So it is always a good thing to think back and say ‘thank you’ for what you have done for us.”