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      Project Sisu teaches students about history

      You may not expect to find middle school students willingly spending their summer doing hard labor and learning history, but some Washington Middle School students are doing just that.

      It's called Project SISU, a youth initiative run by the Keweenaw National Historical Park to get kids interested in local history.

      â??Middle school is a really difficult time with a lot of students,â?? said project leader, Bridget Harsch. â??It's also a very impressionable time, and it's an important period of time for kids to be able to start to have that sense of pride within their community.â??

      â??It's fun to learn about stuff that I didn't know, like history,â?? added eighth grader, Jacinda Wheelock. â??I kind of knew some about it, but I just wanted to learn more.â??

      Students meet once a week to work on various projects for the Park Service. Wednesday, they put on their gloves and worked with garden tools at the Quincy Mine.

      â??We're making a trail, like clearing it out, so that some of the National Park Service rangers would be able to give tours to people,â?? explained eighth grader, Kayla Parkin.

      Even though the path has always been there, people didn't really know about it because it was covered in weeds and brush, and it was really impassable. So, the students spent the morning clearing it out so that people knew that they could walk on it to find that there was an old mine here they could visit.

      At the end of the summer, the students will put together a cultural map of pictures for tourists their age to see what there is to do. And they get to see how learning can be fun, too.

      â??There's a lot of history about Calumet and Hancock and Houghton and that it's really fun to learn about it,â?? Parkin said.