By Tisha Whitmill
The new Joseph F. Smith Building will house more than classrooms; it will also be the site of a new exhibit documenting the importance of education in the lives of Latter-day saints.
The exhibit, Education in Zion, is expected to be more than two-thirds the length of a football field. It will feature plasma televisions, photographs, maps, artifacts and models.
The exhibit will go beyond the heavily documented history of the Latter-day Saint pioneers and focus on education.
“We”ve done well as an LDS people to document the pioneer”s history, but there”s never been a presentation of our educational heritage,” said Tamilisa Wood, one of the project coordinators.
Former BYU President Merrill J. Bateman asked C. Terry Warner, the head coordinator, to start the project. The historical narratives and multimedia presentations used in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. helped Warner formulate some of the ideas for the project.
“We”re going to present the grand story of education in Zion,” Warner said. “We will do it with people”s personal stories who have done magnificent things in their own learning and in their contributions to other people”s educations. When we learn the stories of others, it helps us to see better what we should do.”
The exhibit will feature personal stories and narratives.
Some of the stories will come from interviewed sources. However, most of the stories will come from selections people submit on the Web site http://exhibit.byu.edu.
Volunteers are helping compile the material. Volunteers check stories for accuracy, as well as research historical background information. Volunteers are also needed to do editing, writing, office work and publicity.
Wood said hundreds of volunteers are needed.
“We”re gathering stories from all over the world,” Warner said. “It”s a very complex undertaking. We”ve got a small army of people who are doing really wonderful things.”
Warner and Wood said they hope the exhibit inspires visitors. They hope it will help people come out of the exhibit feeling they can be better teachers, students or people.
“People would see things that relate to their own situations,” Warner said. “This is an attempt to teach the generation to come to their responsibility.”