Twin Falls High students visit Minidoka internment camp

HUNT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) On Wednesday, it was a day of preserving history and learning about a Japanese internment camp.

More than 200 Twin Falls High School sophomore students visited the Minidoka National Historic Site.

"Most kids don't even know that there's an internment camp out here," said English teacher Matt Coleman. "To get them out to the real world, walk the walk, then do a comparison on what they've been reading is a valuable experience."

The students had to complete a series of assignments. They had to take pictures, create a video and then write about their experience.

"We're hoping to get out of here is, you know, let's take care of our fellow neighbors, take care the people around you," Coleman said. "Because what happened is people didn't really care for each other. To come out and see that this is actually a prison city, the whole idea is that to take care of each other."

The Minidoka internment camp imprisoned thousands of Japanese-Americans at the height of World War II.

"It's definitely not what I expected," said student Steven Thueson, 15. "I thought it was a little more existent, because a lot of the buildings aren't here anymore. It's bigger than I thought also."

This is the first time Steven visits the site. Touring it has helped him better understand internment camps.

"Definitely, it helped me learn more about it. Because when you're just talking about it in class it's not like affecting you at all," he said. "When you actually come here and read all the signs, there's definitely a different point of view."

Educators hope in the end it gave present-day students a glimpse into the past.

"I just think that it's like sad that people came here and how mistreated they were," said student Alexis Ferreira, 15.

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