'We wouldn't be able to have phones or video games if you didn't have these'
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The students in Nelson Farrier's 6th grade science class are unlocking the code to a different kind of learning.
The kids are learning first hand about the original texting system: Morse code.
They've been making circuit boards and putting the parts together to make Morse code signalers.
"This happened and it was just amazing," Hamlin Middle School student Meleah Baker said. "I've learned about electricity, positive and negative, and Morse code."
Local electronics shops have teamed up with volunteers from the Valley Amateur Radio Club to help kids unlock the "keys" to this old technology.
"Making a mistake here is a good thing," said volunteer Doc Shankle, "because it challenges us to do some troubleshooting."
A valuable skill these students can carry into future lessons.
"Transistors," student Ricky Bray said, "we wouldn't be able to have phones, video games or anything else if you didn't have these."
"You're hearing is most key about it," student Hezekiah Hickson said, "and learning the dots - I always have a list next to me just in case I need to know anything."
"The more you keep at it, the more likely you are to be successful," teacher Farrier said. "If you quit, you lose."
And that makes a mid-19th century code system plenty relevant in 2018.