AMANDA — Roxanne Sams wanted a way to continue sharing her love of history and learning outside of the classroom.
Already a published author of a history book directed towards young students, Sams decided to start the Rambling Roxy YouTube channel as a tool for school teachers and their classes, along with anyone interested in Ohio history.
A Bloom-Carroll High School graduate, Sams grew up in Fairfield County, getting an early love for local history, learning about the area's canals. She lives in the Amanda area now, with her husband Christopher and her 2-year-old twins Amelia and Alexander.
"I love history, and I miss some aspects of being in the classroom. There are parts of being a teacher I don't miss, but creating the content and interacting with the students as they learned was great," Sams said. "I'd written a few children's books, so I thought the next way to start sharing would be through a YouTube channel. I figured it'd be something teachers could use in their classes, or even when a student has work they can do at home."
"Plus, the videos are one way for me to work on things at home while taking care of the kids. They've shown some interest in the work, too. Amelia likes the hat I wear for the videos, and she's tried it on a few times."
Sams added the first videos were extensions of what she learned doing research for her most recent book, "Twin Adventures in Ohio History," which follows Alex and Emilia as they venture to various historic sites in Ohio, such as the Adena Mound, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and more.
"Ohio has some fascinating history, which I uncovered as I looked for good places for the 'twins' to visit in the book. One that surprised me was the Aviation Trail. I think a lot of people know about the Wright Brothers and the Air Force base in Dayton, but they may not know how much an impact the state had during the second World War and manufacturing airplanes," she said. "The first videos I've produced deal with the information I learned for the book. I felt that was a good way to get comfortable behind the camera."
Christopher Sams is a pilot by profession, so Roxanne said she became interested in the state's past with aviation because of him.
The videos are fairly short, ranging from about five to 10 minutes. Sams said there have been challenges getting started, from finding the right background to video editing.
"Luckily, the book helped with the scripts for each video, and I've worked to keep the editing pretty simple. Getting things like the lighting right and working on getting some good B-roll video so it isn't just me talking the whole time are a few things I'm working on," she said. "In the future, as the pandemic and weather allows, I'd like to take the family to some of these historic sites and museums and shoot some videos, I think that'd be a good way to get people interested in going to these places themselves."
So far, Sams said she's had good reception on the videos but is open to constructive feedback. She said she is trying to work on them while the twins nap, and upload about two a week.
"My personal favorite aspect of Ohio history is the Native American period. I went to college to be an archaeologist, and although I went into teaching, I am still an archaeologist at heart. I'd love to do a couple videos on what an archaeologist does and what it means to be one, but that will take some work to get organized," she said. "But Ohio's got an extensive history with Native Americans, and there are still sites with burial mounds and petroglyphs, so that's exciting to see, plus how the state was settled is another great topic."
"I just hope I can keep going and find more topics as the channel grows."
Barrett Lawlis is a reporter with the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. You can share story ideas or comments with him at 740-681-4342 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BarrettLawlis
This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Former teacher keeps educating with YouTube channel on Ohio history