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Chinese children sample sights, sounds of region Chinese exchange students watch and take photos of a blacksmithing demonstration by Hans Ruebel in the Toledo Museum of Art metalsmithing studio.
Chinese exchange students watch and take photos of a blacksmithing demonstration by Hans Ruebel in the Toledo Museum of Art metalsmithing studio.
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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2012

Chinese children sample sights, sounds of region

Exchange students get warm welcome

BY GABRIELLE RUSSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The group of Chinese students seemed mesmerized by the smell of coal burning, the 2,500-degree heat, the pounding from the blacksmith on their visit to the Toledo Museum of Art.

The 18 middle-school-aged students, who struggled to speak English, are on a three-week tour of northwest Ohio as part of a program through the American Cultural Exchange Service.

Hao Jiang, left, smells a piece of metal as Jia Rong Cai watches. The children have attended a school board meeting in Rossford, the Imagination Station downtown, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Hao Jiang, left, smells a piece of metal as Jia Rong Cai watches. The children have attended a school board meeting in Rossford, the Imagination Station downtown, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Their stops have included a Rossford school board meeting, where the jet-lagged visitors closed their eyes, the Imagination Station in downtown Toledo, and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb. The art museum trip was last Wednesday.

"It's wonderful," said Zhao Jiancong, a teacher from the Lanzhou No. 35 Middle School in northwest China, about the trip so far.

Blacksmith Hans Ruebel, who teaches classes at the museum, led the students on a tour of the workshop and did a live demonstration as he shaped iron.

"Some people think blacksmithing has died out," Mr. Ruebel told the children, who snapped photographs. "But actually, the opposite is true."

The students, who are staying with local host families while they attend class in Rossford, Genoa, and Oregon schools, are to return home to the Gansu province Sunday.



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