Frozen for the Future: An LHS Time Capsule


Sarah Wuh

Students thought personal items such as a baseball, records, books, and lavender should go in a time capsule.

The purpose of a time capsule is to “freeze” a moment in time in order to share it with the generations of the future. Author of “Remembrance of Things Past: The Invention of the Time Capsule” Nick Yablon believes public capsules first began as an effort to assert “historical continuity into the future,” when the fight for American independence left citizens excited for the future and weary of any threats to it. 

Time capsules throughout history vary and range in size, from a small brass box to a massive cylinder placed within a 50-foot deep well. The vague definition of time capsule leaves them an easily accessible practice for all as long as there is a sturdy storage container and objects that can last the test of time. 

After experiencing an unprecedented past year, nearly 70 LHS students were asked what objects from 2020 and 2021 they would place in a time capsule to share with future generations. 

Items Specific to Covid-19

hand sanitizer, mask, picture, covid card, sawb
Among the most mentioned items were Covid-19 related, such as masks, hand sanitizer, and a vaccination card. (Sarah Wuh)

The largest trend among student responses was Covid-19 related items. The most commonly mentioned object by a vast margin was a mask. Sophomore Emily Fink explained that masks “represent everything we’ve been through throughout these past two years.”

Similarly, senior Kaylee Sherman stated that “masks tell a story about this time.” 

Overall, students explained their selection by emphasizing the necessity of masks as well as their long-term presence in everyday life at this point. Freshman Grace Huber stated that masks are currently “an integral part of our lives.” 

Senior Wren Rojas would place a vaccination card in a time capsule with the mindset being that vaccination cards may end up in history books. If so, having a physical copy could be beneficial for future generations’ understanding of this time. 

An unused Covid test was suggested by senior Trace Batesky so that future students “will see what athletes had to use every week” and “how much medicine changes.”

Other objects mentioned included hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes, which were both chosen for their heightened attention during this time and the impact they’ve had on returning back to normal. 

Instead of selecting an item directly related to Covid-19, sophomore Jack Shaw expressed interest in choosing an image of a classroom with socially distanced students, masks and computers. Shaw’s mindset was that this would paint the most accurate image of education during this time.


Chromebook, airpods, phone
Students thought technology such as AirPods, an iPhone, and a Chromebook should be put in a time capsule. (Sarah Wuh)

The second-most trending category of responses was technological items. For junior Charlotte Bossler, AirPods’ popularity amongst high schoolers and the fact that they’re “the first popularized wireless headphones of our generation” earns them a spot in a time capsule. 

Computers and Chromebooks were mentioned multiple times, not only for their pivotal role in adjusting to the pandemic, but also so that they can act as a technological throwback for future generations. Freshman Alexander Mahon believes saving current technology for future generations to review could be beneficial “so they don’t forget what got them whatever they have in the future.”

The last piece of technology mentioned was an iPhone. With a mindset comparable to Mahon’s, sophomore Valentino Bascioni selected an iPhone X because it will be seen “as an antiquity” in the future and would reflect the stage of technological development we are in. 

Freshman Grant Angelback chose an iPhone since they are so popular and have basically become an essential item. 

Items with Personal Meaning 

The objects that some students selected held deeper personal interest, including rings, movies and a variety of music albums and vinyls. Junior Michaela Orvis wrote how she would include lavender since it helped relieve her stress within this past school year. 

Another stress reliever that would be added into the capsule involves music, specifically Beatles records for junior Gloria Barbuda-Gomez. During quarantine, Barbuda-Gomez’s interest in the Beatles grew, and she explained how the “peaceful and joyful music brought [her] joy through a tough time.”

Junior Maggie Abderholden selected the book Steal this Book by Abbie Hoffman because “it inspired young activities” and Abderholden believes “the younger generation should be more vocal in the world.”

Since “baseball helped [him] get through 2020,” sophomore Mathew Ramaker would select a baseball for the capsule. 

To represent the time spent in early quarantine when many were restricted to their homes, senior Zeel Shukla chose a 1000-piece puzzle: 

“It was then when we resorted to a number of different activities to keep ourselves entertained and solving that puzzle was one of them,” Shukla explained.