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Live Electronic Field Trip to Teach Students the Lessons of Pearl Harbor on 75th Anniversary


For the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor this year, PBS member station WYES-TV/New Orleans and The National WWII Museum are partnering to broadcast a free Electronic Field Trip (EFT) that will teach students across the country the lessons of the historic day in U.S. history.

For no charge, "Remember Pearl Harbor – How Students Like YOU Experienced the Day of Infamy” will enlist the help of student reporters to provide an up-close look at historic sites like the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the USS Arizona Memorial, Wheeler Army Airfield and the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island.

The EFT will add to the scenery by featuring eyewitness and survivor accounts to help viewers best relate to the momentous chain of events.

Jimmy Lee, for example, was 11-years-old at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, roughly the same age as the targeted student audience. During the webcast, he will lead student reporter Julia Bresnan to the exact spot where he saw the events unfold from his family home less than a mile away from the attacks. Lee has been actively educating students near and far about life both before and after the Pearl Harbor events, and he is expected to help students imagine how they might have experienced living in the time period.

Bresnan will be joined by fellow student reporter Eliana de Las Casas, a teen who is likely to be recognized by many viewers as the impressive 11th grader who was crowned winner of the "Chopped" Teen Tournament on the Food Network in September.

During the EFT debut from 9:00 am and 1:00 pm CST on December 7, participating students will have the option to use live discussions and polls to both ask questions in real time and engage with fellow peers also watching the webcast.

Leaving no stone unturned, teachers have access to a series of free resources designed to accompany the webcast that will provide students with extension and enrichment activities. Such resources, available now, include a vocabulary list with word searches, recommended oral histories from the Museum’s collection, a propaganda poster coloring sheet, and a fully developed corresponding lesson plan.

Following the webcast’s debut on December 7, a national reading project will be announced for classrooms to continue building on what they’ve learned even after the EFT is over.

“WYES is pleased to collaborate with the Museum to offer this well-researched, credible and interactive lesson about the significance of the attack on Pearl Harbor to students nationwide,” said WYES producer Marcia Kavanaugh in a statement.

This is the second time WYES and the National WWII Museum have partnered to create an EFT; in 2015, the two received national recognition for their creation of the webcast “We’re All in This Together!”

Registration for "Remember Pearl Harbor – How Students Like YOU Experienced the Day of Infamy” is happening now. Resources and participation in the webcast are free-of-charge to any educator interested in participating.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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