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Manzanar NHS Hosts Electronic Field Trip

Manzanar National Historic Site

National Park News

Manzanar National Historic Site, in cooperation with Ball State University (BSU), the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the National Park Foundation has just completed the production of an Electronic Field Trip to Manzanar.  Two live broadcasts on February 13th provided an opportunity for as many as 20 million students and others across the country to learn about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.  Park rangers, former internees, and students brought the stories alive from various locations around Manzanar, fielding questions from the live audience and relaying personal experiences about life in camp. 

Prior to the broadcasts, teachers and students were able to access a website and curriculum, targeted toward fifth through ninth graders.  These resources provided some background and hands-on experience for the students.  The park staff worked with BSU and other partners to develop creative lessons that went beyond telling the facts by asking the students to relate the events of WWII to their lives and what is happening in the world today.  The website provided an interactive interface to explore the camp and walk in the footsteps of a former internee, learning first-hand from those that were directly affected by having their families uprooted and relocated to remote areas across the West.   

Eleven short video clips, called webisodes, were also produced and are available for download from iTunes, as well as on the website.  These webisodes provided a visual connection to different aspects of Manzanar and the internment experience.

In the second of the two broadcasts Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne was able to join a class in Washington D.C., learning with the children how people’s lives were affected by these events.  Secretary Kempthorne was joined by two former Japanese American veterans of WWII  and shared his support for the work being done at Manzanar, and at other National Park Service sites in preserving the history of our country and in finding innovative and interactive ways to educate the youth of today about their history.

The website, curriculum and other resources developed for this broadcast are available at www.bsu.edu/eft/manzanar.  For more detailed information please contact the park at (760)878-2194 x2701, www.nps.gov/manz, manz_superintendent@nps.gov



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