|Secretary Kempthorne spoke about the value of virtual tours for connecting the younger generation with their national parks and the President's Centennial Challenge Initiative. Japanese American World War II veterans, Joseph Ichiuji and Grant Hirobayashi, shared their experiences with the Murch students.|
WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne joined a 5th Grade class of students from the District of Columbia today on a visit to Manzanar National Historic Site in California – via an Electronic Field Trip.
“Electronic Field Trips are an exciting way to connect students and adults alike to our national parks,” Kempthorne said. “These special places not only protect our wildlife and preserve our majestic landscapes but also help us learn about our history as a nation.”
About 25 students from Murch Elementary School participated in the event via live broadcast, which featured online and interactive activities from classrooms across the country. Participants heard reports and asked questions of other school children, park rangers and Japanese Americans in California.
Entitled “Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire; Baseball in the Japanese American Internment Camps”, the 60-minute program told the story of Japanese Americans detained in internment camps during World War II and the role of baseball as America’s Pastime in these camps. An estimated 20 million viewers at schools, homes and community centers around the nation watched the program.
Kempthorne was a special guest of the class and spoke about the value of virtual tours for connecting the younger generation with their national parks and the President’s Centennial Challenge Initiative to improve national parks for the 100 birthday of the National Park Service in 2016. Japanese American World War II veterans, Joseph Ichiuji and Grant Hirobayashi, shared their experiences with the Murch students.
Murch Principal Carolyne Albert-Garvey and 5th Grade teachers also joined the vitual tour activities. Following the program, Kempthorne administered the Junior Ranger pledge to the Murch students.
Electronic Field Trips are a program of Ball State University. “Desert Diamonds” was made possible by funding and support from The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. This is the 5th National Park Electronic Field Trip created through a partnership between Ball State University and the National Park Foundation with assistance from the National Park Service and the Best Buy Children’s Foundation.
The Electronic Field Trip was carried live on select PBS/cable networks across the country and on the internet via www.bsu.edu/eft/. It can also be viewed at http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/story.php?itemID=9721