HISTORY(TM) Announces Winners of the Innovation in History Education Contest
NEW YORK, July 8 -- HISTORY(TM) announced the winners of a special contest for teachers connected with its landmark 12-part television series, AMERICA THE STORY OF US, which premiered on April 25, 2010 and concluded on Memorial Day. The Innovation in History Education contest invited teachers to submit outstanding American history lesson plans for a chance to win a total of $25,000 in prizes. The contest emphasized the use of technology to develop engaging and content-rich history lesson plans for today's 21st century students, and was open to Middle School and High School teachers, with 1 Grand Prize Winner and 2 First Prize Winners in each category.
Each Grand Prize winner is awarded $5,000 and each First Prize Winner is awarded $2,500. The lesson plans all fit with central themes in AMERICA THE STORY OF US, a cutting-edge new interpretation of American history, with thrilling visuals and commentary from notable historians and personalities.
The Middle School category, Grand Prize Winner is Elisa Garrett, a teacher at Lake Travis Middle School in Austin, Texas. Garrett was awarded the prize for developing a lesson plan entitled "Avoiding the Civil War" which asked students to time-travel back to the Civil War era, reading primary sources and designing multimedia projects showing ways the crisis could have been averted.
First Prize winners in the Middle School category are Sandi Chevenak of Bellefontaine Middle School in Bellefontaine, Ohio and Kevin S. Jones of Westlake Middle School in Erie, Pennsylvania. Chevenak's innovative lesson plan connects closely with the AMERICA THE STORY OF US series, challenging students to create videos based on one of the episodes. Jones developed a lesson entitled "Dream Car" in which students analyze the construction of the U.S. highway system and the influence of the car on American life. Students use multimedia programs to create model 1950's cars and advertisements which allow them to consider many facets of this topic.
The High School category, the Grand Prize Winner is John Harris of Somerset Area Schools in Somerset, Pennsylvania. In the course unit entitled "Hunting History: Discovering Your Hometown" students used GPS devices to explore their local history.
First Prize winners in the High School category are Paul LaRue from Washington High School in Washington Court House, Ohio and team-teachers Claire Cook Hansen & Laurette Simon from Champion Christian School in Chico, California. LaRue's students were engaged in a statewide conversation about which historic figure should be Ohio's next representative in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. LaRue's students championed an abolitionist named James Ashley, learning about his antislavery activity and using their knowledge to contribute to the Ohio debate. Hansen and Simon's lesson plan, entitled "45 Blocks That Rocked the World" which focused on using music and video to learn about the Harlem Renaissance.
The Innovation in History Education lesson plan contest was part of the most ambitious, wide-ranging educational initiative HISTORY has ever organized. The outreach campaign for AMERICA THE STORY OF US also included student and library contests organized together with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In conjunction with the broadcast, HISTORY also offered, for the first time, a DVD of the entire 12-hour series to every single school in America including all accredited colleges - free of charge. Other events included a live webcast with the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. in which thousands of schools nationwide participated in a conversation about innovation and invention in American history. A wealth of additional curriculum resources related to AMERICA THE STORY OF US are available online at www.history.com/classroom.
HISTORY(TM) and HISTORY HD(TM) are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, How The Earth Was Made, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and The Universe, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, King, Life After People, Nostradamus: 2012, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and WWII in HD. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's latest initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at www.history.com, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games and more.